My days run together sometimes.
I know I'm not alone in this. For many it's tough to remember exactly what we did on Monday, or perhaps it was Tuesday.
My days are varied in the stories, events and weather I cover, sure... but for the most part it's a lot of the same.
I come in and a tear off in my second office, the white Ford Explorer that has started to smell like my house.
I see the same things, trees... a bridge...
miles and miles of interstate.
road signs, lights.
AND THEN LIKE AN EMAIL SENT TO THE ENTIRE OFFICE IN ALL CAPS, SOMETHING HAPPENED TO GRAB MY ATTENTION.
I saw a guy holding a sign that said "Free Beer."
Could this be a trick? Kinda like the email SPAM I've been getting lately about free trips to Djibouti, perhaps it was a trap.
With total disregard for anything, including my limbs, I hooked a U-turn and pulled into the parking lot where this dude was holding this sign.
I went inside, it was a hair salon. The Hair Razer salon on San Jose in Mandarin. There was no gimmick, no request for a blood sample and my social security number.
It was just two nice ladies, a mother-daughter team, who offered me a beer.
I didn't even need to buy a haircut.
"No way, if you come in we figure you could use a beer," said Kathy Belson, the mother and owner of the salon.
I didn't drink the Bud Light. I was on the clock.
But it was about the principal... I COULD have.
Then I asked them why. Why would you do this? No one just hands out a beer and expects nothing in return.
Turns out they had been through some rough times about 7 years ago, times that could have called for a beer.
Kathy and her daughter Lacinda have been cutting hair together for more than 13 years. Seven and Hair Razers, the rest of the time at a salon owned by someone else right around the corner.
"We got a call the day after Thanksgiving from a customer asking us what happened," Lacinda told me. She said they ran into work, they were supposed to be off that day, and found the place boarded up. Lights out.
They had nothing. Not even a cool one.
"So we didn't panic," Lacinda said. "We found this place and a week later we opened up without even a dollar to our names."
But they didn't do it alone. Their loyal customers, who had been visiting them for years, showed up to help.
"We didn't have hot water, so we had a customer who fixed that."
"There was carpet in here, so another customer came in and put in flooring for us."
"A customer even helped us put up the sign."
So, simply saying thank you didn't seem like enough to them.
"How 'bout a beer?" Kathy thought.
The beer is a way for her to say thanks. And she's been doing it for seven years.
"I treat this place like it's my home, and if someone walked into my house, the first thing I'm going to do is ask if they want a drink."
And even though a few weeks from now I may not remember that it was a Thursday that I did this story, when ever I drive that stretch of road from now on i'll certainly remember being thirsty.