The Bell Family Sons "Hunt" Garbage Trucks From an Early Age and Find Real Treasures!
The following is from an email sent to the City Manager from Takoma Park
resident Jeff Bell, used with permission
My name is Jeff Bell, and I’m a resident here in Takoma Park. For years, I’ve meant to reach out on this topic, but have never taken the step.I want to share with you how delightful our experiences have been with the crews that handle trash removal/recycling/compost collection.
For a little background, I have two sons, who are now 6 and almost 4. Since our oldest was a baby, we would often go on walks in the neighborhood early in the morning and would encounter the garbage trucks. Like most young boys, both of our sons found the garbage trucks to be very cool. Over time this evolved from simple chance encounters to us going out in the morning to “hunt” the garbage trucks. This has been going on for years, and I must say has given both my wife and me some truly remarkable memories.
What I find special is how incredibly warm and engaging every member of this team has been over the years. Several will know our kids by name, and all will take a second to chat with us when they’ve been found. In Pre-COVID times, my kids were very excited to get fist bumps from the crew. At one point, they would report to their daycare teachers at morning drop-off how many trucks we found and how many “knucks” we got. It certainly brightened everyone’s day that heard tales of our adventures garbage truck hunting. I even had people in my office inquire as to how many garbage trucks we found on a particular morning. There were times during hot summer months where my boys insisted that we take a couple of extra Gatorades with us that we could share to make sure the guys were staying hydrated.
I’ve had countless people witness our interactions, and go out of their way to tell me how big of a smile it put on their face, and how great the workers are. I mean, who wouldn’t want to see two boys getting fist bumps from their heroes? COVID has forced us to pause on the fist bumps, but my boys will still run out of the house to greet the truck when we hear it pull up on Tuesdays. There have been times we’re in the front yard and we’ll see a truck on Philadelphia, and if they see us they’ll always give a honk and a wave — while it’s not a fist bump, my boys really do appreciate being acknowledged. I’ve even had instances where workers would be driving by our house (off work in their personal vehicle) and stop to say hello when we’re in the front yard.
I think it’s important to recognize the impact these hard-working gentlemen are having beyond just the service they provide — they are having a very positive in the community, and bring a great deal of joy to a lot of people, and I can attest that they make my boys feel special.
I’ve included a few pictures from over the years, including one that was taken just this morning.