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    • CommentAuthorben
    • CommentTimeDec 14th 2010 edited
     
    An appeal from Ant Bike Mike to spread a little holiday cheer. Cait and I made a card and thought others might be interested, too. Feel free to include your own message; we didn't mention Mike cuz we think the cards might be more exciting for Albert that way.

    ------------------------------------------------------------
    Anyone out there want to send a christmas card to an old dying man?

    So here is the deal. About 4 years ago my shop van died and I needed a new $H!*%box van to use for my shop. I found a 1989 Dodge Caravan on Criaglist and had Marty at Geekhouse drive me down to Providence to see the van. The van was owned by this old couple, that were a little run down and the van looked pretty beat too, with many thousands of miles on it [200].

    Marty thought I was crazy to buy the van, but I did and the couple seemed that they were going to miss it. The van was beat, but I drove it for many years and put lots of miles on it and even made some risky cross country road trips with it.

    Ever since then I would get a christmas card from “Al…the guy with the van”. They must have been pretty lonely to send a card to a kid that bought an old used van, but I remember they looked pretty poor and lonely then. So I would send a card back each year.

    So this year I get a sad card and letter from Al, telling me about his bad year. His wife Arlene [of 32 years] died and he had throat cancer and was treated with chemo, then later got colin cancer and he is pretty much done :(

    He asked if I could send him a card. I just did and will probably be the last one. He must have no body, to write to a guy that bought a used van many years ago :(

    So I thought, maybe…just maybe that someone else out there might have the time to send a card to a complete stranger to cheer him up.

    All you have to say is:

    Hi Al,

    I am a friend of Mike “The guy that bought the van”. He told me you were having a hard time, so I thought I would say Happy Holdays!

    Albert Dandeneau
    10 Tell St. 1st Fl
    Providence, RI 02909

    Just thought I would post this. You never know who might feel like doing a little something.

    Thanks, Mike
    I have DTF pants. They're crotchless. -surprisefries
  1.  
    ah shit i'm gonna cry...Take-off everything but your rainboots
    • CommentAuthorBAUMANN
    • CommentTimeDec 14th 2010
     
    well, im writin, who's with me?!RIDE METAL
  2.  
    i'm drafting a letter right now

    thanks for relaying this ben, this is great.
    could you whisper me ant bike mike's email? i wanna send him a 'youre a good man' messagesomebody turn the lights off on this place already.
  3.  
    Writin.Naaaah, too uncool for the #messlyfe. I just like to hang out in loading docks and pretend to talk on my radio so that people will like me. - Mfratt
    •  
      CommentAuthordora
    • CommentTimeDec 15th 2010
     
    AW!!!! :(

    thanks for posting this.

    he'll be added to my christmas card listMust be awful, being so fluffy.
    •  
      CommentAuthorSaffs
    • CommentTimeDec 15th 2010
     
    Yep...
    I'll be sending one too.
    • CommentAuthorben
    • CommentTimeDec 20th 2010 edited
     
    An update from Mike

    Edit: HOLY SHIT. Check out how many people said they sent cards in the comments. This is really incredible.

    ---------------------------------------------------------


    I got a letter from Al ‘The Van man” on Friday. He wanted to thank everyone for all the letters he had received. [I am sure he has gotten a lot more since then].

    Al was so impressed with the out pouring of concern that he wrote to me and said that he now feels like not giving up just yet! All said:

    “You know how to make a grown man cry. I went to get my mail and I had a bunch of Christmas cards from people I didn’t know, from all over”

    “I never thought there were still people like all of you left in the world”

    They don’t know me from a hole in the wall, but yet they took the time out of their lives to send me a card and wish me well”

    “After receiving your card and all the other cards and letters it picked up my spirits and made me want to go on with my life. It’s nice to know there are people out there who care for others whether they know you or not”

    For people who had added a return address Al said he is going to send a note to each of you {this will give him some purpose for a while :}. Al asked about finding out the addresses of the anonymous card senders, but I will write to Al and tell him that many people would rather keep it that way.

    I would like to say thank you to all that sent cards, letters, added links, face booked and such to get some needed attention to Al “the van man”

    It will be interesting to see how this week ends up with the rest of the cards coming in and I will write to All and see how he is doing.I have DTF pants. They're crotchless. -surprisefries
    •  
      CommentAuthorstilgar
    • CommentTimeDec 20th 2010
     
    I sorta, kinda, maybe sent this around the internets far and wide, hopefully he got hundreds of people sending him cards.

    I felt it was the least I could do.

    I am glad he enjoyed them.this wont hurt a bit...
    • CommentAuthortristan
    • CommentTimeDec 20th 2010
     
    I saw it posted on reddit - I'd contemplated that but feared the mob.ascott430 - "Was going to build it up into a fixed gear until I realized I'd rather spend money and time on mountain bikes."
    •  
      CommentAuthorstilgar
    • CommentTimeDec 20th 2010
     
    that was me, and yes I felt the same fear...hopefully no one send him a flesh light or something...the internet can be a double edged sword.this wont hurt a bit...
    •  
      CommentAuthorggreggg
    • CommentTimeDec 20th 2010
     
    It's a little dusty at the shop today haha. Great read, great response- gotta give it up to Mike!enjoy two cosmetics
    • CommentAuthorben
    • CommentTimeDec 20th 2010
     
    stilgar:that was me, and yes I felt the same fear...hopefully no one send him a flesh light or something...the internet can be a double edged sword.

    I wouldn't worry too much; weren't a ton of replies to your post. The comments on Mike's original post though really show just how big this thing got.I have DTF pants. They're crotchless. -surprisefries
    •  
      CommentAuthorstilgar
    • CommentTimeDec 20th 2010
     
    no i mean I put it on reddit, got on the front page for a while, probably couple thousand people read it, some people said they were going to get their entire school involved, some people said their entire office sent them, people sent fruit baskets, etc.

    Bostonbiker.org didn't do nothing ha ha, no one read that rag.this wont hurt a bit...
    • CommentAuthorben
    • CommentTimeDec 20th 2010
     
    stilgar:no i mean I put it on reddit, got on the front page for a while, probably couple thousand people read it, some people said they were going to get their entire school involved, some people said their entire office sent them, people sent fruit baskets, etc.

    I saw your post on reddit, but it only had 35 comments and 284 upvotes. Maybe you posted another one?

    Either way, Reddit's not 4chan so I think you're safe.I have DTF pants. They're crotchless. -surprisefries
    •  
      CommentAuthorjoeyfresh
    • CommentTimeDec 20th 2010
     
    Besides, what's wrong with giving an old guy a flesh light?We'll get you a cat, don't worry -t-honks
    • CommentAuthorben
    • CommentTimeDec 20th 2010
     
    We got a rather lengthy reply letter from Al today, echoing much of what Mike reported. He talked about how between losing his wife and battling cancer he didn't feel he had anything to look forward to. But he said that the kindness of the people who have written him has not only reaffirmed his belief that there are things worth living for, but also implied that starting correspondence with them has given him a mission, or at least something to do with his time.

    It was pretty great to get such a heartfelt letter back, and we're gonna try to keep writing.I have DTF pants. They're crotchless. -surprisefries
    • CommentAuthorben
    • CommentTimeDec 30th 2010
     
    Another update from Mike. 325 cards!

    -------------------------------------------------

    I got a letter and some photos from Al today. He has been quite happily overwhelmed with the support from everyones cards. He had been responding with hand written responses, but just could not keep up with it, so he asked me if I could post his thank you letter on the web, net thing :) I tried to scan his photos, but my scanner will not work :( He had a photo of some of the nice things that people had sent him.

    "Hi,

    I am your pal “Al, the van man”. I am the one that sold the van to Mike. He is a wonderful man for what he has done for my life.

    I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for the beautiful cards and kind words. I never thought there were people like you and others that Mike told and sent cards. You and others are very special people in the world. You don’t me or met me, but you took the time out of your life to be kind to a stranger. After everything I have been through and still going through with my cancer, I just didn’t care anymore and was ready to give up. With people like you and what you have done has brought my spirits back and look forward to life. What hurt worse was loosing my wife of 32 years, but now I know that Arlene would not want me to quit now, but to do my best and go forward. Thanks to people like you and thoughts of her. I know I can make it, I’ve got my spirits back.

    Well I’ll close for now and again I want to thank you and all of Mike’s friends for being so kind to a starnger and giving me me life back.

    Your pal, Al

    PS I received over 250 cards!

    PSS Sorry, the count has changed to 325 cards!"


    Al also received many gifts, that he was really thrilled about. Thank you to everyone! I am going to write to Al today and send him a few bucks to help with the money he spent sending cards back to people. I am not sure how many cards he sent back, but he said he can not send any more and wanted me to post this letter.

    Thanks, Mike & Betsy

    PS Al’ said his postman was impressed and joked that he was going to get a hurt back from all the cards ;)I have DTF pants. They're crotchless. -surprisefries
    • CommentAuthortristan
    • CommentTimeDec 30th 2010
     
    Thanks for relaying the update, Benascott430 - "Was going to build it up into a fixed gear until I realized I'd rather spend money and time on mountain bikes."
  4.  
    trizzt:Thanks for relaying the update, Ben
    somebody turn the lights off on this place already.
  5.  
    ok who is up to sending him valentines day cards?Take-off everything but your rainboots
    • CommentAuthorben
    • CommentTimeDec 31st 2010
     
    Sounds good to me. We're gonna try to keep in touch with him. It would be kind of dad to get all these cards and then nothing.I have DTF pants. They're crotchless. -surprisefries
  6.  
    ben:Sounds good to me. We're gonna try to keep in touch with him. It would be kind of dad to get all these cards and then nothing.


    kina what I was thinking, I'm gonna have the kids make him cardsTake-off everything but your rainboots
    •  
      CommentAuthorjoeyfresh
    • CommentTimeDec 31st 2010
     
    Maggie and I are going to ship him some stamps and cookies next week. If anyone wants to add anything to the package (free shipping at her work), let me know.We'll get you a cat, don't worry -t-honks
    •  
      CommentAuthorjoeyfresh
    • CommentTimeFeb 21st 2011 edited
     
    Maggie and I finally got around to sending Al a big box of Dancing Deer cookies and stamps today.
    I hope he's doing well. Any updates, Ben?We'll get you a cat, don't worry -t-honks
  7.  
    Building up some extra "I'm a good person" points? Maybe you should've kept some of those cookies so you could give 'em to yourself.

    Clean those shit nuggets out of your pants. Asshole.
  8.  
    i lol'di mean that looks like a 10 cat bag, easy
    •  
      CommentAuthorjoeyfresh
    • CommentTimeFeb 21st 2011
     
    Baron Fagrot:trolltrolltrolltrolltroll

    Yeah yeah yeah. Grow up, Pfist.We'll get you a cat, don't worry -t-honks
    • CommentAuthorben
    • CommentTimeFeb 22nd 2011
     
    I haven't heard anything lately, and have to admit to not having written back yet. His letter is sitting on my desk at home though; it's still on my to-do list.I have DTF pants. They're crotchless. -surprisefries