By J.O. Parker
Sauce’d Pizza and Pub in Montezuma was busier than normal on Thursday, Nov. 14. Across the street at the Poweshiek County Courthouse, an evidence hearing related to the Mollie Tibbetts case was underway.
News reporters, television cameramen, courthouse employees and others in town for the hearing had packed the small-town eatery for lunch on that day.
As Ashley Armstrong, a waitress at the local eatery the last three years, made her rounds, one guest, who she didn’t recognize, finished her meal and asked for the check. What happened next changed the course of the day, not only for Ashley, but for others as well.
Ashley, who is studying agronomy at Hawkeye Community College, said the lady paid for her meal, then gave her an extra $200 cash.
“She told me to pay for as many meals as I could until I ran out money,” recalled Ashley. “I was in awe.”
The woman told Ashley that the money was in memory of the late David Smith of rural New Sharon, a former auto repair business owner in Montezuma, who had passed away a few days earlier.
The act of kindness didn’t stop there. As Ashley stopped at each table to tell guests the good news, one gentleman gave her $20.
“He told me to keep paying it forward,” she said.
Another couple pitched in $20, while another couple gave her $10, making the total $250. The money was enough to pay for 20-plus meals.
“Almost all my tables had their meals covered by the woman and other people paying it forward,” said Ashley. “It is refreshing to see that there is still good in the world. You see this on the news and Facebook, but to actually see it happen in small-town Iowa, made my day.”
Keeping others in mind
Although Ashley didn’t know David, or even the person who gave the money, she read his obituary and at the close, there are some of his life truths. She wanted others to know what David had to say.
• Don’t look down when you’re walking, you can’t see anything down there plus you might walk into something.
• Hug people you love.
• Never say you’re bored, there is always something to do.
• Help someone because they need the help, not because you have the time.
• Don’t wish…Do.
• If you see someone who needs help, don’t ask, just jump in and help.
• Every day is a good day, weather doesn’t matter.
• Have best friends, but not too many, you only need the important ones.
• Say thank you. Be honest and don’t lie. The truth is always better the first time around.
• Have fun, but not at the expense of someone else.