I ran across this story in Gizmodo, and wanted to share:
Original story here
This took place back in 1975 in San Antonio when I was just a 4 or 5-year old little boy. I was with my parents and we were at the grocery store in the checkout line. I was a typical kid and couldn't stay still, so I kept walking over to the soda vending machine near the exit of the supermarket, pushed all the buttons and then ran back to my parents at the checkout. I kept doing this over and over trying to waste time and energy waiting for my parents to finish being checked out of the store.
One of the times while I was walking back from the vending machine towards my parents I noticed an old man in the checkout lane who smiled at me when I walked past. Once I got to my parents they had finished paying and were pushing the cart of brown grocery bags toward the store exit. As we passed the soda machine for the last time before we left, I pushed the "Dr. Pepper" button again like I had been doing repetitively. Only this time a can of Dr. Pepper came out of the machine! It was complete magic and I had the biggest smile on my face! My dad laughed at me while I grabbed the Dr. Pepper from the machine, clutched it in both my hands and started to walk out with my parents. As I held the Dr. Pepper I turned around and saw the old man at the checkout smile and wave one last time to me.
I'm 38 years old now, and I frequently think about that day and how I felt, especially when I use a vending machine. I only wish that I could somehow let that old man know that his little, almost insignificant action of dropping .35 cents in the soda machine for me still makes this 38 year old boy smile. I wish that I could tell him that I will always remember how happy he made me and that I have never forgotten him.