SAN RAMON (KPIX) – Some friendships leave a lasting impression. On Thursday, a young boy who faithfully waits for a buddy to stop at his San Ramon driveway every week had one last meeting with his unusual buddy.
We all know the deal on Trash Day. It is important to get the garbage cans on the street in good time for garbage collection. It’s a chore for most of us, but for a little boy who lives in San Ramon, garbage day is full of excitement and anticipation.
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Five-year-old Finn Maier had been listening to the familiar noise every Tuesday for two years and ran outside.
“There is Todd!” Finn calls when his friend stops at the curb.
“He was a little shy at first and just waved and we’re friends,” explains Todd Gonzales, a driver who works for garbage and recycling company Alameda County Industries.
Gonzales has been in business since 1994. He tells KPIX that he has met a lot of people on his routes, but none like Finn.
“Every day at 5 a.m. – rain or shine – he’s there with a big smile. “Hello Todd!” He’s so happy, it’s contagious. It makes my day, “said Gonzales with a grin.
Finn’s family moved to the Bay Area just before the pandemic.
“Everything was shut down and we were basically all alone,” said Kim Maier, Finn’s mother.
For Finn – who was born with Down syndrome – Garbage Day became something to look forward to during COVID. He could rely on that.
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“It was actually one of the first relationships he was able to build because he consistently got to know Todd,” said Kim.
And so a unique friendship developed between the special little boy and his weekly visitor.
“He does as much for me as I do for him,” Todd admitted. “I’m leaving with a big smile. So it makes my day too. I am grateful for that. “
“One day Todd came and Finn was gone and he said, ‘Hey, where’s our little buddy?” And I said,’ Oh, he started school and is leaving before you get here, ‘”Kim said. “And the next week Todd was back. He changed his whole route just so he could see Finn before he went to school. “
“I didn’t want to miss it. I didn’t want him to miss it either, ”Gonzales said.
The two friends had a bittersweet last visit on Thursday, with Gonzales taking a special trip to Maier’s house. Finn’s family is moving to Southern California, so Todd Finn brought a special gift for the last time they met before they moved.
“It’s a garbage truck! Finn shouted after pulling a toy truck out of a gift bag.
Finn also gave Todd a present: a book with memories of the two of them
“This is my favorite book. You know that. That’s my favorite, ”Todd said to Finn before they hugged one last time and Todd continued on his way.
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It’s a friendship that both of you will remember for a lifetime. Todd hopes the family’s next trash collector in San Diego will take good care of Finn.