Richard K. Rein’s August 15 column, about acts of kindness observed at a gas station in rural northern New Jersey and at a neighborhood bar in downtown Trenton, prompted a letter from a reader in Hopewell who had her own “gas station moment” a few months ago in Hopewell Borough. It was the immigrant father’s last day pumping gas before he had to move to be closer to the pediatric hospital caring for his three-year-old daughter. “I collected some children’s books and took them to the station so that he would know somehow they were not alone here.”

Rein’s Trenton experience reminded the reader of her son’s first college vacation home when he described his concern for one of his Yale roommates, “a black freshman from Mississippi who had mentioned matter-of-factly that he expected to be stopped by state troopers at least three or four times on the drive home, just because he was a black man in a decent car. It was sobering for all of us. That would have been the 1980s.

“I’m all for supporting each other in any way we can. It probably takes some ‘suck-it-up’ too on the way to real progress.”

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