04 April 2010

MISSION: Frick Park Shenanigans

I'll tell ya what: this has been a very busy weekend of kindness! My Affiliated Agents, along with myself, have done a bunch of missions! But this one from Affiliated Agent M really stands out, so I thought I'd post it first:

Date: Saturday, 3 April 2010

Location: Frick Park, Pittsburgh

Time: Not Specified

Affiliated Agent M describes his mission:

Smiles. That's what this is all about. I got to see a recipient of today's mission discover their tiny trove of terrific, timely treasure, and mere words cannot convey the joy streaming from them.

But allow me to try.

I had purchased bubbles on sale some time ago, thinking they'd be perfect for a mission in the future. Seeing how beautiful the weather was for early spring, and figuring not only would people be out and about because of the 80 degree weather (27 Celsius for Secret Agent L's metric friends) but because of the Easter weekend, with family in town and what not, Saturday seemed a perfect day for a mission in the park.

Frick Park, in particular.

The bubbles became part of a 'Spring Park Enjoyment Kit', which contained a bottle of bubbles (for kids of all ages), a pen and notebook, and a deck of cards. And inside each kit was a card that read:

A spring day full of cheer and sun
A random gift to make you smile
The goodies held within this bag

Will take your day the extra mile

A deck of cards for games with friends

Some bubbles for kids both young and old

A pen and notebook to jot your thoughts

Hope these gifts turned your day to gold

-Affiliated Agent M

Sure, it was a bit windy today for cards outside on one of the many picnic tables and what not in the park, but it was a flip of the coin.

Bags hidden safely away in my backpack, I made my way to the park. The idea was to walk along a trail, dropping the bags when a given location spoke to me. They were, in order:

-On a bench over looking the creek, or stream--whatever you want to call it:

-Among a bed of flowers starting to poke up:

-On a sign for the Firelane Trail:

-Perched on a tree near one of the higher points of the park:

After placing the last one, I continued on my way down the trail, but I was starting to get a bit exhausted and dehydrated. Not knowing how much longer the trail went before it looped around, I decided simply to turn around.

It didn't dawn on me that I'd passing the scene of my locations until right when I came upon the bag I had perched in the tree. Except that it was no longer in the tree, it was on the ground, and a young couple were bent over an open blue card, reading it.


Affiliated Agent M did his best to act nonchalant as he walked by, but let me tell you, it was hard. I so wanted to exclaim, "I know, is that cool? I do it all the time! I hope you enjoy it!" but I just walked by, giving the couple the non-committal nod I'd given others passing by on the trail.

But over hearing just a few things, "This is so neat" and "Wow", and seeing the shocked smile as they read the card before I could look away and act natural...it had to be the Platonic ideal of merriment.

Feeling happy that 25% of the mission was a success, so that 100% of the mission was a success, I came around the sign where I had hung the third package, just as a bunch of joggers were turning up the path. Right as I passed it, I saw one of the joggers break from the pack, reach down, and examine the bright red bag. I dared not look back as I moved on.

Package 2 was as yet undisturbed as I passed it. Well, you can't win all of them.

The path that would have taken me back past the bench with package 1 and the origin parking plot meanders parallel to a creek, as mentioned above. Taking in the sight of a lovely spring afternoon I noticed a couple sitting on one of the benches with a certain red bag. A bench that was not where package 1 had been left. (That bench had a small family sitting on it, with dad and a toddler playing in said creek. There was no visual on the package when I went past.)

All in all, a really good mission.

Yes, Affiliated Agent M. Yes it was.


Nate St. Pierre said...

In the warmer months I sometimes use my lunch breaks to go find letterboxes in parks just like the one you describe. (http://letterboxing.org/)

I would LOVE to stumble over something left by SAL or an Affiliated Agent. Good work, M.

Lisa said...

How nifty!! Good feelings for M and certainly for all of those who found the packages. A win-win...isn't that just perfect?!?!

Burgh Baby said...

You rock.

No, wait.

You rock.com. ;-)

Melissa said...

Howdy! I just wanted to let y'all know that I was the recipient of the bag on the bench... In fact, my roommate Hannah and I are the two pictured in your photo (I'm the long-haird brunette)!
I wanted to thank Agent M and of course the whole Operation Nice project for the gift. April 3rd was actually my birthday, and I'd actually not been having a very good day, but that present completely turned my day around. We both thought it was the coolest thing ever. So thank y'all very much for my birthday present! Keep on rocking!

Melissa's mom said...

I want to thank you for your random act of kindness. Melissa was on Easter break and visiting her roommate's family in Pittsburg when they decided to go to the park. She had called and was down, but because we live in Texas, there wasn't much we could do. She was so excited when she called us back to talk about the bag she found on her birthday. So, thank you again from a parent for the cheer you brought to a daughter...your kindness was greatly appreciated.