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"You bought what?"
Sunday, July 8, 2012
Maricopa, AZ -- In December of 2009, Kent Richards, a local realtor, writer for The Communicator newspaper and www.CopaNews.com, and a neighbor, returned to one of his childhood loves, the drums. In his teenage years, Kent played drums in the high school band and later in the Navy Drum and Bugle Corps. After he left the Navy, he played in various rock-n-roll groups, but then gave up the drums for the next 30 years. The demands of adulthood, (husband, father, career), took all of his time and his drumsticks gathered dust in the closet of his dreams. But dreams have a habit of returning in one's senior years, and Kent found himself driving halfway across Phoenix that December day to buy a set of drums he had seen advertised on Craigslist. Returning home, he showed the drum set to his wife Lylia (pronounced Lila), who is the office manager for The Communicator. She immediately responded, “You bought what? Oh, my goodness.”
Kent remembered Lylia's reaction to his drum purchase, and decided to surprise her again. But this time, it would be with something she always wanted: a Mercedes convertible. Kent asked Nathan Hicks of Glenn Jones Auto Sales at 20215 N. John Wayne Parkway, to find a Mercedes for Lylia's birthday. Hicks quickly found a beautiful, silver SLK 230 Mercedes convertible. Next, Kent asked Shawn Schlegel, the publisher of The Communicator, if he could have someone take pictures of Lylia when she first sees her car. “No problem,” said Schlegel. The plan was set.
On Saturday morning, June 16, 2012, Kent took Lylia to her birthday breakfast at the Sunshine Cafe at 20917 N. John Wayne Parkway. Getting into their van after breakfast, Kent told Lylia he needed to see someone at the auto dealership about some property that was for sale. Meanwhile, at the dealership, the photographer arrived and quickly hid behind some cars. She was ready to take pictures of Lylia seeing her birthday present for the first time.
Arriving at Glenn Jones Auto Sales, Kent said to Lylia, “Why don't you go and look at the silver Mercedes convertible over there? The one with all the green and white balloons tied on it.”
“Oh, it's really too hot to get out of the car. I'll just stay here in the air conditioning,” replied Lylia.
“Well, you better go over and look at the birthday present I just bought. You might have some questions about how to drive it, or questions about the symbols on the dashboard,” said Kent.
“My WHAT?” screamed Lylia. “You bought what? For my birthday? Oh, no. Oh, my goodness! You really bought it? For me?”
“Yes, yes, yes,” said Kent, laughing.
“No one has ever bought me a car. Oh, my goodness, I can't believe this.”
By now, everyone was laughing. The salesmen and the customers all stopped and were looking at the most surprised person in Maricopa, Lylia Richards. Even the photographer from The Communicator stopped taking pictures and was enjoying the scene.
Lylia quickly got into the silver Mercedes convertible and got some instructions from Mark Polse, one of the salesmen at Glenn Jones Auto Sales. Hicks came over to the Mercedes and presented Lylia with the keys. Lylia kept saying, “Oh, my goodness,” and “I can't believe this. You really bought this?”
Lylia and Kent took the Mercedes out for a short drive down Arizona State Route 347. They returned to the car lot, quickly change seats, and Kent drove. As they left the Glenn Jones Auto Sales lot for the last time, Lylia could still be heard saying, “Kent, you really bought this?”
How do we know the exact facts of this event? The writer of this article was also the photographer, and will always enjoy the memory of that day -- and the perfect surprise Kent Richards planned for his wife’s birthday.