Today I received an e-mail from a man named Rick Anthes who asked for a copy of “Penny Prank for Tollbooth Guy,” a prank video I made in 2006. Rick also wanted to let me know that the tollbooth collector in that prank video recently died of colon cancer. He sent me a link to the obituary of Brian C. Kintzel dated today (Jan. 11, 2014).
Rick said Brian liked the video, and that he was known for the patience he displayed in it. Rick added “he was my best friend, my confessor, a confident and a mentor. The little brother I never had, the big brother I wish I had.”
Then Rick shared some backstory I hadn’t known until now…
“At the time you made this clip, Brian was a regular Toll Collector, but he had already or was about to take a test for the Bridge Commission that might get him promoted to a Toll Corporal overseeing other collectors and assume the responsibility for the Bridge he worked on. This video was viewed by the Senior Staff of the Bridge Commission and brought before the board reviewing the candidates for the Corporal’s position. Senior Staff told the board this is the kind of individual you want representing the Bridge Commission and showed the clip. Without question, Brian was promoted. Your actions that day did what you had hoped for and quite a bit more that you may not have even considered at the time. You have to believe that we all have an influence over other people even when we don’t mean it nor when it isn’t contemplated.”
So… this is one of the nicest and most memorable e-mails about one of my videos. I’m sure Brian would have been promoted without the video, but I love that he got credit for it.
I also lost a dear friend over the holidays to colon cancer, so it also made me sad. Get your colonoscopy folks.