Man About Menifee: It's Really Easy to Do the Right Thing

By David Baker

Parenthood is full of moments, both high and low. There will be times when kids let you down with their behavior. Other times, they surprise you and do something completely mature and responsible.

Nikkolas surprised me that way the other day.

My wife, Jennifer, and Nikk were driving across the 215 and Newport, taking Alexandra to her Wednesday afternoon Girl Scout meeting at Bell Mountain Middle School. They were over the freeway and next to the Ralphs Center when Nikk said, "Is that guy all right?"

The traffic light at Antelope was green, but there was an elderly man in the lead car slumped over in the driver’s seat. All the cars behind him were flashing their lights and honking. Jennifer pulled over and Nikk sprang into action.

He stopped the oncoming cars, rushed to the driver’s side window and assessed the situation. The man’s eyes were closed, and he was lying over the steering wheel. He knocked on the window first to see if the man would respond.

The man sat up with an extremely startled look on his face. He looked at Nikk and said, "It’s OK, I just fell asleep," and sped off, leaving Nikk standing in the middle of the street with a puzzled expression on his face.

Now I know what you’re thinking. That was more than a little anti-climactic.

The moral of this little anecdote is twofold. One is acknowledgement that Nikk put himself out there to help someone seemingly in distress, and although it was not a true emergency, he was prepared to respond as though it was. The second is to question why is it that the only one to get out and check was a teenager who had to cross three lanes of traffic – both ways – to do the right thing?

Don’t get me wrong; this behavior from Nikk should not be a surprise, but I am still pleased with him. There is no one formula that is going to give you a guaranteed turnaround to producing quality citizens, but a good start is to make sure you spend quality time with them when they’re young. That’s why for Father’s Day, you’ll see my kids and I at La Ladera Park for Menifee’s Annual Father’s Day Campout.

For the last several years, the Riverside County M.A.R.S. program has put on a low-cost campout with various kid-friendly attractions like arts and crafts, a rock wall and of course s’mores at dusk. This is the perfect opportunity for the urban camper to get a change of scenery and renew and strengthen the bonds between father and child. If you wish to participate, simply print and fill out the attached form and fax or email it in. It’s well worth it.

David Baker, our Man About Menifee, writes about his adventures in and around town every Friday in this space. You may leave comments for him here or email him at


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