Friday, August 11, 2023

Aaron Lopez is that "someone"

By Tim Hadac
Managing Editor
Southwest Chicago Post

People fall off bicycles every day.

What doesn’t happen every day is someone stopping what they’re doing to make sure you’re OK.

What almost never happens is, after you’ve fallen, that same someone walking you two blocks to your house, just to make sure you get home OK.

But that’s what happened when a local retiree fell on a Garfield Ridge street on a recent Friday morning.

Seventy-year-old John Spradley was bicycling for exercise when he hit an irregularity in the asphalt near 59th and New England, causing his front wheel to spin sideways. Down he went, hitting his head hard on the pavement, scraping his arm and knee, and getting the wind knocked out of him.

A bit dazed, he got up slowly. As he did, along came 13-year-old Aaron Lopez on his own bike. Aaron was on his way home from Mass at St. Daniel the Prophet Church. Deep in his faith, Aaron is an altar server at St. John Cantius Church—where among other things, he serves at Masses celebrated in Latin.
John Spradley and Aaron Lopez

Anyway, call it his daily good deed or call it living Gospel values, but Aaron was that “someone” who not only stopped to make sure John was OK, but who walked him the two blocks back to his house.

John recalled, “I told him, ‘You make sure and tell your mother about this, and you tell her she’s doing a hell of a good job raising you.’”

Anyway, when Lynn--John’s wife of 46 years--found out what happened, she took him to the emergency room at the Hines VA hospital to get him checked out. (John served in the Navy on a submarine for six years, in the 1970s.) Fortunately, no broken bones.

Two days later, Aaron and his mother stopped by to check on John—who offered to give the boy a reward. Aaron politely declined.

Quite a kid, right?

Aaron does well in school academically and plays youth soccer. He’s undecided about high school, but St. Laurence is a possibility.

As for John, he’s at home and recovering from his wounds—but in good spirits as he celebrated his 71st birthday this week.
He grew up in the neighborhood, graduating from Kennedy High School in 1970. After the Navy, he made a career in real estate, both with the old Garfield Ridge Real Estate and with Archer Realty West.

Aaron is the son of Eddie and Ana Lopez, who are doing a great job raising him, as John and Lynn Spradley say without hesitation.

So do I.

And I’ll bet you do, as well.

Way to go, Aaron. Please keep it up.

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