Jacksonville, Oregon, residents were left stunned yesterday by an unexpected gift from a man who they’d previously employed as a house painter. Dom Ridell (27) had lived in Jacksonville for a number of years and was well known to the local community. He had previously made a living painting houses in and around the town.
“We were just stunned,” said one local resident, who preferred not to be named. “Here was this guy who we’d always thought of as sort of a charity case. I’d had him paint my house twice over the years, but it was mainly because I could see he needed the work. And then… well… when he turned up on my doorstep yesterday I was blown away.”
Having scraped by as a house painter for so many years, Mr Ridell amazed everyone when he spent the day travelling around town handing out huge wads of cash to each of his previous clients. Many reported that the gifts were given by Mr Ridell as a thank you for helping him out during a tough time in his life.
“He always used to catch the bus before,” said Martha Jones (54), “even with all his paints and everything. I really felt sorry for the man, you know? But now it looks like he’s well and truly come good. I don’t know what to say.”
Residents reported that – far from relying on the bus – Mr Ridell was now driving a car of his very own, and that he’d bought himself a brand new suit. Although none of our sources would confirm the size of the gifts he gave to previous clients, they all noted that it was a “sizeable” quantity of money – especially for someone of Mr Ridell’s means.
Speculation is rife as to where this sudden windfall may have arisen. Some believe that it’s down to a lottery win. Others, however, dispute this fact, and insist that Mr Ridell is an undocumented immigrant who would not be eligible to claim any prize. Still others speculate that his sudden wealth may be the result of an inheritance, or perhaps even the proceeds of a bank robbery.
“I don’t know where he got the money from,” said Doreen White (42), “but I do know it was mighty sudden. More or less overnight. As a matter of fact he was painting the house across from me when it happened, and he still hasn’t finished. I guess he must not need the job now.”
For a small town in Oregon, the news has caused quite a stir, with residents desperate to find out just how Mr Ridell – as an allegedly illegal immigrant – was able to turn over quite so much money in such a short space of time. Some, however, are just glad that he has seen some good luck.
“He worked so hard,” added Ms White, “I think he just about deserved a break, to be honest with you.”