Friday, June 22, 2018
News Roundup

Ruskin Family Drive-In's act of kindness inspires another

RUSKIN — Dave Cribbs' night at the movies was much more than a good show.

He said the staff at the Ruskin Family Drive-In showered him and his family with amazing kindness and unbelievable generosity.

"That kind of service," said Cribbs, 47, of Riverview, "it just doesn't happen."

He wanted to do something to thank the drive-in and owners Ted and Karen Freiwald, something more than paying them back with a few kind words or a gift.

He got an idea from a book, The 10X Rule by Grant Cardone. He had to do something "over the top."

So from 6:30 to 8 on weekday mornings in June, Cribbs stands outside the drive-in with a sign to tout his wonderful night at the movies. His sign reads: "Amazing Experience Here."

"It was something uncommon," said Cribbs, who works as a sales trainer for car dealerships. "It deserved something uncommon in return. That's the way I felt."

On May 31, Cribbs, wife Dina and daughter Lexi, 9, showed up at the drive-in to see Heaven Is for Real. They had their car packed with food and snacks.

An employee stopped to chat and offered them a bag of cotton candy. A short time later, the employee returned to say hello with a bowl of homemade chili. Later, the staff sent over three Ruskin drive-in T-shirts.

"I told my wife we'll come back and we'll buy food here," Cribbs said. "I wanted to reward them for great service."

The next thing that happened made the entire family gasp.

The owners say a few words on a loudspeaker just before the movie starts. Cribbs and his family became part of the announcements that night.

The owners told the family in the yellow Camaro, which was the Cribbs' car, to come back June 27 for free tickets to see the new Transformers movie.

"That was over the top," Cribbs said, still amazed at the gift.

He couldn't believe the generosity. But, he was more touched by the way they were treated.

"It was all genuine," he said. "They really wanted to know who we were."

In turn, co-owner Karen Freiwald is amazed by Cribbs' actions.

They have given away candy, popcorn and other items in the past. People have hugged and thanked them but she can't recall anyone going as far as Cribbs has.

"I'm trying to figure out how to say thank you," she said. "What he is doing is so awesome."

The couple haven't had a chance to thank Cribbs in person because they spend long, late hours at the drive-in. The drive-in opened in 1952, and Ted Freiwald became its owner in 1976.

Karen Freiwald said they've received many new customers thanks to Cribbs' efforts at advertising. She appreciates the new business but is also proud of the message she and Cribbs are showing the world.

"If you're nice to people, someone will be nice to you," she said.

On June 28, Cribbs plans to bring friends and family to the drive-in theater. They'll all have signs praising the experience between 7 and 9 a.m. He encourages other fans of the drive-in to join them.

He isn't looking for more freebies. He just wants everyone to know the Ruskin drive-in is tops in customer service and people should patronize this business.

"That's it," he said.

Karen Freiwald said she is going to get up one morning and greet Cribbs at the drive-in. She thinks he might like a cup of coffee. No charge.

Monica Bennett can be reached at [email protected]

Comments

Forecast: Muggy and hot with a chance of rain for Pride festivities

As the first weekend of summer swings in, it appears Tampa Bay should expect more heat, humidity and a chance of afternoon showers.Increased moisture in the Gulf of Mexico will result in scattered showers and isolated storms for coastal areas of Tamp...
Updated: 1 hour ago
The Daystarter: The Jameis Winston fallout; from CIA agents to minivan drivers; Pride comes back together in 2018

The Daystarter: The Jameis Winston fallout; from CIA agents to minivan drivers; Pride comes back together in 2018

Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what to know today.   • Get ready for a wet morning as the forecast calls for scattered showers and storms to start the day. There could even be thundershowers and lightning out there, according to...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Boy George, coming to Tampa with Culture Club, talks fame, Pulse and the term ‘LGBTQ’

Boy George, coming to Tampa with Culture Club, talks fame, Pulse and the term ‘LGBTQ’

It’ll still be June when Boy George arrives in Florida this week to kick off a summer U.S. tour with Culture Club. But the LGBTQ icon says it won’t feel quite like a Pride parade. "I also bake cakes for straight people," he laughed. "Tha...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Pride divided no more: St. Pete Pride comes back together

Pride divided no more: St. Pete Pride comes back together

ST. PETERSBURG — The 16th annual St. Pete Pride Parade is getting ready to march along the downtown waterfront the second straight year. But many hope to move past the division caused last year when the parade was uprooted from its original hom...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Florida eliminates Texas Tech at College World Series, faces Arkansas for title-round spot

Florida eliminates Texas Tech at College World Series, faces Arkansas for title-round spot

OMAHA, Neb. — JJ Schwarz hit a two-run homer and Florida built enough cushion to survive Texas Tech's six-run outburst over the seventh and eighth innings to eliminate the Red Raiders from the College World Series with a 9-6 win Thursday night....
Updated: 9 hours ago
At a Mexican shelter, migrants who fled death threats prepare for ‘zero tolerance’ at the border

At a Mexican shelter, migrants who fled death threats prepare for ‘zero tolerance’ at the border

PIEDRAS NEGRAS, Mexico -- In Honduras, their lives were surrounded by death.Lourdes Cruz had just started a new job when the maras, the deadly gangs plaguing Central America, demanded half of her paycheck. She quit her job, but they found her number ...
Published: 06/22/18
Carlton: Could anything be more partisan than going nonpartisan?

Carlton: Could anything be more partisan than going nonpartisan?

So Hillsborough County commissioners — most of them, anyway — want voters to consider dropping political parties from certain elections, making those races nonpartisan instead.This would mean when you go to vote in those elections, you won’t know if ...
Published: 06/22/18
Joe Henderson: Hillsborough teachers have come to depend on foundation’s free supplies

Joe Henderson: Hillsborough teachers have come to depend on foundation’s free supplies

We have all heard stories about public school teachers reaching into their own pockets so their students will have basic classroom supplies.It goes on throughout the system because budgets are tight. The money allotted for pencils, markers, notebooks...
Published: 06/22/18
Domain Homes: Buyers love them, some others don’t

Domain Homes: Buyers love them, some others don’t

TAMPA — When the 2008 financial crash brought down the nation’s housing market, hundreds of home builders went out of business. Among them was Sharon McSwain Homes in Atlanta, forced to liquidate in 2009.But just as developers like to develop, builde...
Updated: 15 minutes ago
Deputies: Cheerleading coach sent explicit images to 16-year-old

Deputies: Cheerleading coach sent explicit images to 16-year-old

A 28-year-old cheerleading coach faces charges for engaging in "inappropriate behavior" with a 16-year-old girl, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.Victor Martin Valenty faces 10 counts of traveling to meet a minor, distributing ob...
Updated: 27 minutes ago