Restaurant regular surprises his favorite waiter with a car

Edward Pollard, a regular at Willie G's restaurant, gave his favorite waiter, James Booker, a car for Christmas after watching Booker ride the bus to and from work for years.

HOUSTON, Texas – For years, Edward Pollard has watched a man come and go from the bus stop near his office.

Pollard, a personal injury attorney, frequently visits that man, James Booker, who is a waiter at Willie G’s Seafood & Steaks off Post Oak Boulevard. Pollard is a regular at the restaurant, and always asks for Booker when he visits.

This past Christmas, Pollard gave Booker a special gift: his 2000 Oldsmobile Alero that he rarely used.

“Over Christmas break, when you spend time with your family and you start to reflect on things, I started to realize I have so much that I don’t really need,” Pollard said. “I thought about the car and I thought about James and I thought it would be a great Christmas present.” 

Though the car is over 17 years old, Pollard made sure it was still in good condition—he got the oil changed, got it inspected and made sure the registration was up to date. 

“I knew if I was going to present the car to him that it needed to be as perfect as could be,” Pollard said.

In a now-viral Facebook video, Pollard handed Booker the key outside Willie G’s.

“Sometimes when I leave work and I see you going to the bus stop,” Pollard told Booker in the video. “So I said, ‘You know, I got an extra car, and I think James would be the perfect person for this extra car.” 

Booker gave Pollard a hug.

“Thank you,” Booker said. “You’re going to make me…” He stopped before he finished his sentence.

“You deserve it, man,” Pollard told him. “You always treat us so well when we come in here and I really appreciate that."

Pollard said that Booker later told him it was one of the happiest days of his life. (Booker wasn’t available for an interview for this story.)

In the new year, Pollard hopes other people will take action when they see someone else in need.

“We can do everyday simple things to lift someone up or to make a change in our community,” he said.

Follow Matt Keyser on Twitter.

© 2018 KHOU-TV


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