Fifty cents can buy more than cup of coffee

Published 12:00 am Sunday, September 18, 2011

Buckeyes fans: What would you do to get tickets to a game for .25¢ each?

All you have to do is follow the lead of Shannon Frische Williams.

In October of 2010, Shannon and her family visited the 40th annual Bob Evans Farm Festival in Rio Grande to enjoy handmade crafts, delicious country cooking, children’s activities, and live entertainment.

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Sometime during the visit, Shannon and her mother, Judy Frische, decided to jump in line for an entirely different kind of buckeye — the kind that has a peanut butter center and is smothered in chocolate.

Once the duo reached the front of the line, Shannon, a 1993 Ironton St. Joseph High School grad, noticed a middle-aged man gazing intently at the delicious treats.

“He said, ‘I’m going to have to try some of these,’” Shannon recalled of her fateful meeting with the stranger. “And I said, ‘you obviously aren’t from Ohio!’”

The out-of-towner shook his head and Shannon said, “Well, I’m going to buy you one,” plopping down the .50¢ asking price.

Paul Quijano, a retired Navy chief who hails from Wyoming, instantly fell in love with the confectionary staple of the Buckeye state … along with the hospitality of its residents.

And then the blessings of living the Golden Rule provided immediate payback to Shannon for her thoughtfulness.

He said, ‘“Are you an OSU fan?’

Shannon and Judy, each lifelong Buckeye fans, collectively uttered some variation of “Are you kidding me?” to the stranger’s query.

Unbeknownst to Shannon at the moment she made her simple gesture, this was the type of man who doesn’t kid around when it comes to acknowledging the kindness of others.

“He said, ‘How would you like to have tickets for a game?’” she remembered, adding that he handed her a business card and instructed her to give him a call.

It turned out that Quijano has a close friend who is an OSU alumnus with season tickets.

Shannon waited until July of this year to make that call, which was a month prior to the 68th birthday of her father, Larry Frische.

“I told him I was the girl who bought him the buckeye at the Bob Evans Farm Festival,” she recalled.

Quijano assured Shannon that he remembered her, noting that he recently retold the story of their encounter to some of his friends.

“I appreciate the kindness you showed me that day,” he told her. “People aren’t usually so nice.”

On Thursday, Sep. 8, two club-level Buckeyes tickets found their way to her Fairfield home.

As the Buckeyes took on Toledo two weeks ago, Shannon treated her father to the greatest birthday present one Buckeye fan can give to another.

And the gift, along with the memories, was made possible by her simple act of kindness toward another human being.

Who says you can’t buy anything for 50 cents?

Billy Bruce is a freelance writer from Pedro. He can be reached via email at or by visiting his Website at