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Phil Waterford: Doing what he can to write the history of good
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The good. The bad. And the ugly.

We know about the bad and ugly. We’re inundated by it daily.

Wrath. Greed. Sloth. Pride, Lust. Envy. Gluttony.

It seems to be everywhere we turn – TV news, the Internet, and even tweets.

We almost have an obsession with it. A hideous crime a thousand miles away manages to blind us to the good that surrounds us.

We know about evil. It has been well documented since the beginning of time. History is filled with it.

What you won’t find in history books or their e-version cousins is the simple truth. Good has always dominated – and continues to dominate – evil. It’s just that we rarely point out the good and those who chronicle our existence often fail to write about the history of good.

There are many who are trying to change that. Among them is Phil Waterford.

Phil is not one to check his faith at the threshold of a church or in the pages of a book. He isn’t perfect, but who is? But what he tries to do is walk the walk.

Phil is the owner of Manteca Ford on North Main Street.

How Phil stepped up his game, so to speak, is hard to pinpoint. But given his genuine love of his family, the ones who have given life to his quest to do good whenever feasible may have been his sons.

It may have been one son a few years back – upon getting the hottest Christmas gift that virtually any all-American boy would want in the form of the just-released Nintendo Wii – opting to give it away unopened to brighten up the life of a foster kid.

It was certainly influenced by another son who, upon reading about the blight of a young family man in Stanislaus County who was about to lose his house after being laid off from his job in law enforcement asked his father what they were going to do to help the struggling family. Phil ended up writing a check to cover the family’s mortgage for four months. That man is now back on his feet with an even better paying job in law enforcement.

You might think this is no big deal. After all, Phil is a businessman. But it has been more than a struggle for businesses to stay afloat and keep people employed. And – contrary to popular belief – once you factor in overhead, it is tough to make a living selling economy cars.

Not that Phil is complaining. He isn’t. It’s just that he has managed to set aside his own trials and tribulations to do what he can to help those who are hurting in ways he can’t imagine.

It is what inspired him to do things such as turn his dealership, every Christmas Eve morning, into a community gathering spot for struggling families to share a warm breakfast and to make sure Santa delivers toys to kids. It is what prompts him to step up to the plate for causes and individuals who are hurting.

Phil isn’t a saint. There is only so much one can do. But he makes sure he does what he can.

And while Wall Street perpetuates the bad by doing ugly things such as compensating CEOs even more money when their stock drops or after they’ve shed thousands of jobs, businessmen like Phil continue to write the history of good.

Even if all of the good that Phil, you, and I ever do doesn’t even warrant a footnote in history it will live forever in the hearts and souls of those who are touched by acts of kindness.

This column is the opinion of managing editor, Dennis Wyatt, and does not necessarily represent the opinion of The Bulletin or Morris Newspaper Corp. of CA.  He can be contacted at or 209-249-3519.