Acts of Kindness
Crotchety man is mean to only waitress who puts up with him, leaves her $50,000 after he died
She was stunned when she found out how much he left her in his will.
D.G. Sciortino

Imagine making an entire year’s pay in a single day of work. And a taking home a new car. That’s what happened to Brownsville, TX waitress Melina Salazar after she learned that one of her regular customers left her $50,000 and a 2000 Buick in his will.

By Salazar’s account, Walter “Buck” Swords was a crotchety old man. She described him as “kind of mean,” particular about his food and demanded that it always be scalding hot.

“He was mean to the girls. He wanted everything his way,” she said. “He wanted the food very hot — he didn’t care, he burned himself!”

If things didn’t go Swords’ way he would yell and even curse at the restaurant’s waitstaff. Salazar was the only waitress who could handle Swords with a smile and did so for seven years.


Salazar treated the World War II veteran with patience and kindness, even when he complained or berated her.

She always treated him like she would treat any other customer and just “took care of him.”

Eventually, Salazar stopped seeing her cranky customer. She later found out that he had passed away by reading his obituary in the local newspaper. It wasn’t until five months later and a few days before Christmas that Salazar found out what Swords really thought of her.

Apparently, Salazar’s kindness meant more to Swords than she would ever know until the day a lawyer showed up during one of her shifts at Luby’s.

YouTube Screenshot
YouTube Screenshot

She learned that her favorite cranky customer left her the giant lump sum of cash and a car.

“I couldn’t believe it I was so nervous and I’m still like, I still can’t believe it,” Salazar said.

According to Swords’ obituary, he had owned and operated a trucking business for more than 40 years, as well as another trucking and construction business for 17 years.

All of his siblings had passed away before him and he never married or had children. So, Salazar was likely the only one he spent time with before he passed away.

YouTube Screenshot
YouTube Screenshot

“I would just hope and would tell all the waitresses out there to have patience with all their customers,” Salazar said. “Sometimes they cuss to you but ignore them. Just smile and be nice.”

A little bit of kindness can go along way in making someone feel less lonely and Salazar was happy to know her compassion to paid off in more ways than one.

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