Good Samaritan cleans up trash on Civil War graves

Posted at 7:29 PM, Jun 20, 2013
and last updated 2013-06-21 00:04:36-04

CHESTERFIELD, Va. (WTVR)--If you look closely, you will find pep in the steps of Kathy Powers and Baby the beagle. The duo was down in the dumps after someone illegally piled trash high on top of graves Monday at Matoaca Cemetery in Chesterfield, but on this day something else stops Kathy in her tracks.

A pickup truck at the crime scene and a man Kathy did not recognize.

"I was a little apprehensive walking up," says Kathy. "I said 'Oh my goodness' I hope he isn't back.'"

It wasn't the criminal returning to empty a second load. Turns out it was Dennis Aldridge who was there by himself removing the junk from an area where Civil War soldiers are buried after hearing about the story on CBS6.

"He was throwing stuff up in in his pickup truck and wiped the place clean," says Kathy. "When I walked around and saw the truck piled high with debris I was smiling from ear to ear."

"Well I came by to clean up the mess that someone left in the cemetery," says Aldridge "If you look around this is a pretty little cemetery."

Dennis says those responsible left everything from shingles and shop vacuum to toys and tires.

"You tend to forget the good things because there are so many bad things, but when I saw that I thanked him and I thanked him and thanked him," says Kathy.

Dennis says it took him two hours to clean up the pile of trash off of the unmarked graves. The Good Samaritan says he did his deed not wanting to seek out recognition.

"I never expected anyone to see me do this. I wanted to get it done and go about my business," says Dennis.

Kathy intended to remove what a lawbreaker left behind, but Dennis beat her to the punch.

"When I saw that Good Samaritan and it had been taken care of already it made me very happy."

Kathy says Dennis was not only heaven sent but has restored her faith in humanity as well.

"You see me grinning from ear to ear. That is what I've been doing all morning. It really warmed my heart," says Kathy.

With evidence the piled high in his pickup Dennis' generosity was on full display. His next stop was the county landfill, where he would pay the seven dollar dumping fee.

"This is a beautiful place. Take pictures-- leave footprints. If you see anything along the way pick it up," says Dennis, proving someone else's trash can lead to another man's kind act.

"Don't get discouraged by all of the bad. There are a lot of good people. Somebody would have cleaned it up. If I didn't someone would have Knowing this community. I'm just hoping that whoever did this learns a lesson," he says.