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Every Monday and Wednesday Johnny Carson waits for 1 p.m. It is his most special time of the day.
It is not when he eats lunch at Tri-City United High School, or plays the card game “War” with his favorite custodian, Paul Petersen.
It is the day he gets to see his friend, Jim Hahn, drive up in his big Waste Management truck and dump the school’s garbage.
His special education teacher, Allison Bass, said Johnny waits for that moment every day.
“This is one of the highlights of John’s day, every single day,” Bass said.
When Johnny, the son of John and Rosalind “Roz” Carson, started attending TCU two years ago, he shared his love of the big green and yellow trucks. Johnny, who has autism, shared with Bass how he watches them dump the garbage at his home in Lonsdale and views the videos on the internet.
Knowing that this was the highlight of his day, Bass enlisted in Petersen’s help to allow Johnny to watch the Waste Management truck when it comes to the high school. It is something he has faithfully been doing for two years.
Before Christmas, on Monday, Dec. 19, Johnny received a special present. At the same time as usual, Jim pulled up to the TCU loading dock and emptied two dumpsters of garbage. Surrounded by family, friends, his favorite custodian, his teacher, high school administration and the district superintendent, Johnny watched and gave a fist bump in the air each time Jim’s truck hoisted the container into the air and dumped the trash.
On this day, however, Jim got out of the truck and told Johnny he had a present for him. On the lid of a Waste Management recycling container, Johnny opened his special gift: a miniature Waste Management dump truck. He also received a water bottle and an official Waste Management hat.
See more in the print edition.