It’s common to see Tristan Yokel, 13, riding his lawnmower and toting his wagon full of equipment behind him in his Santa Rosa Beach neighborhood. “I’ve been doing it since I was really little,” said Yokel. Yokel is known as the neighborhood “grass guy.” He started his own lawn care service when he was nine years old. “I just loved the work and the outdoors and be outside and stuff.” Over time, he’s built up his collection of tools, which he buys on his own, using the money he makes doing yard work. In turn, he’s able to offer quite the variety of services. But his newest tool and his new favorite is something he earned with a little bit of help. “I went and purchased a pressure washer and brought it back to him,” said Walton County Deputy Wesley Barnhill. Barnhill first met Tristan when he was called to the neighborhood to deal with a disgruntled neighbor, who had a misunderstanding with the young boy. “He was kinda upset about the incident,” said Barnhill. “So I encouraged him and talked to him for a while.” Barnhill was also so impressed by Tristan’s work ethic and talent, he felt compelled to do more.  “I just didn’t want him to get too discouraged and I figured this was a good way to lift his spirits.” A few hours later, Deputy Barnhill surprised Tristan at his home with a brand new pressure washer. “I had a couple neighbors who asked me to pressure wash their houses,” said Yokel. “And I was like I’m sorry I couldn’t, but then he gave me it, so I can go do that now,” said Yokel. Barnhill had no idea Tristan didn’t have one. He said he remembered that he didn’t see one in his wagon when he first saw Tristan earlier that day. It’s a gift Tristan was thrilled to add to his toolbox and has already started practicing how to use with his own home. But, above all, it’s an act of kindness he’ll always be grateful for. “I want him to make sure he knows that I’m thankful for everything he does and very happy he’s here,” said Yokel. “Tristan is the real story here. I don’t think he’ll really ever know that I got more out of it than he did,” said Barnhill.

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