A 93-year-old Air Force veteran hitchhiked to a 99-cent store to buy Hershey bars to share with his girlfriend amid the coronavirus lockdown.
Mike Cain has shared a Hershey’s chocolate bar with the love of his life, 94-year-old Doris Jerman, each night for nearly two decades without fail.
‘We don’t eat the whole bar – just a couple pieces,’ Mike told NBC San Diego.
But the sudden arrival of COVID-19 and the subsequent stay-at-home orders have made it difficult for Mike to get to any local stores.
For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms that clear up within in a few weeks.
Mike Cain (left) and Doris ‘Do’ Jerman (right) have shared a Hershey chocolate bars each night for nearly two decades
Mike (left) met Richard Farmer (right) while attempting to hitchhike from his senior community to a local 99-cent store in California
But older adults and people with health conditions can experience severe symptoms or even death.
That wasn’t enough to stop Mike, who was so determined to buy Hershey bars for his girlfriend that he snuck away from his senior community in Lake San Marcos, California.
On Tuesday, Mike put his plan into action and decided to hitchhike his way to a local 99-cent store about 1.5 miles away.
Luckily, local resident and real estate broker Richard Farmer happened to drive by just at the right moment.
On Facebook, Farmer added that he noticed Mike standing with his thumb out as he drove by.
‘I was going home for lunch at about 12:30 or 1:00 in the afternoon,’ Farmer told Fox News.
‘When I turned a corner to go up the hill to my house, I saw an elderly gentleman about four feet into the street.’
Mike (pictured) didn’t tell Doris that he was hitchhiking to the 99-cent store and admitted ‘she probably hasn’t even started looking for me yet’
After asking if Mike needed help, the veteran explained that he was trying to get to a nearby 99-cent store.
‘I think my first concern was, “Wow, I don’t know if I should be picking up this 93-year-old man”… But I got the car as clean as I could,’ said Farmer.
Farmer used Clorox wipes to clean his car before Mike entered and both men wore protective gear.
He offered to drive to the neighborhood supermarket instead, but Mike was set on going to the 99-cent store for Hershey’s bars.
‘He said, “Well, we break one up every night and we share it, and I’m out. So I need to get to the 99-cent store to get some more Hershey bars”,’ said Farmer.
Doris ‘Do’ Jerman (pictured) first met Mike Cain around 20 years ago at a senior dance
Along the way, Mike admitted that he slipped away from his senior living community without telling Doris.
‘She probably hasn’t even started looking for me yet,’ Mike told Farmer.
Mike and Doris, or ‘Do’, first met at a senior dance about 20 years ago and have remained closed ever since.
Once at the 99-cent store, Mike tried to continue his mission alone and hopped out of Farmer’s car.
‘He thanked me and waved goodbye, but I was like, “Wait a minute, buddy! We’re only halfway through with this trip!”‘ Farmer said.
‘I’m not going to let you walk a mile-and-a-half back!’
Farmer then followed Mike into the store, where he purchased 35 Hershey’s bars for him to share with Doris.
‘I asked what he was going to tell his wife about where the chocolate came from,’ Farmer said. ‘And he said he was going to tell her he met this real nice real estate who gave him a ride.’
Mike (pictured) bought 35 Hershey bars to share with Doris for the next 35 nights
Farmer: ‘I thought it was amazing that they have this tradition they do every night, but what a lovely story, that this guy is willing to hitchhike’
Farmer offered his business card to Mike and said he’d be happy to help him anytime he needed a ride to the store.
‘I put him in my phone as “Hershey Bar Mike,”‘ said Farmer.
Mike took up Farmer’s offer recently and went grocery shopping at a nearby Albertson’s.
Farmer shared the heartwarming experience and photos of Mike on Facebook. The post has since amassed more than 70,000 likes and 28,000 shares.
Mike, who is not on Facebook, was shocked by how many people were touched by his story.
‘I asked him if he knew what Facebook was [after the story went viral], and he said he had heard of it,’ said Farmer.
‘And I asked him to guess how many people had seen my post. He said, “I dunno, like 20″’ At the time it was 60,000. He said, “You gotta be kidding me!” He was happy that so many people enjoyed his story.’
Mike’s story impressed a few Hershey distributors, who’ve reached and want to send the couple shipments so they don’t have to worry about running low.
‘I thought it was amazing that they have this tradition they do every night, but what a lovely story, that this guy is willing to hitchhike,’ said Farmer.
California has 54,937 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 2,254 deaths.
Gov. Gavin Newsom on California announced earlier this week that the state will begin reopening.
Phase 2 of Newsom’s reopening plan will begin this week, with retailers allowed to open on Friday with curbside pickup and social distancing restrictions.
Laguna Beach and San Clemente were given the ‘OK’ to open their beaches after launching a legal battle against Newsom.