Saturday, August 14, 2010

Yet Another Reason I Like Alvin

In today’s world, people are in their own little world, not wanting to be bothered by anyone else’s problems. When they want to be bothered, they listen to the news and blame themselves for their success, or the “global climate change” or BP’s misfortune in the Gulf and the “evils” of using petroleum to power society.

Today after a pilgrimage to WallyWorld for some new socks and stuff, I swung by the Dollar Tree store to see if they had anything I needed. Not really seeing anything I couldn’t do without, I made a cheerful exit.

There was a Chrysler parked in the space right in front of the door, and there was a black woman in her mid-30’s with a daughter and they looked ready to go. The only problem was, there was only a lonesome “click” coming from under the hood. As I passed, she hailed me and asked if it sounded like her battery was dead. I told her to give the starter another whirl, and it clicked and turned over, anemically, and then nothing.

Great.

I told her I didn’t have any jumper cables and inquired if there were anyone she could call. Her reply was that she had just moved here from Sweeny and had no one in the area. Dang. “Hang on, ma’am, I’ll see if there is anyone in the store that had cables.” “Oh, thank you!” she sang. I had noticed that there was an empty space next to her.

I went in, scanning the aisles for a likely candidate to help. Down the birthday card aisle, I spied a guy that had pulled up in a truck about three minutes earlier. “’Scuse me, there’s a lady stranded out front here and I was wondering if you had any jumper cables…” “Yeah, I do.” He said, and immediately and without reservation put the card down he was looking at and proceeded to the parking lot.

We went outside and there was a big Mercury parked in the space next to her. After asking him if we could use his battery to try and get her going on her way (to a birthday party for her daughter’s friend), we hooked ‘em up and waited for a bit. All the while, the original good Samaritan stood by and continued to assess and diagnose. The Merc had a loose terminal and we decided to try the original guy’s truck.

After no less than 20 minutes, we concluded that the starter must be on vacation at the very least. We pushed her car out to the lot where our hero attached his truck to her Sebring and proceeded down the road to her nearby apartment, with his young step-grandson driving the disabled auto.

To make a long, very hot and sweaty story short, I am impressed by the kindness and willingness to help a stranger in a new town, and I hope you guys are inspired as well. Watching the guy lay on the searing pavement to hook a tow chain to the disabled vehicle, and feeling the heat on my hands and knees as I searched for a tow hook as well, my belief was reinforced that small-town America is not gone forever. And our Alvin is still populated with enough country boys that will give of their own time and knowledge to help them that need it.

3 comments:

innominatus said...

People up my way are pretty courteous, too. 'Cept most of 'em ain't smart enough to figger out how them jumper cable thingies work.

Howlsatmoon said...

But.....but...from everything I hear on the MSM, I thought we were all Rascist!!

And, by the by, this uplifting little anecdote from rural Teax show....

We ain't.

Lynn said...

that was a warm fuzzy!