We have all heard so much bad news that I thought it would be nice to remember what makes this nation worth fighting for.
Last night my high school senior son was driving to Pittsburgh. It was raining, and he lost control of the car on the slick, wet highway.
Thankfully, he was not injured, but since he had plowed through a highway sign, he had two flat tires with bent wheel rims, making the car un-drivable. He was an hour away from home, on a wooded section of a four lane highway, at twilight.
It was still raining.
As I drove to collect him, his brother began searching for service station options near the accident site so we wouldn’t have to tow the car all the way home. It was difficult since no one knew the exact location of the accident, and we had no landmarks to work with.
He had no suggestions to give me at the time of my arrival.
I pulled up in front of the car, and my son got out. We were just beginning to discuss options when a car pulled up behind us and a young man got out. He had stopped to help. He didn’t know about cars, but he was from the area, and he provided the name and location of a tire store that, it turned out, was less than 3 miles away from our location.
The tow was the next hurdle. I have a towing service attached to my phone. I called them and was trying to describe the location so they could arrange for a pickup. They wanted some kind of "anchor" landmark to give the towing company.
There was a business a bit more than half a mile farther down the road, and although it was closed, they had a sign out. We drove down the shoulder until we could see the name so I could give it to the towing people. Then I slowly backed up down the same shoulder until I was back in front of the damaged vehicle.
As I was on the phone, another gentleman stopped. When he got out of his car, I could see that he was some kind of mechanic who was obviously going home after working late. He examined the car, and asked if there was a spare tire.
Then he suggested that he could use the spare to replace one of the damaged tires. That still left the other one.
He removed the second tire, and manually hammered the rim back into shape. Then he returned to his company’s shop and came back with an air compressor to refill the tire. He had to make two trips to get all the parts he needed.
He did all of this in the rain.
As a result of his help, we were able to drive the car the few miles to the tire shop instead of having to get a tow.
Then he refused all offers of payment, telling me that he had six kids of his own, and he would want someone to help them if they were stuck. So we shook hands, and he got back into his truck and went home.
We all know that there is much that is wrong in America.
That man, and all the men and women like him, remind us that there is also much that is still right in America as well.