Thursday, September 4, 2014
Close to Nowhere
The kindness of strangers
My youngest brother Danny, who lives in Memphis, Tenn., has been driving on bald tires for a while now. Sunday, while he was at the house, he said he really was going next week to get new tires.
Naturally, on his way home, one of his tires blew out — on Hwy. 78 near Byhalia. A long way from my house.
Instead of sitting down with my other brother and daughter, etc. for hot-out-of-the-oven chicken pot pie, I trundled down the road to go rescue him.
I was assuming that we’d put the tire and rim in my new van (grrrr) and go to the only place that was open on Sunday afternoon — the Walmart tire center in Olive Branch.
I couldn’t find him on Hwy. 78, and when I called, he said he’d driven on the rim to the first gas station at the Byhalia exit.
When I finally found him, he was much calmer than when he first called me and was waiting calmly for some stranger who’d gone to get him a tire and would be right back.
My first thought was “oh sure.” I figured we’d sit there and wait on this guy until the tire center at Walmart closed and then I was going to be even crankier than I was already.
In about five minutes, a dark brown quad cab pickup truck turned into the gas station driveway and headed to where we were sitting.
Sure enough, it was Danny’s stranger with the tire.
That young man worked so hard in the hot sun — taking Danny’s tire off, calling someone to bring him the right tools and putting the tire on Danny’s rim.
If you’ve ever watched someone take a tire off a rim you know it’s really hard work and dangerous as well. Fingers are all too exposed to rubber snapping on metal rims. I’m thinking it would take a finger off in about one second or so.
The young man had called his “Pop” to bring the tools and Pop had hung around mostly to watch, I guess.
I left after I saw that Danny was in good hands and I couldn’t do a thing to help except sit there and play with Danny’s dog Maggie Mae. I headed home to play with my own dogs and cats.
Danny called me when he got home. The young man had carried his tire to air it up, plugged three holes and shot flame into the air sealing the tire with oil.
If you know Steve Miller from Byhalia and his Pop, pat him on the back and tell him Danny’s sister says a huge “Thank You!”
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