Saved by a stranger

So there I was one day last week, zipping north down a county blacktop road about noon, minding my own business as I marveled at the beauty of the summer day around me. Of course at that time of day on a weekday in the country there was very little traffic. Acreages and farms I went by were quiet and tidy, their owners gone for the day.

And then I glanced at my dash, where the fancy printout warned me of low tire pressure in the right rear tire. Puzzling, but it didn’t go away as I kept rolling. By then, tire pressure was about half of what it should be in that tire. And the number kept dropping like a rock.

By then, I knew I was in trouble. And here I was, in an area basically deserted, miles in any direction from the nearest town. The only good thing was it was daylight. I speeded up, maybe figuring that I could move faster than my tire was losing air. It didn’t work.

Since I drive this road several times each week, I pretty much know which places are acreages and which are working farms. And one of those farms was just ahead, so I headed down the lane there. There were two people sitting in the yard on their four-wheel buggy. My saviors!

Of course they heard me coming down their lane, thanks to the tire that now had 0 pounds of pressure. I was motioned over to the shop building with my car. “That doesn’t sound good,” the man said with an easy smile as he turned on his air compressor and grabbed his tire gauge. It turned out that the woman was his mom; we chatted as her son went about assessing the damage.

Putting in air didn’t help because it was coming out a hole in the tire faster than he could put it in. Sooner than I could say please and thank you, his hydraulic jack came out of the shop, along with a torque wrench. And believe me, this guy (who turned out to be a truck driver) knew how to use them. He had the offending tire off the wheel, the pretend spare out of the trunk, the tires exchanged, and the rear tire and wheel safely back in the trunk before I hardly even got acquainted with his mom.

A thank you is hardly adequate when a stranger helps out in such an emergency, but that’s what I told my hero-several times-before I headed back on my way. Oh, and I also told him I’d pass on his kindness that turned out to be a genuine serendipity for me that day.

That may be the best way to say thanks.