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Monday, August 15, 2016

Stuck on the Road!

Stuck on the Road!
I left for the golf course Saturday around noon.  Not to play, just to hit the range and practice green.  I'm retired and don’t want to make it more crowded on weekends for working people.  I’m thoughtful like that…also it’s $10 cheaper to play on weekdays.
I stopped for gas on the way, put $20 worth in my Jeep, paid and then tried to leave.  Dead!  The car did not turnover even a click.  I figured the battery contacts needed cleaning, maybe due to the high heat and humidity.  The station was gas only, they had zero tools.  I was calling Mrs. Cranky to bring some tools when the dude in front of me at the pump saw I was having trouble.  He had a trunk load of tools, and he offered to help.
It is amazing to me how when you need help, there is always someone around to lend a hand.  There are a lot of really nice people in this world.  With his help I cleaned the connections and the car still did not start.  We tried to jump the car just to confirm the problem was not the battery…it was not.  I was still stuck, but thankful to have ruled out the battery as the problem because this guy went out of his way to help.
I called AAA and within 2 hours the car was towed to a service station. Mrs. C picked me up and I am home typing.  I don’t know when I will get the car back or what will be the damages.  I did figure the problem was with the shift.  The car was in “Park” according to the shift indicator but was really stuck somewhere else.  The car will not start unless it is actually in park.  The shifter would not move.
My baby being loaded on the flat bed
Anyway, when I know what the problem is and it is fixed I might post further on my adventure.  In the meantime, it got me thinking how when people are in trouble there always seems to be someone to stop and help.
Many years ago I was driving to my mom’s house on the Eastern Shore in Maryland.  It was a 3 ½ hour drive and about an hour away my car just stopped running.  From 65 mph the engine just stopped and it was not going to start.  I pulled to the side of the road, checked under the hood and sure enough, the engine was still there and it was not running.  That was the extent of my ability to trouble shoot the problem.
This was in that hard to believe era of no cell phones and I was on a country road, maybe five miles from a service station.  I surveyed the situation for maybe five minutes before starting off walking for help.  Before I took step one, a car pulled behind me and a nice lady asked,
“You need help.”
“I need to get to a phone to call for help, I would really appreciate a ride to a service station.”
The lady ignored my dirty sweaty clothes and general hobo like unkempt appearance and just said, “Hop in.”
She didn’t take me to a gas station but took me directly to my mother’s house probably an hour out of her way.
“I drove by and it looked like you were stuck so I turned back to see if you needed help.  I have a son about your age, I’d like to think someone would stop to help him if he was stuck.”
I forget what the problem was with that car, I think it had something to do with fuel injectors. 
I don’t remember how much it cost to tow and fix, more than I could afford at the time.
I will never forget the kindness of a nice older woman who was willing to turn back and help a dicey looking person on the side of the road because her son could someday be in the same fix.
This just in:
Within two hours of my tow the service station called that my problem was fixed.  A shift cable popped out of the something-or-other and they popped it back in, made sure it was secure and it is just fine.  Cost of tow with AAA membership…zero.  Cost to pop cable back into the thing-a-ma-ding…$62.50.  Nice people that stop and help…PRICELESS!


  1. Glad it wasn't too expensive of a fix. AAA is the best thing to spend money on yearly I think with the free tows.

    It is refreshing to hear of people going out of their way to help others. I think the news casts should include more of that in their news programs.


  2. Good thing you have Triple A ...
    Did they show you where the problem was in case it does it again?

  3. Yes, there are some nice people around. It is so easy to forget that so a reminder does us all good.Thank goodness for AA - and AAA. They never let us down.

  4. How wonderful that they were able to fix it so fast and so reasonably! We've been stuck on the side of the road many times, and so if i see people stuck, i make sure they have a phone they can use and someone is coming to help them. We used to stop and give rides or go purchase cans of fix-a-flat for people in the days before mobile phones.

    Because of the recent flooding, there were people stuck on the highways recently for up to 24 hours. They were all walking from vehicle to vehicle, sharing what food and water they had and just being company for each other until they could be rescued. One food delivery truck driver knew he'd never make it to his destination, so he just fed everybody who came, lots of raw, fresh fruits and veggies.

  5. absolutely. we need more sharing of these kinds of goodhearted stories.

  6. Yey for nice people. They're out there, we just don't hear enough about them. But if someone is a nasty person, we'll have it all over social media in a nanosecond. We need to change that. This post is a good start. :)

  7. Whew! Glad your baby is back on the road.

    My husband is one of those helper-type people. And just last week I got AAA for our Oklahoma-bound college boy. Even though I also got him a new cell phone, he'd have no idea who to call without that AAA card number.

  8. I especially liked your story about help roadside. I had a similar thing happen when I was a commuter college student, long before cell phones. A professor I had never met picked me up and took me to campus, letting me use his office phone. In retrospect, I guess he could have been a psychopath!

  9. Glad it wasn't too expensive or too long to fix!

    Great stories about the people who helped you.

  10. I recall a time when I was traveling up the Grapevine outside of Los Angeles when my alternator went out. A pickup truck full of Mexicans stopped, help push my car to the side of the eight lane freeway and drove me into LA to find a mechanic. Nice people are everywhere.

  11. I love a happy ending. I'm glad this was. I was thinking transmission and that's never cheap. Good for you.

    Way cool on that lady that helped you way back when. I'm sure you've helped a few over the years yourself.

    Have a terrific day Joe. ☺

  12. I'm really happy this did not turn out to cost you an arm and a leg. I'm happy someone stopped to assist and I'm happy that the woman helped you all those years ago. I believe there are amazing people in this world but you've read my blog. Everyone's an "unsub." I suppose I should lighten up on that a bit and be a little more open to meeting and accepting help from some of these amazing people that roam this earth. As long as it's during the day with a lot of people around. Preferrably near a police station. :) Hahahaha

  13. I've had Triple A (aka Three As) since I started driving.
    I have no issues recommending them to anyone else.

  14. I've had AAA for years, too, and had them come and help me when I (repeatedly) locked my keys in the car like the idiot I was. (Now I have one of those computerized things I carry in my pocket and just push a button on the door handle to lock it and open it. I think it was invented for absent-minded people like me.) But, anyway, I don't think I've come close to getting my money's worth for that annual subscription but I wouldn't be without it.

  15. I think the key word here is "Jeep." .....although I will admit the wranglers are not as horrific as the rest.

    Glad everything was fixed without costing a fortune!

  16. You have given me new hope in the goodness of this world! Glad your jeep is good and the fix easy. Hope you get to your golf game!

  17. I love hearing stories about good people because the news is full of nothing but evil. And I know the majority of people out there are more than willing to help.