Our yesterday was a bit of a mess. Not quite enough to have been made into a movie starring Jack Lemmon and Sandy Dennis, but hectic enough, thanks.
My wife’s car was in the shop. When it was ready to pick up we piled into my old sled to go pick it up. I turned the ignition key and got no more than a couple of grudging grunts. Bugger! So we waited for our road service guy and a jump. Engine humming again, we set out again. We got about a block when I had to pull over to determine why my car was pulling to the right. Worst fears were realized. My right front tire was flatter than a fashion model.
I didn’t fancy the idea of changing a tire in the mid-day Tampa heat and with my past-its-use-by-date back. (If I had a nickel for every tire I’ve changed in my 74 years I could stand the entire bar to a round. But my tire-changing days are behind me.) I must have looked forlorn staring at the useless tire, because a workman installing a door in the home we stopped near came over and changed it for us. A real angel of mercy. This guy was the real McCoy. The kind of working class guy we used to have so many of, who when he spots someone who clearly needs help he renders it without fuss, feathers, hesitation, or expectation of reward. He was clearly Caucasian, but brown from working in the sun. He was heavily muscled, had multiple tattoos (one of which made my wife blush), a thin gold earring through each lobe, and a pinch between cheek and gum. He was friendly but not chatty. The strong, silent type. He had the spare on in no time. I slipped him a 10 (because I didn’t have a 20), though I’m sure he wouldn’t have asked for anything if I hadn’t offered. He deflected our thanks and went back to his own work. Trump’s America. Houston’s America writ small.
All is not lost.
Photo: Kurt Nordstrom from Ponder, TX, USA/Creative Commons