When I was about 14, my mom and dad took us 4 kids on a trip to Arizona. It was a great trip, I have a lot of good memories of it, that is until I think about the drive home when we broke down taking the “scenic route” aka rural roads.
Arizona has a lot of wide open spaces where there aren’t any service stations. My dad’s car happened to break down somewhere in one of those in scalding heat. the car actually overheated and I remember the blurry air above the hood and the air conditioning going out simulating what a 14 year old thought was hell on earth. To make a long story short, the tow truck guy fixed our car … and charged us $1,000 (it may have been less but to a 14 year old and to my dad it was outrageous.)
After an hour or so of ranting back and forth, My dad knew we had no cash and the mechanic Butch had only made an offer for us to leave a kid while Dad went to get cash. My dad was not agreeable to that. Nor was a 14 year old. So here’s where our luck changed. A guy drove in, it was the only customer since we were towed there.
My dad shared our situation and he said he was a Christian like us and he had some compulsion in the last town to get exactly 1,000 bucks out of the bank. He cashed my dad’s heck and we go the heck out of there. For a long time I thought he was an angel. Now I see it as an amazing and beneficial stroke of good fortune. Either way, it was an act of kindness.
We waited a long time. This was 1984 and there were no cell phones. After a while, a tow truck driver pulled up. He actually towed us with all of us in the car. It was pretty exciting and cool to a 14 year old. The problem came when he towed us to his scary looking “station.” It had bone-ribbed three-legged dogs running around howling and an Exxon sign held up with bungee cords.