by Julie Mathias
May 30, 2002, I was late driving to my 11 a.m. Art History class. This class was review and preparation for our upcoming examination. After that I had to finish a paper for my 2 p.m. Creative Writing class. It was the last week of classes, I was stressed out, and had rushed all week on barely any sleep.
Driving my normal route, I arrived at a green left turn arrow. But while starting to turn my car made a strange popping sound and jolted to a stop in the middle of the intersection.
I revved the engine but the car wouldn’t move. I started to panic because cars were piled up behind me, and people were yelling and honking. I ran around to the front of the car, to find both tires turned inward, facing each other.
Almost in tears, I had no idea what to do — call the police, my dad, a tow truck? I couldn’t think. All of a sudden, two guys came running up yelling about a broken tie rod and told me to pop the hood.
I was so grateful that someone even stopped. I popped the hood and they immediately reached down to see what had happened. “Bill” and “Bob” discovered the tie rod wasn’t actually broken, it had just popped apart. They turned my steering wheel to the right and attached the pieces together loosely, just to get me out of the street.
They told me to ease the car into a small parking area nearby. I was so relieved to be out of the street, which would have been enough help. But then they took a bunch of tools out of their truck and started to fix my car right there!
Bill and Bob barely said a few words to me, and I just stood there, watching them rush around. They said the last person who worked on my car must have not tightened the tie rod, and I might have been killed if I had been driving on the highway.
They worked for 30 minutes in the baking sun. I kept getting choked up at how nice they were to stop, so I was hardly able to get out my thanks.
After a few minutes I called my dad and he came from work. He couldn’t believe Bill and Bob were fixing my car! He told them he didn’t have much cash with him. They said that was OK and kept working. After my dad and I had thanked them for such extreme kindness, they got back in their truck and left.
I arrived at school only 35 minutes late. If not for my two volunteer mechanics, I would still have been waiting for a tow truck! Thanks, Bill and Bob, for taking the time to help a scared girl stranded in the middle of the street.