Taking a little break, not so funny this time, but inspirational, YES!
While Mom and Dad were in still living in North Carolina, my wife, son and I were traveling by car to see them on a hot July day 20 years ago. We were making good time, already in NC, and only a few miles to go before the turnoff exit on Rt 95, then 3 hours to our destination.
Suddenly, a white puff of steam sprayed the windshield, quickly followed by an "Oh SHIT" from me, realizing I just blew a water hose. Any hope of parlaying an early arrival from this trip evaporated like the steam on that hot day.
I asked Genna and George to leave the car and sit on the guard rail about 40 feet in front of the car. I put the flashers on, left the car myself to join them, as we all started to feel like ice cubes in boiling water.
Thinking back to this time, I'm more than a little annoyed at myself for letting old prejudices creep into my head. I was tired and hot, but there was no excuse for thinking to my self, "What southerner is going to stop to help a Yankee with New Jersey license plates?"
Very soon, I'll swear less than a minute, this pick up truck with NC plates pulls behind my car, and out pops Henry, who then grabs his tool box, and approaches us.
"A hell of a hot day for a nice young family to be stuck on the side of the road. What happened?"
I showed him the top hose, luckily it wasn't the bottom hose, so not that much coolant was lost. Henry said to us he'd be right back with a new hose and some coolant from the auto parts store less than a mile away.
The image of Jimmy Stewart about to jump off the bridge in "It's a Wonderful Life", only to saved by Clarence, the guardian angel in training, made me realize Henry was my guardian angel that day who not only delivered a repair to our car, but a message not to pass judgment on anyone before they have a chance to show they are one of the good guys also.
Henry adamantly refused any payment for his labor, but I found his soft spot.
"Henry, do you have grandchildren? If you do, I insist you let their new Uncle John buy them a few ice cream cones."
He smiled, took the money, couldn't thank ME enough, and was on his way
That one act of kindness from one man reminds me to this day to look for goodness first no matter where I am.