One thing I am profoundly grateful for here in the Ozarks, is the overwhelming kindness of people here. In New York, there's always such a mad dash to get someplace, do something, make something that most people just pass you in the street on their way to their next stop. The fact that you might be laying there bleeding from an attempted mugging wouldn't phase them one bit.
Yesterday, it was after dinner time and I was on my way up highway 9 to go to Thayer to cover their city council meeting, and I had a whale of a blowout. Luckily, I was able to control the car and pulled off to the side of someone's driveway. Well, the New Yorker in me was annoyed, because I was going to be late to the meeting, if I made it at all, I was driving our only vehicle, so my Marine couldn't just come save me, and to top it all off, I had just finished getting a new tire replaced on that side last week and here it was, blown to smithereens.
So, I pulled out my cell phone and called my roadside service and was told I would get to luxuriate in the 100 degree heat for about an hour and a half while they sent someone to help me. Oh Joy.
It was at about this point that I noticed a van had turned around and was coming back my way. Driving that van was a young member of the Salem Greyhounds football team and local weight lifter, Corey Arnold. This sweet soul had just endured two-a-day practice in the heat, and was stopping to help a lady in trouble. Mr. and Mrs. Arnold, you raised an amazing young man!
So we dragged out my jack and his jack and managed to get my spare out from underneath the Blazer and, about this time, a second vehicle turns around and heads our way. Inside that vehicle was Colt Shaver, yet another member of the Salem Greyhounds team and a young man who had also just left two-a-day practice. Together, these two helped me get my spare on, placed the destroyed tire in the rear and insisted - I kid you not, insisted - that I drive down to the next driveway and come back, to be sure they had the tire on well.
If you told a story like that in New York, no one would believe you, because up there, everyone is looking out for themselves. I am so humbled by the kindness and generosity of spirit these two young men showed to me. It goes to prove that people in the Ozarks do look out for each other, and care enough to help out, whether you're a friend or a stranger.
I'll tell you one thing, you can bet your next paycheck that I will be in those Salem H. S. stands this football season, cheering these boys and their teammates on. Go Greyhounds!