Friday, December 30, 2011
Lend a Hand and Giv'er Hell !!
As I walked outside the store, I could still see him unloading the groceries. It was taking a little longer as he didn't have my help. I made my way to the truck with my bag of hog howls and finished helping him unload. Finally, we're done, climbing back into the truck for the ride home.
I'm driving, because we're in my truck. The back seat is broader and it holds more of anything than his truck does. So mine is always the grocery store truck. Anyway, I'm backing up and pulling out and as I round the corner to the exit I see her.
There is a little, white headed old lady, in a white Ford Sable car and she has driven herself and the car off of the curb and into a deep hole. Her right front tire was lodged down into the hole and spinning on the concrete as she was trying to back-up. I looked at Mims and told him I was pulling over, we couldn't leave her there.
I pulled into a parking space, we got out of the truck, walked over to her car, and bless her soul, she looked like she was in a pure state of panic. She got of the car and we told her we were going to try and see what we could do to help.
We were at the corner of the Plaza where the Cafe Internet was located, and a very nice black gentlemen walked over to us about the same time and asked could he help. Now, I make note of the color of his skin because in just a few minutes it will matter. He walked with a slight limp so I wasn't sure how much help he would be but we told him we sure would appreciate it.
Within about 10 minutes it was obvious it was going to take more than two men to get the car out of that hole. The tire itself was lodged into thick, slick, red mud and was just spinning. We would have to have a few more men to pick up on the front end while someone sat in the car and tried to back it out.
I walked to Cafe Internet, stepped inside and asked could I get a couple of guys to come help us out. Plenty of people in there, playing those games, all nationalities. Three black gentlemen stopped what they were doing, stood up and came out. One of the guys, Barron Thompson, a friend and fellow employee, was one of the gentlemen.
Now they are all looking at the situation, accessing what needs to be done. And I'm standing on the sidelines talking to the little old lady. We introduce ourselves, talk about where we live, and she is fretting. She's really not supposed to be driving she says. I see the handicap tag on her visor. She says her children don't like her driving very far anymore and that she hopes we can get her out and they won't have to know what has happened because they will surely blame it on her lack of driving abilities. I promised her whatever happened, we wouldn't leave her there, and that I was pretty sure, somehow they would figure something out.
Her cell phone began to ring, she answered it, and it was her son in law. I listened as she told him she was fine, just moving a little slower than usual, but she would be on to the house in a few minutes. She hung up the phone and looked at me and said, 'I'm going to have to pray a little harder in church this Sunday for telling that lie". I said no ma'm, you didn't lie, you didn't tell him anything wrong either way. She hugged my neck and told me the good Lord must have been looking after her when we stopped.
Someone finally remembered they had a rope in the trunk of their car. We hooked it to her car in the back, and my truck in the back, someone got in each vehicle, and started the revving motion. Both vehicles put the gas to it, and slowly but surely, out she came.
She was so thankful, asking everybody who had helped what she owed them. Not one single man would take anything from her, hugged her neck and told her Happy New Year.
Now I have to tell you, when the whole deal first started, and there was only me, Mims and the one black gentlemen, I watched as car after car of grown white men rode right past us. Looking hard for sure, but not asking could they help and not stopping. Just rolled right on out of that Winn Dixie parking lot, away from us and that little old lady. And when I walked into that Cafe Internet, plenty of all colors were sitting in there, but only three black gentlemen stood up and answered my request for help.
Riding home with Mims after I had mouthed off for a few minutes about people and how disappointed I was, I said, "Man, we sure could have used Kornbread Jr and Tater today". This summer, during their trip/vacation to St George Island, those boys pulled quite a few stranded people out of the sand. When they got home, and Zach was telling the stories of their rescues, he said they would strap down to each vehicle, he would get in his truck and every time before he would start pulling he would holler out "How's it looking back there Tater?" and Tater would holler back "Giv'er Hell Zach" with a country twang you can only imagine if you've ever heard it before. I was thinking of Tater and that line today as Mims started to roll my truck forward. It took all I could do not to put on my best Tater voice and holler out "Giv'er Hell Mims!"