Saturday, November 19, 2016


I wasn't gonna post the rest of the year since Nov IWSG, but this incident just needed addressed.

Yesterday I was rescued by a very nice young man in Idaho. I ran out of gas on I-15/86 between Pocatello and Burley/Heyburn. If you've ever been through that stretch of interstate you know how far it is between gas stations. Yes, I was stupid for not filling up in Idaho Falls; 26 degrees, I was running late, and thought I could make it to Burley.

Less than 7 miles from my end destination (Loves Travel Stop, Burley) my car sputtered, and died on the interstate. Those advertisements for 50 miles on empty doesn't go as far at 80 mph as it does at 55. About 30 seconds (yes, less than a minute) into my walk up the I-86 a car pulls over and the driver asks me "do you need help?"

I gave him and his car a long assessment before I answered yes and asked if he would give me a lift to the nearest gas station.

"No problem," he said.

Mr Nice was named Jason and he was 21 years old. He was on his way to Boise to visit family and friends on his University break; he'd been back home in Idaho Falls for three months from a 2 year LDS mission in Mexico City. Friendly, talkative, enthusiastic about his religion and upcoming University semester (majoring in Denistry). He expounded on his personal and spiritual growth during his mission, and I was eager to hear his story. I have rarely met such a well rounded and grounded young person. His open personality intrigued me to listen to him. (I'm a social worker, remember? Curiosity comes natural to me.) I was sorry to see our time end.

He not only drove me to the nearest gas station, but also drove me back to my car with my 2 gallons of gas (to get five miles down the road) and figured out the gas nozzle thingy that environmentalists have installed to make emergency roadside gas fill ups - whatever! We spilled at least a quarter of the gas on ourselves and the ground in the learning process, but he finally figured out how to get it to work. After all that trouble, he refused all forms of payment I could offer.

A true hero who rescued an old lady on the side of the road simply because he could. My life has been enriched by the 40 minutes I spent with this marvelous individual. I would have liked to hear more of his Mission adventures, but we each had separate lives to attend to.

Thank you Jason. God bless you and keep you safe in your future journey. Because of your thoughtful intervention, I was able to complete my own business mission and move along in my journey home.

If you've read this far, maybe you'll read a bit further. . .

You see this post and maybe think, "sheesh, so he gave a ride to a fat old chick on the road. What's the risk in that? What makes this a 'moment' for him to brag about?"

Well, as a road traveler; I can tell you its a big risk to pick up anyone on the road, regardless of the circumstances. In today's world, you never know when your generosity, your faith in humanity, might get you shot. Or robbed or raped; murdered and drug off to be buried and never found again. You think I exaggerate?

I'm not against gun toting Americans. Sometimes, ya just gotta protect yourself and your loved ones. And maybe armed America is what literally keeps the bad guy countries from invading us. I don't carry a gun cuz I'd likely shoot myself, or get it taken away by a perpetrator and get shot with my own gun. Some people just aren't meant to carry weapons. We're meant to kiss ass to those that know what they're doing. I married a guy like that. I have friends like that. I am not ashamed of my lack of Annie Oakly skills. I'll befriend Carol, Maggie and Rosita on TWD if the world comes to that.

Some people are wimps; some people need to protect wimps. Just call me Eugene!

I worry about nice guys and weirdo's though in today's society. There are idiots out there who think the right to carry a gun gives them the right to shoot it at anybody who pisses them off or doesn't agree with their world views. The beautiful kid that rescued me took a big risk that I wasn't an idiot with a gun. Yes, I thank him, but also worry about him. Next time, he may be rewarded with a gun to his head. A good guy doing the right thing; being taken advantage of by a self absorbed criminal. The world can be insane like that.

I've rescued some people along the road myself. People standing next to their car, waving down help on the freeway/interstate. (I did not ask for help, I just walked and hoped for a police man.) I've traveled enough to know where cell phone and internet service is non-existent. I've made snap decisions to assist, and so far, its all been paying it forward to this day when I needed a trusting person to stop for me.

You may not get how momentous this rescue was for me, or for this young man. We both lived through it. I could have gotten into the car with a serial killer. He could have picked one up. Trust, faith, belief in humanity is most often rewarded with criminal activity or death in today's world. If you've ever considered stopping for someone stranded beside the road, and felt guilty when you did not, perhaps you'll have an insight of how difficult the decision to be a caring human being is these days.

Its a huge risk. There is no shame (in my opinion) in driving by. You just never know. Ask the two cops who got killed sitting in their squad car drinking coffee and shooting the breeze about nothing important to anybody but them.

Life can be dangerous and risky. But sometimes, its beautiful and fulfilling.


Pat Hatt said...

Very true, you just never know what nutball with a gun is waiting for you. But then you meet a nice guy like him and it makes you think.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Jason did an awesome thing. And you're right, the risk was as much his as it was yours. You were both blessed. Yes, that could one day go wrong. But I think God will continue to use his generosity and keep him safe.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Almost anywhere in Idaho is a long, lonely stretch of road. You were fortunate that young man happened along. You were both fortunate neither of you was crazy. I do know how to shoot a gun, but we don't have one. (I wouldn't want my own gun use against me, either.) I hope God keeps him safe and helps him make smart decisions. And I hope you don't let your tank get so low again! LOL

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

This was an excellent blog bit, WILD THING, and it gave me my morning fuzzy with my coffee. I'm sure glad a good human being was there for you.

And this story naturally contrasts with another one that's been bumping around in my brain for days: The story of a group of young Black thugs in Chicago beating up a man and stealing his car for no reason other than that he'd voted for Donald Trump.

The reason these two stories contrast is because in the latter one, as can be seen in the video, numerous people in cars just drove right on past and did NOTHING to help the man who was being brutally assaulted right there in the middle of the city intersection.

On one hand, we have a man who stops and helps a stranded driver in a desolate area. And on the other, we have people choosing to ignore a man being pummeled by multiple thugs.

It's a round world separated by 180 degrees.

~ D-FensDogG
'Loyal American Underground'

D.G. Hudson said...

You were very lucky. My mother who lived in Georgia had two incidences where men tried to run her off the road when she was coming home late at night. She worked a late shift at that time. She did carry a gun but never had to use it. She did however have an incident where she was stopped in the early morn at a stoplight and a man dashed out to the road and tried to open the passenger's side door. It was locked, as my mother and I both know, there are a lot of reasons for a woman alone to remember to do that. I have a fear of running out of gas like you did. I once drove the last few miles home with something in the motor knocking rather than stop on the deserted road. It was my mother's car. She was glad I kept driving. Everyone can be at risk. Makes it tougher on hitchhikers, but that's what it's become. Thank your lucky stars or your good Karma, or even your good judgement. A great post to share.

A Beer for the Shower said...

What an awesome story. I love reading things like this. No matter what anyone says, I still refuse to believe that there is no kindness among strangers anymore. Jason was definitely proof of that.

When I was in college my old junker car broke down on the side of the freeway. No one stopped, so I walked along the side of the freeway, in rush hour traffic, for 2 and a half miles before a police officer finally stopped... to tell me I couldn't walk so close to the freeway.

Yeah, I had no Jason that day.

Yolanda Renée said...

A beautiful post! I love reading about kindness, especially today when the world seems to be on edge.

The world is a crazy place and trusting a stranger is harder than ever. Good for you, and good on Jason!

Thanks for sharing!

Elizabeth Seckman said...

What a wonderful young man, but you're right- as a mom, I was want to teach your kids to do the right thing, but there are scam artists and loons everywhere. My boys would think like that young- it's a chick, what can she do to me?

I also agree with the your gun assessment. I hadn't really thought about it until my car broke down in a rural area with no cell service and the first offer of help was from a truck load of men my gut screamed not to trust. I told them my husband was en route, then I hit in my car until my husband finally missed me (took him four hours!) and he came looking for me.

farawayeyes said...

I first read this early this morning as I was trying to wake up in a Motel 6 in Bishop, CA. (on my way to meet the kids at Disneyland for Thanksgiving), and I thought to myself, YIKES! As you know I travel that very road A LOT. According too my daughter and the local news, right along that very stretch several women have disappeared over the past two years (as far as I know, none of them have ever been heard from again, and no remains found. Lots of crazy theories). It is not a safe spot.

Anyway...I'm so glad you ran into Jason, girlfriend. You also know that I lived in SE Idaho for a number of years and...say what you will about Mormons, those Return Missionary kids are some of the best. They go out on a Mission for their church for two years at their own expense. I know, I know, they can be as annoying as heck when they knock on your door, but they learn service, how to grow up, and have a sincere desire to help others. While you're feeling annoyed (if they are at your front door), they are truly only trying to spread, what they wholeheartedly believe is a message of truth and joy.

I really felt heartened reading about your good experience this morning (after the goosebumps subsided). It's nice to know that there are those kind trusting souls out there, who truly believe that God will protect them as long as they 'do what is right'. I do love it that you had this experience.

Stay safe out there. I'll give you a call and tell you all about my visit to see the mouse after I return next weekend. Besides, I'm getting ready to submit to another Anthology and 'you know what that means'.

alexia said...

Great story! Man, 26 degrees is brutal. You're giving this Floridian nightmares :) But glad it had a happy ending!

Denise Covey said...

Hey Donna. I read some of this on FB and so glad Jason was there to help you. Would have been mighty scary. Glad it turned out so well. Now, Missy, no more running out of gas!

dolorah said...

Pat: Yep

Alex: It seems God has a plan for this young man indeed.

Diane: Right!!

St Mac: Yeah, I was thinking about that too. The world today is a sad place when you can get beat up or killed for supporting a political candidate. Someone was gonna win the vote. Maybe if more people stood up for what was right there would not be so many bullies.

DG: I keep my car doors locked too - something my dad taught me when I was first learning to drive. I was very lucky not to have unduly suffered the consequences of my stupidity.

Beers: Poor Dude! Being a guy probably didn't help you get a ride, or assistance. I was hoping for a police officer myself, but wasn't sure if that would have gotten me a ride to where I wanted to be.

Yolanda: I like reading these type posts too; and loved writing it.

Elizabeth: my hubby never keeps his phone on him, so he is the last person I think to call, lol. I try to teach my son to do the "right" thing; but yeah, its hard to know "right" for who. Society is teaching us all to be cynical and distrusting.

FAE: I remember watching that story on the news. And I thought about it when I saw it was a guy stopping. Luckily, it was Jason. I hope you have a great time at Disneyland with your family. And I'm glad you have a story that needs feedback - means you are writing. Which reminds me, I need to finish Rick's this week :)

Alexia: lol, it was cold.

Denise: yeah, I kept the top half of the tank full the rest of the trip home, lol.

Unknown said...

You were lucky Jason wasn't a crazy or a predator, although most serial killers are in their 30s-40s, so him being young boded well for you. I've never run out of gas, but had other things break in the car and strand me. I was almost always in a city so I called AAA. They were well worth the yearly fee (especially since I always owned old cars that were inches away from dying. lol). I'm glad your adventure worked out well!

cleemckenzie said...

It's stories like these that give me hope for our world. I grow weary of all the negative news, how terrible people are to each other, what atrocity has happened while I slept. This was a boost for my spirit. Thanks, Dolorah and all my good wishes for that young man's future.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Donna - sorry I'm late .. I started reading this and then the machine went off - and then I lost the post - but saw the FB reminder pop up.

Gosh what a wonderful young man ... and how lucky and fortunate you were ... I'm so glad it ended well and he deserves lots of mentions - well done Jason.

I've broken down a few times ... but never had anything serious happen thankfully ... could do so easily ...

Take care and count your blessings this Thanksgiving weekend ... and put some petrol in?! Happy weekend and week .. cheers Hilary

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Jeffrey Scott said...

It's nice to know, in this day and age, there are still heroes.
I agree with you, it can be very difficult trying to decide if you want to help someone. As you say, ANYONE can turn out to be some homicidal maniac. You just never know. Arsenic and Old Lace anyone?
Glad you are safe, and glad you found a hero for the night.
I'll bet you won't forget to fill up next time.

Arlee Bird said...

There are still plenty of good folk out there, but mostly we here about the bad things that happen so it's good to hear a story like this. AS much as I've traveled, though I've broken down a few times, I've never run out of gas yet--come mighty close where I was on the edge of the driver's seat driving on fumes, but fortunately not been stranded without fuel. That was one of the reasons why I joined AAA so many years ago and it's been a godsend more than a few times.

Years ago I used to do a lot of hitchhiking and would happily pick up someone by the side of the road for company if I were driving a long way by myself. The company was sometimes good and rides were usually fairly easy to get. I wouldn't do either now unless it were an extreme circumstance. It's a scary world out there--or at least if you just take in what the news tells us.

Arlee Bird
Tossing It Out

Shannon Lawrence said...

Thank you for sharing this with us. He sounds like a wonderful young man. I hope he stays safe in the future. I can't agree more with what you said. There's risk on both sides in a situation like this. It's a hard decision for many to make. I'm glad he picked you up, but man, I hope he doesn't pick up someone dangerous in the future. It's not just women who are at risk in situations like this (though we are probably more at risk), and people tend to forget that. Thank you for sharing a positive story during a time where there has been a lot of negative.

Optimistic Existentialist said...

There are some truly wonderful people in the world...Jason is an angel among us!

Have a Merry Christmas :)

Tara Tyler said...

i'm so glad it worked out the way it did, because you are very right, you never know what could happen!

i also wanted to thank you for stopping by and mentioning my Cradle Rock post at Alex's blog!

Rachna Chhabria said...

Jason did a very nice thing by not only driving you to the nearest gas station but also driving you back to your car. There are some genuinely nice people in the world and am glad that you met one of them when you needed help.

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year, Donna!

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