The Kindness of Friends and Strangers

On Saturday’s PreHibernation Run, Jean and I had the first flat tire that I have had in living memory. As a manufacturer’s rep covering the six New England states and for a period of years upstate NY, my tires have always been a priority. Over the entire 47 years, and million plus miles, I cannot recall ever having a flat.

On Saturday when the Miata began to vibrate ominously, it was clear that something wasn’t right. Bob Baylis in the Miata behind came on the CB, warning that I had a flat tire, just at the instant that I understood the problem. I pulled off the narrow road as well as I could. Bob, as he always does, stopped to help. Bob, when he is on a run, is always the first guy on the scene, if help is required. Any run that has Bob Baylis present has a built in Miata expert and problem solver.

As many members will know my Miata has a spare tire rack on the rear bumper. I have prided myself on the fact that should I get a flat I would have a full size spare and also a place to carry the flat to the repair shop. The best laid plans of mice and men. Saturday, I discovered that yes I had the tire, but no the Miata tire iron was not the correct size to remove the tire from the rack.

Plan B. Call a tow truck. Tow truck will be there in an hour or two.

Meanwhile, a fellow driving and oversized cargo van passes by, looking us over, as he backs his van into a very large 3 car garage at the side of his house. Baylis to the rescue. “I bet that guy has a wrench we can borrow!” Suiting action to the word, Bob heads toward the garage.

Not only does the guy have a wrench, he has a heated garage, where we are invited to make ourselves comfortable, while he and Bob effectively take command leaving the “old guy” standing around. The tire was junk, complete destroyed. The spare was installed, the tire pressure on all tires checked and adjusted. After some struggle I was able to prevail on the Good Samaritan to accept a portion of what the tow truck would have cost and we were on our way.

Having been the best part of an hour we elected to head to Bob’s shop where the Miata was scheduled for a new top on Sunday. We four, Bob & Janet, Jean & I went to dinner at a local restaurant. In addition to the kindness of friends and strangers, I have had the opportunity to reflect on the idea of serendipity. Bob and Janet didn’t make the first half and meal at Wrights, Bob’s shop was open for inspections. Had Bob chosen to skip the PreHibernation run, I know I would have had help from other club members, but none, I believe I can say without offence to any, with Bob’s expertise. The result of all this being that an experience that had all the potential to be very unpleasant, becomes a pleasant memory created by the kindness of friends and strangers.

Just another pleasant Miata experience.

Bob Brewer

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