Letter to the Editor

May 20, 2009

Clear Spring kindness appreciated

To the editor:

Dear Hagerstown/Clear Spring Community:

On Saturday, April 25, my 83-year-old mother and I were traveling along Interstate 70 to visit some friends in Pennsylvania, when we realized we had a flat tire. In the next minute, as if by magic, the exit ramp to Clear Spring appeared. In truth, the exit could have been for Bedford Falls or any other place legendary for good people and good deeds.

We pulled into the BP station that is right there when you get off the interstate. It has no garage, but we had to stop, and we figured that someone at the station would know where a garage was.

My mother got out of the minivan first and was walking toward the building, when a white pick-up truck with a seal on the door pulled into the gas station. Maybe my mother mistook it for a tow truck, but she ran over and yelled, "Help! Help! We have a flat tire." Two men instantly leapt out of the truck, although they might as well have been wearing white hats and leaping off of horses. "Don't worry, ma'am," one of them said, "we'll fix it for you!"


I walked over to the men and asked them if they knew where a garage was where I could get the tire looked at. "We'll put the spare on for you, ma'am," one of them said. I vehemently declined, "No, no, no, you don't have to do that. It's too much trouble. I'm sure you are very busy. If you could just tell me where a garage is." One of them smiled at me and gave me a look: "Ma'am, I don't know where you are from, but you are in Clear Spring now, and we take care of ladies in distress here. We will put the spare tire on for you." And so they did with great patience, perseverance, humor and friendliness.

These two men were Tim Abe and Wayne Eckley from the Claud Kitchens Outdoor School. Not only did they take time out of their Saturday to help us, but they did so in the midst of a very busy Earth Day celebration at their school. It was probably their lunch break.

While we are sure the Clear Spring community already knows the sterling character of these two citizens from many past acts of civility, we thought we should reveal their latest act of kindness to two strangers who were just passing through.

We could not be more grateful to them for their Good Samaritan aid. It turned what was at face an unpleasant, inconvenient event into one of unexpected pleasure and delight. We offered them money, recognition, even beer, but they strongly demurred, just asking that we do a kindness to someone else in our turn.

We will, of course, being doing lots of random acts of kindness wherever we go, but we our first act had to be to thank these two gentlemen publicly for their help.

Judith Adams
Diana Adams Hatchett
Rockville, Md.

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