Busted Down in San Berdoo

Jul 13, 2023

Our car stalled in somewhere off of 3rd street in San Bernardino. Not the nicest part of town.

I had just driven the nearly 1100 miles from Shallowater, Texas. I actually had been stopped by the Highway Patrol at about 11 at night because I was falling asleep near Baker. I probably looked like a drunk driver.

I didn’t have my drivers license or my permit yet so I told the officer my license was in the back of the staton wagon with all of our belongings. We had most of what we owned back there and he wasn’t going to make me go through the many boxes to try to find my non-existent drivers license (thankfully!) . He followed us to a rest area where he asked me to take a nap before I got back on the road to San Bernardino.

We got into town but were driving around aimlessly without a real destination. We were now back in our “home town” but we didn’t have a home anymore.

It was early evening when the car stalled. The hood was up and I was trying to figure out what was wrong. And then it started raining. A California shower. There we were, stuck.

As we were losing hope, a car pulls up driven by a young man, mid 20s with his girlfriend.

“Are you guys OK?” he asked. Then he said something totally unexpected, “do you need a place to stay tonight?” I think we all said yes at the same time. My brother and I went with him. Mom and the girls went with his girlfriend to stay at her house.

That night my little brother and I actually spent the night in a veterinarian’s office. Turns out our new friend was serving a residency at the nearby vet. Tom and I slept on the couch in their lobby. The other option was the stainless steel exam table but that wouldn’t work!

You can’t anticipate the kindness of strangers. When all seems hopeless, someone might just step up to save the day. What a gift he was right when we needed it! Never give up hope.

Can you be that gift for somebody?