Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Angels of the Highway

No, this post is not about those Angels somewhere in Southern California. It has little to do with baseball, except that I had my Sox shirt and hat on while I was headed to Logan with my daughter. She's on her way back to CA as I type, while I stay in RI one more week.

I was on I-93 in Quincy in rainy bumper to bumper traffic when the driver's side windshield wiper fell off. Thank the powers that be that the traffic was slow and that an emergency turn-out showed up about a half mile later. I got out and started fiddling with it, but was not having much luck. I got back in the car to dry out for a moment, still scratching my head, when a knock on the window startled us. It was a tow truck driver, mechanic, and first aid specialist from the "Angels of the Highway" roadside assistance program funded by the Commerce Insurance Co. Not having driven in MA for over 20 years, I had no knowledge of this program, but you could probably hear my sigh of relief all the way back in CA. Thankfully, we had cell phones ready to go, but Plan B was not necessary.

I'm sending out a big shout of thanks to John the driver for his help! I tried to offer him a gratuity for his services, but he graciously turned it down, saying he's just doing his job. I told him I was looking for an umbrella to help keep him dry, but again he said not to bother, he's just doing his job, as he had 8 more hours to go.

We got back on our way and passed through Ted Williams Tunnel. This was my daughter's first solo flight, so I accompanied her as far as they would let an unticketed person could go. I stayed until I could no longer see her, and later received a text message saying she was on the plane. Easily flustered in situations such as this, I was looking for an information booth or a map of Logan and/or Boston when a Logan employee helped me with the self service parking check out machine. I didn't get his name, and I wasn't even 100% sure he was an employee of Logan (I didn't see any identification on his business suit), but big thanks to him as well!

OK, it's only 6 PM, maybe I'll try to find my way to Fenway and Cask 'n Flagon for a brew. I get back in my father's car and the brakes are feeling scarily soft. Not having driven in Boston for an even longer period of time, I deferred to caution and decided to just stay on the highway back to RI.

Dad! Fix your brakes! Yankee fans, sheesh! But he's still my father.

I did have an odd experience the first night I was back. This was primarily a summer cottage neighborhood 40 years ago, far removed from bright urban lights and suburban sidewalks. Every year when I come back, usually about the same time in July, I walk up and down the road that parallels Mount Hope Bay, and then walk down the public right of way and have a seat on the benches just above the beach. As I was walking back to the folk's home, a car comes around the corner with a bright light shining on me. WT.... ? "Hey partner, what're you up to?" came booming from the loudspeaker on the patrol car. He gets out, I tell him I'm just taking a walk. My brother lives in this house that we were immediately next to, and my parents live in the house next door, as I pointed to it. Next thing I knew, he had me assume the position and patted me down. Fortunately, I still had my wallet and ID on me, which he asked me for. He called in the DL#, and I could hear them recite and verify my name and address. Apparently, some neighborhood newbie with nothing better to do called the local constable to say that there was a strange man walking up and down the street. Sheesh. Besides all the McMansions the town zoning commission has crammed into every last available lot, and the neon palm trees, (yes- neon palm trees!), I now have to endure this.

The next night I had my Sox shirt and hat on, and ran into 5 old friends as I took my evening walk. Much better. (I had considered calling the local PD to ask them if it was OK to take a walk, but thought better of the inquiry.)

Now if only the Sox can find their bats. Maybe I'll send them another of my father's old bats from his high school days that I found in the basement. Not to worry, it's still only July, and we're now into the 21st century. No more swoons.

2 comments:

pweezil July 22, 2009 at 5:50 AM  

I just read the post in your other blog that you linked to and all I can say is "Wow". I really hope you get this resolved soon and that you start feeling better. I really enjoy Fenway West and your posts in particular. God bless you.

dave,  July 22, 2009 at 7:55 AM  

Thank you very much.

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