Imagine if you will two women driving down the Florida Highway. My friend Shirley and I had spent a few leisurely hours spinning the reels at WindCreek before buying a few chances on the Mega Millions at “The Goose” and taking backroads home.
We had also went through the Arby’s drive-thru and taken advantage of their four for ten dollar roast beef deal and everything was going along exceedingly well, until it wasn’t.
Initially we thought it was the road surface. We were traveling smoothly along – enjoying our sandwiches – and then we were bouncing raggedly.
It didn’t seem to be any issue with the engine. And then I asked, “You don’t reckon we could have a flat tire do you?”
I stopped at the stop sign at the intersection of the Florida Highway and Highway 31. To be exact, we were in Canoe. We both exited the car and started circling in a clockwise direction assessing the situation, still holding our roast beefs, and sure enough the back tire on the driver’s side was flat.
We got back in the car and I was able to pull safely off of the road into the edge of an adjacent field. I called my husband back in Wilcox County to deliver the news. He was willing to be on the way, but agreed we could probably have it changed – with it being the two of us – before he could get there. He felt that if we got out of the car and started on it that someone would stop and help. He said, “If you two get out and bend over to start changing the tire…somebody will stop.”
So we both popped out and unpacked the jack and the spare, neither of which had ever been used, and he was right. We had no more than cranked the jack a couple spins before someone stopped. It was an official Alabama State Trooper complete with the reflective emblems on his car. He flipped on those blue lights we generally try and avoid, and I don’t want to exaggerate, but we were absolutely thrilled to see him.
My jack failed. It bent. But the state trooper had an extra he was about to try. The edge of the field was a mix of pavement and mud and we didn’t want the state trooper to get the knees of his pants dirty, so I had a tarp in the trunk I had spread over the ground. It was a severe weather day. The wind was blowing strong and the clouds were approaching.
That is when things took a turnaround. A blue truck pulled in between my car and the state trooper. A man named Jesse stepped out without saying a word and rolled a hydraulic jack under my car like a yo-yo. He came complete with a impact wrench and an air compressor to fill the spare.
The officer stepped back, and stood guard.
I asked him if the state trooper had called him or if he had just stopped, and he said he had just happened along and had the tools. We thanked him and I offered to pay him. He said, “No ma’am, y’all have been my blessing today.” And just as he had arrived, he disappeared into traffic. We thanked Officer Moore too. His shift had ended. He was on his way home. He didn’t have to stop.
The whole experience from our first noticing to being back on the road only took 25 minutes. Canoe, Alabama just has to be one of the best places in Alabama to have a flat tire.
Amanda Walker is a columnist and contributor with AL.com, The Birmingham News, Selma Times Journal, Thomasville Times, West Alabama Watchman, and Alabama Gazette. Contact her at Walkerworld77@msn.com or at https://www.facebook.com/AmandaWalker.Columnist