‘Small-town sensibility’

Dear Editor:

It seems difficult these days to stay optimistic about our state of affairs, but a recent experience we had certainly gives us hope. On our way to Southampton to house sit for friends, we stopped very early in the morning at Tim Hortons in Harriston.

As we were about to order at the drive-thru window, our camper van suddenly stopped. With several cars behind us and an apparent dead battery, we were in a quandary. Immediately, a man directly behind us named Steve, came to our assistance and helped us push our vehicle ahead and temporarily out of the way. We then called our friend Mike in Harriston, who within five minutes, came to help us with his car. Meanwhile, Steve had unexpectedly returned, having gone back home to retrieve his portable battery charger.

Unfortunately, our van wouldn’t start, so we had to resort to holding up the drive-thru line and with the help of two other strangers, we pushed our heavy van into the Tim Hortons parking. Our friend Mike had texted his friend Glenn at Minto Auto Centre who suddenly appeared with his tow truck. He quickly assessed the situation, returned to his shop with our friend and came back with a loaner van which he graciously gave us for the weekend. Everyone there then helped us unload our van and re-pack the loaner van. Glenn insisted we get on our way while he and our friend Mike would get our van towed to his shop.

We were back on the road to Southampton within 30 minutes of having stalled and were able to fully enjoy our house-sitting weekend with our family. This type of experience we’re sure happens everywhere, but it seems that this type of immediate, unselfish help is part of what we might call “small-town sensibility”.

Regardless, we were immensely grateful to our friends and the strangers who helped restore in us some well-needed optimism in the good nature of people.

Grant and Debi Browning,