The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

State & National News

December 16, 2013

Editor stranded in ice storm experiences truest form of humanity

(Continued)

I applied the emergency brake and put the car in park at the bottom of the hill. I stepped outside and was greeted with a blast of cold wind. I called the police, but they said they couldn’t get to me tonight. I called several tow services, all of which did not have vehicles that could make it up the slope that stopped me.  Fear filled my head. Nothing in my life has scared me more than hearing, “We can’t get to you,” from the police.

I tried one more service, Happy Dave’s Wrecker Service. Owner Dave Blaylock answered the phone and lived up to the name of his company. He told me with a jovial sound in his voice, “I’ll be there in 20 minutes.” True to his word, Blaylock arrived, hopped out of his truck and attached a cable to my car while cracking jokes. Naturally I thought, “Of course you’re happy. You’re the only game in town. You can charge whatever you want.” Blaylock towed my car to the top of the hill and helped park the vehicle in a small lot. He looked at me, smiled and said, “That’ll be $25.”

I was stunned. Then, he offered to take me to a local community center where volunteers set up a shelter for those stranded by the storm. I happily accepted.

I walked into the shelter at the Whitesboro, Texas, Community Center and was greeted with smiles. Volunteers asked me my name, took me to a cot and offered me soup, which I graciously accepted.

There were about 30 people who took refuge at the shelter. All had the same bewildered and exhausted look about their faces, despite age. We were all connected by an incredible experience.

I fell asleep on a cot, waking only once when a volunteer placed a Red Cross blanket over my body. Apparently I had been shivering.

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