Being a good Samaritan is something that never goes out of style, regardless if you’re a millennial

by Ryan Collins
This article will be a little dated by the time it hits the newsstands, but like someone once told me, a good story shouldn’t have a shelf life.
This isn’t a classic or anything like that, but it was a story I don’t think I’ll forget anytime soon.
It was just one of those things in life like many others that has a tendency to compound over the course of a day when things are going a certain way. They were certainly going a certain way that Saturday.
This story I must warn our readers will be a little damning for the author, but humility never hurt anyone as far as I’m aware.
It all started early that morning, fresh off a snow in the mountains. I headed north to Grand County and that eternally busy Moab, where everything seems to be coming and going at all times, no matter the month or season.
I was destined to spend some time with Jenny Wilson, whom some of our readers may have read about last week.
Some may have skipped over that story after reading the first few words if they got that far. This has a little to do with that meeting with Wilson.
This story really starts when I said goodbye to Mrs. Wilson and headed in the opposite direction. They asked me to come to lunch with them after spending the better part of the morning together, but I politely declined, saying, “I must be on my way back to San Juan County.” I thanked them for their time and headed South.
I know it’s 50 miles, I’ve driven it at least 20 times now over the course of the past month. I know that it consumes more gas than you think, but in one of those brilliant flashes of pure stubbornness that never turns out very well – other than to learn lessons – I carried on without filling my tank.
I’ve cut it close before in this car, and I have always counted on the tested fact that when it hits the yellow gaslight, I have around 40 miles to get to a pump before I’m walking to the gas station.
So when the yellow light came on and I was 20 miles outside of Monticello, I calmly thought to myself that I had this one in the bag and it really shouldn’t be a problem for me to make it into town.
But as I started to climb Peters Hill, I felt the engine do the first momentary give out, signaling the gas light wasn’t messing around. I would try and ease the manual into a different gear to get some catch, but before long I saw the writing on the wall.
I calmly continued to try to gain ground to the top of the hill before beginning the long walk into town. It was a nice enough afternoon and there was no trouble in walking. It would actually be a good opportunity to see the six miles leading into Monticello from the North.
I grabbed the gas can from my trunk and started the walk into town. A quick look behind me after fifteen or so minutes gave me an idea of the progress I had made, and it wasn’t much. Maybe just over a mile from the looks of it.
I knew that I was about six miles outside of town, judging by the odometer which I had reset just when I was leaving Moab that read 44 miles.
Rudimentary math danced around in my head (it was never my strong suit in school) about distance and time. Glancing at my phone, I figured this would take up a big portion of my afternoon.
I would get into town and either get a ride or drive my truck to the beached car and fill it enough to get back to town and get a ride at some point.
It may have been my matching red gas can, but before long a red truck pulled over, and when I approached the cab, I saw there was no room in the front, so I signaled to the driver and passenger that I was going to jump in the back.
They gave the thumbs up, and I jumped in the bed of the truck as the driver sailed down the road the moment I sat down. The wind sped through my hair, almost blowing off my sunglasses as the driver picked up speed into the October afternoon.
I got a look at the countryside with the stark cold of the early winter hitting the edges of my eyes and mouth, making me keenly aware of the oncoming winter season as I glanced at the glistened Abajos.
“These guys are pretty nice,” I thought to myself in the back of the truck, kicking myself for not filling up in Moab, thus avoiding the entire situation.
When we came to town, the red truck went past the first gas station and went to the second in town.
When I got out of the back, the driver of the red truck informed me that he was going to go grab an air tank and he would be back in a few minutes to fill it up at the air station, pointing to the filling station a few hundred feet away.
The man said he would give me a ride back to my car because he had to go out to his ranch and do some work after he filled the tank. I looked at the two men, one significantly older than the other, and I was a baby compared to the two of them. I heartily thanked the two, telling them that I truly appreciated the gesture.
I got my gas and ten minutes went by before I started to get a little nervous that I may have messed the meeting place up as the driver pointed to “over there.”
I began to look around Blue Mountain Foods and the surrounding buildings before the red truck pulled up next to me and the driver, half laughing, said, “I’m going to fill my compressor up at that tank over there.” He pointed to the big air tank just behind me.
I laughed with them and walked over to the tank, as they got out of the truck and began to fill the small compressor in the bed of the truck.
The driver stuck his hand out at me and introduced himself as Commissioner Bruce Adams. I took a double take at him and told him that I had seen him on television before and that I was the new editor in town.
It was Bruce’s father with him I was later told, and they both looked at each other and gave a big grin. We had fun with the circumstance for a second before they were done filling the compressor up.
“I feel really bad there isn’t room up in the cab,” Bruce said to me.
“Beggars can’t be choosers,” I told him as I gladly hopped in the back of the truck and we were down the road again.
We got to the beached vehicle, and Bruce got out of the truck and came and helped me get the car running again. He wanted to make sure I got it running before he left. It turned over on the second try.
“You’re sailing again,” he told me as I thanked him and informed him I owed him one. “We take care of each other around here,” he said to me.
What an interesting way to meet the chair of the County Commission. I want to say thank you again to Bruce and his father for taking the time out of their busy life and helping a stranger in need. It was a good thing to do, especially when they discovered I was the new editor.
In the end, I thanked him as a “gentleman and a scholar” and learned that being a good Samaritan truly never goes out of style, even if you’re a millennial like myself.

San Juan Record

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Monticello, UT 84535

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