“Dad, the gas light is on…,” Grace informed her father.
We were in Logan Canyon, 20 miles from Tony Grove, not a gas station in sight. Unsure how long the gas light had been and unsure how much fuel was left in the tank, Lance was very sure that he did not want to return to Logan and made the decision to press on to Tony Grove, hoping both that we had enough fuel to get there and that, once there, someone would have enough fuel to help us get home.
We got there. First hope realized.
Soon arriving I walked through the parking lot, looking for someone who looked like they may have extra gasoline. Seeing a truck loaded with kayaks, I approached the driver, a gray-haired man about my age.. (Kayaks don’t need gas but trucks do….). “Do you by chance have any gas I could buy from you?” I asked.
“No,” he said. “I am sorry. We don’t have any gas but we do need oil. His [pointing to a young man, in his mid-20’s, probably a son or son-in-law] car drinks the stuff….”
“I may have oil,” I told him and went to search the back of our van. I did not find oil, though I did find many other things, none of them too scary… One of the things I found was an oil additive, designed to stop oil leaks. The instructions on the bottle said to add it with oil. In my vast (NOT!!!) mechanical wisdom, I figured it could be combined with what little oil they had in their car and would probably get them home. They accepted my logic and my offering and offered to pay me, an offer I adamantly refused.
While I was searching my car for oil, they were searching for gas for me. On my behalf they asked the Tony Grove Site Manager for gas He had gas, asked me which vehicle was mine, and went to get his gas-can carrying truck.
While waiting for the gas-can carrying truck to arrive, the son/son-in-law arrived at our van carrying a $5 bill which he thrust at me, thanking me profusely. I graciously accepted his thanks and vehemently refused his money. He tossed the bill in the back of the van and started to walk away. I grabbed the bill, said plaintively “Please don’t do this to me” and hobbled as rapidly as I could after him---which really was not very fast as my knee is still quite stiff. Thankfully he stopped, accepted the bill back, and asked me for a hug instead. Done!
Within minutes the gas guy arrived with a 5 gallon container ⅔ full of fuel. He drained his container into my almost drained tank. Feeling and expressing profuse thanks, I pulled cash from my pocket and tried to pay him. “No,” he said firmly. “I cannot take money.”
“But you will have to buy gas to replace what you put in my tank,” I argued.
“No,” he repeated, this time even more firmly. “I cannot accept your money.”
I put the money away, thanking him again with great feeling.
“You are welcome,” he said. “You can pay me back by returning a favor to someone else.” Done!
God bless America! My 4th of July/Tony Grove experience brought to the forefront one of the reasons I love our great country. Americans are amazing, wonderful, utterly fabulous people. It is people like these--like the family who asked for gas for me and the man who filled my tank--who make America great.
God bless Americans!! He has blessed us with freedom, prosperity, and a beautiful country. May He bless us for our continued kindness, goodness, and generosity to each other as well.