Thursday, July 6, 2017
The Kindness of Strangers
We just got back from a wonderful trip to Erie, PA for our niece's wedding. At first, we couldn't get to our hotel. We could see it, down there by the beach, but we couldn't get to it. All we could do was drive helplessly back and forth on a road overlooking the new beachside hotels. Our 15-year-old map didn't even show Bayfront Drive. We pulled into a park, near a couple of porta-potties and saw a scruffy-looking man. His cap said "Vietnam Veteran." After trying to tell us how to get to the hotel, our rescuer gave up and volunteered to drive there, with us following.
He pulled into the hotel's exit. The sign said, "One Way, Do Not Enter." My husband spotted an alley behind the hotel and quickly headed for that. He called out to the guy, "Thanks a lot, Buddy. We can take it from here." We were already a little scared of this man, because he seemed--well, a little intense. At the park, he'd confided that he'd been "reborn 36 says ago" and that "the Lord" knew we were lost and sent him to help us out. Also, that we were living in the last days.
Wouldn't you know it? Emerging from the alley and driving into the hotel parking lot, we found our helper had already parked his battered red car. He'd ignored the "Do Not Enter" sign. He got out and insisted on giving us his name and phone number "in case we needed anything." He didn't seem to be hitting us up for money. He was just a nice guy, but maybe a little quirky. We thanked him again and he drove off.