Sara Burnett: Thanks to a stranger
May 9, 2010
I was driving from Vail to Denver in Sunday's snowstorm when I got a flat tire just east of Silverthorne. It was too dangerous to pull over, so I slowly made my way to a gas station in Georgetown. I was alone, and I knew I couldn't change the tire on my SUV by myself. So I called a friend who was about an hour away, sat in my car and waited.
I can't tell you how many people walked by, looked at me and just kept walking. One man even noted, "That doesn't look good," as he passed. It had been a long weekend of work and white-knuckle driving, and as the snow kept coming down, it started to feel like I was never going to get home. Then came a knock on my window.
It was a man from Steamboat Springs offering to help. Before I knew it, he was hard at work jacking up my CR-V and putting on the spare. By the time my friend arrived, this nice man was almost done. He was covered in snow, and I knew he faced a long, uncomfortable drive back to Steamboat.
Yet when I mentioned it, he smiled and said, "It's just water." He wouldn't let me buy him lunch or even a cup of coffee.
And when another woman approached and told him she had a broken windshield wiper and a baby in the back seat, he told her he'd be right over. He was genuinely happy to help.
Before we parted ways, he told me his name was Mike. That's all I know.
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I am kicking myself now for not getting a last name, an address or something so I could deliver a proper thank you. So I thought I would share my appreciation here, in hopes that Mike in the black Nissan Xterra would see it and know how grateful I am.
And if nothing else, it's the kind of story that reminded me that there are good people out there — and how much taking the time out to help others can really make a difference in someone's day.
So, thank you Mike from Steamboat — I owe you one.