Anonymous helpers come to motorists’ aid
Published Jan. 29, 2019
To the Editor,
While heading home to Bobcaygeon via County Road 1, mid-morning Monday, Jan. 21 after spending a long weekend near Haliburton, the car suddenly started making horrible noises and I pulled off immediately. The left-front tire was completely flat; the sun was shining, but the temperature was -27C.
We were stopped right at the intersection of Nichols Road, where there is a nice residence – but no one was home! CAA was not answering, a local towing service had no truck available, a second was on message.
So at age 78½ I started to pull our luggage and provisions out of the cargo area to get the jack-set and doughnut-spare. After some difficulties with the custom-jack, the point to loosen the lug-nuts was reached. None of the five would move, not even a squeak, although I’m using my own X-shaped wrench for the leverage.
Just then another car finally stopped. The driver, hearing this, decided to pull over and try. He had a senior couple as passengers, but when he got out he was using a cane for steadying. Although bigger and stronger than I, those lugs were not moving. Eventually, in desperation, we tried applying weight!
Whilst he held the wrench firm on a nut, I stood my 240 pounds on the cross-arm that had to go downwards – there was a squeak – and a mini-jump made the nut turn. Relief came four turned lugs later. We then continued the jacking, removed the wheel, continued the jacking – and discovered the custom-jack could not raise high enough to get the doughnut on!
My helper-friend then went looking along the road and found a piece of wood about two inches thick that we could place under the jack to attain sufficient height. So we laid the removed wheel flat under the side of the car and lowered the car onto it, reset the jack on the wood, and cranked it up again. Despite some alignment difficulty, we got the spare on the five bolts and tightened!
At some point my Good Samaritan said he had been driving his father to a hospital, so when I tried to offer some leftover alcoholic beverages for them to take with them, it was refused for various health reasons. We compromised on them taking some treats made from healthy food items – after I said we don’t buy junk treats! We believe these people are from the Haliburton/Minden area, or somewhat north. If you recognize them, compliment them – they are great!
Anita and Ian Gourley
Bobcaygeon and Chandler Point