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A Rocky Start

Already a tad nervous about my trip, I set out on Tuesday afternoon for Indianapolis. I normally hate road travel, but this time I convinced myself that the trip would be fun. After all, when’s the last time I had two and a half hours to sit and listen to NPR while not also doing laundry, working, or cooking?

An hour outside of Louisville, at mile marker 25 on I-65 North in Indiana, I ran into a tiny complication: a flat on my right front tire. This development stunk for several reasons:

  • I wanted to get to Indy before predicted bad weather hit.
  • I was stuck on a particularly busy stretch of I-65 with many trucks whizzing by at 70 mph.
  • I was hungry.

As I sat in the car, hazards on, sitting on the passenger side on the line with AAA, I saw a singularly beautiful sight, a Scott County Indiana police officer.

Now is the time I’d like to personally thank Officer Tracy, a man who set up signal flares, changed my tire for me, jumped my battery (which went dead while I sat sitting with lights and hazards on), called ahead to Big O Tires in Scottsburg to have them stay open past their standard business hours, and then escorted me there. When I asked for his card at the end so I could thank him, he replied, “I’m just doing my job, ma’am.”

Heck of a job, Officer Tracy. Heck of a job.

At Big O Tires, I had an interesting talk with Darren, a former trucker who quit that job to be near his aging parents. He has to pay out $300 a month in prescription drugs his policy does not cover, and is very worried about the upcoming election. Let me tell you, the man-in-the-street interviews I heard on the radio that night about the exact same issue paled compared to Darren’s passion on the issue.

When I thanked Darren and his team for staying late to help me, they echoed Officer Tracy, “Just doing our job, ma’am.” It’s nice that they think so, but it sure looked like above and beyond the call of duty to me. If this is the Hoosier spirit, I need to take back a fair number of teasing comments from my youth.

After this unplanned adventure, I picked up some food at the Wall-Mart across the street from Big-O (my first ever purchase at a Wall-Mart, incidentally), hit the road, and arrived at my hotel exactly four hours after I left home and just as the big storms hit.

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