My husband was out on the road yesterday and saw a young man walking his bicycle along the highway. On his return trip Bill saw the young bicyclist was still walking further up the road. Bill did a u-turn and stopped to ask if the young man needed help.
He did. His bike had a flat. He didn't want to fix it - didn't have tools with him - and just wanted to get as close to the bus terminal in Philadelphia as he could. He had about another 25-30 miles to go.
It seems this 28-year-old from Minnesota had bought a new bike and ridden to southeastern Pennsylvania to visit his girlfriend from college. She lives about 20 miles from us. She didn't even let him in the door.
Since he was so close to the Atlantic Ocean - close is a relative term when you're from Minnesota, I guess - he biked to the Jersey Shore (70 miles) and visited with some friends there and in New York City (65 miles).
He was on his way to the Greyhound station in Phila. for a bus trip back home. When my husband stopped to help him, he had just hung up from a call with his mother telling her that he wasn't sure what he was going to do, but was going to try to get to the bus terminal.
It was a Sunday, but a holiday Sunday all the same, so Bill offerred to drive him into the city. They made it to the bus station and the young man got his ride home.
He teaches at home after his career as a freelance photographer in NYC fell victim to the economy. It was an impulsive thing to ride to see his girlfriend in such a way. Such impulses are more unusual in a 28-year-old than, say, a 23- or 21-year-old, the ages of our sons.
The young man told Bill that my husband had restored his sense of humanity when he was at his lowest. He also asked Bill why he helped him. Bill's response: Because it was the right thing to do and he hoped that someone else would do the same for our sons should they ever find themselves in such a predicament.
I hope he made it home safely and called his mother to tell her he was okay.
Causes Jodi Thompson Supports
Unitarian Universalist Service Committee