Family Discovers Wonderful People On Way To Strawberry

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We were unprepared, we admit it, when we took off in our sweet old yellow Caddy from Chandler to Payson last Friday. We were scouting out the trail to Strawberry, where in two weeks, our children's bluegrass band will perform at the old Schoolhouse.

The water hose burst, leaving us near Sunflower. We had one screwdriver and removed the hose and stood with our stuff by the side of the road.

Joe and Tabitha stopped and took us in the back of their pickup all the way to Payson. We got the hose and they took us all the way back and helped install it. A tool had to be borrowed from another family hauling hay. And then a gallon of water was offered by a couple who stopped with their motor home.

Joe and Tabitha followed us, but alas, the red lights flashed again and we had to stop before the engine itself went. Fortunately, we managed to get to a beautiful rest stop. Here, we deduced that the thermostat was stuck. We couldn't remove it. We sent the young couple and her father on their way because it was getting dark.

We were still trying to get the thermostat off. A nice young dad gave us a boxwrench and left as he was in a hurry. We continued to work. We called the Department of Public Safety and got the numbers of tow trucks, but no mechanics. The rest stop was a good place to be.

Out of the night came another "road angel." Mark just happened to be a mechanic, and in no time he had the thermostat out, but we only had some cardboard to use as a gasket. That installed, Mark and his wife, Debbie, followed us to Payson.

Of course, the red lights flashed and once again we were in trouble. We got the car a few more miles down the road and parked on a cemetery road. Mark and Debbie took us to Payson with our stuff. The parts stores were closed as it was already nearly 10 p.m. We got some more water at their friend's house, a Whopper at Burger King, and we returned to the poor yellow Caddy. A little cooler by now, we poured in more water and got to town. We spent the night at Best Western and were treated very nicely.

On Saturday morning, my husband went down to Carquest and got the part and was even loaned the tools to install it. The fellow at Carquest was especially helpful. We didn't get his name, but he also was responsible for selling us the hose the day before and remembered our predicament.

Finally we were on our way to Strawberry and could only marvel at the wonderful people we had encountered on our way. They were truly unconditionally helpful and showed the true spirit of brother/sisterhood. Thanks to everyone.

Anni and Vincent Beach, Chandler, Ariz.

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