The night was pitch black, as nights get. I was leaving a meeting where volunteers has helped grade FFA proficiency forms, and I was one of the volunteers. As the person riding home with me and I approached my car, a fellow volunteer, an ag teacher, Joe McCain, Greenfield Central High School, spied us and called for help. His hood was up on his pickup. His battery was dead.
Batteries will do that sometimes, especially when they're 10 years old. I could relate. Sometimes I just don't want to spend the money- sometimes I forget- but for whatever reason, there are times when I don't change a tire or a battery or an oil leak or burned-out tail light or headlight as fast as I should. Usually bad things happen.
I never was so relieved and thankful as I was on a late Sunday morning after church a few years ago when a complete stranger saw me beside my old red farm truck at a farm supply store, hood up, going nowhere. He offered to give me a jump. The day seemed a little brighter after that. He jumped my truck, it fired up and I took off for home. If I remember right, I decided maybe it was time to break down and replace that old battery so I didn't get stuck again.
So I pulled my car over in front of McCain's truck the other night- fortunately he had jumper cables- and my passenger hooked them up. I revved my motor some, whether it really helps or not I don't' have a clue, especially since my battery is fairly new, but it makes me feel like it should help, so I do it.
I heard that thud of a starter trying unsuccessfully to engage a couple times, then finally his lights got brighter and I could hear his truck running. But before the jumper cables were completely removed , it died again. This might not end too well.
Fortunately, the second time it started he revved his engine several times, waited a few minutes and then drove off. I'm trusting he made it home.
Ironic part of this story is that during the grading session, he told everyone how he liked reading my true but funny columns, especially about the one where I lost the load of hay in the middle of US Highway 31. He could relate to two of my students driving by, waving and honking, but not stopping to help. He allowed he had a couple of those at Greenfield Central as well.
Little did he know that in just an hour or so, he would become part of one of my stories. Be careful about what and whom you laugh about, Joe!