Car trouble in Tryon

Published 10:00 pm Friday, March 11, 2016

Tryon is a strange and wonderful place. I don’t want to live anywhere else.

This past week I had a little car trouble. Let’s just say I was without a car for a few days (still am actually) but that’s not the point of this story.

A few days ago, I get “the call” from my wife – you know the one every husband dreads that starts like this: “Honey, there is smoke coming from the hood and we’re stranded on the interstate. And, there is a strange man approaching us with a crowbar . . .”

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Ok, so maybe they weren’t “on” the interstate or even “stranded” but there was smoke and a strange noise coming from the engine. Luckily, the DVD player was still working so my kids were not harmed in any way.

So, I did what any self-respecting man would do in that situation, I called AAA. I’m kidding, again. Instead, I took the “when things break, we fix them” approach. We don’t just go running to the mechanic. We’re the Baughmans!

I asked my wife to bring the car to my office so she could use my car while I investigated further. It’s Girl Scout cookie selling season, and we can’t let a little car trouble get in the way of cookie sales.

When I confirmed that smoke was actually bellowing from under the hood, I knew this issue was outside of my expertise. I’m good at checking the oil, filling-up the wiper fluid and changing out a dead battery but that’s about it. It was time to consult a professional, local mechanic. And you all know who I’m talking about. What surprised me the most was what happened next.

As I was walking back to my office from the local mechanic, not one but four different people tried to give me a ride. My walk was barely a few hundred yards, and I’m not that popular, but the sight of me hoofing it down the street seemed to create a lot of concern among passers by. People were literally stopping in the middle of Trade Street, asking if I was OK. At one point, there was a four car backup as I engaged in a conversation with someone while they were driving their car. Where else on planet Earth does something like this happen? Nowhere, that’s where.

It was a reminder of how lucky we are to live in such a kind, caring and sometimes quirky community.

Moral of this story? Don’t let an opportunity pass you by to be helpful to someone, and, if you’re ever feeling sorry for yourself, just go for a walk.

And for those of you who offered me a ride, thank you.