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From Our Latest Issue: Kindersley’s Hidden Heroes

By Mallorie Rast

The tread of the car tires hummed against the pavement of Highway 7 as I headed home from work. Two of my sisters quietly chatted back and forth about their day as I acted the part of the silent and immovable chauffeur. It was the evening before Canada Day, and I was ready for a break.

A vigorous jerking of the steering wheel snapped me back from my dreams of chocolate and pink rubber boots. I found my arms straining like a bench-presser (without the added effect of actually possessing impressive muscles) as I sought to control the violent shaking of the car.

Just as quickly as the jerking came, it left, and the car purred like a docile kitten–without the benefit of a working gas pedal. Harkening back to my emergency-response training (trustily gleaned from juvenile mystery novels), I quickly decided that the best course of action would be to remove myself from the highway.

Coasting to the nearest grid, I attempted to steer the now quietly sobbing car into an inconspicuous position—tough slugging. Momentum ceased, and I straddled the gravel road that ran next to Kindersley’s John Deere dealership. Getting out to assess the situation, I observed that the car was about as unobtrusive as an 8-inch anchor bolt in the side of a tractor tire.

Instructing my driving-aged sister to take the wheel, I dug my cowgirl boots into the wet gravel in an attempt to shove the car forward and off to one side. Nothing doing. After creating a memo on my phone that read “consider working out more,” I proposed the risky venture of us both pushing the car until momentum was our friend, and she could then steer the car by reaching through the window.

After considerable effort with unequal results, and a memo changed from “consider working out more” to “need to work out more,” I crawled back into the car to regroup my plan of action. An SOS phone call soon had my knight in shining armour, a.k.a Daddy, racing to my rescue. All I could do now was wait, and attempt to retain as much dignity as a girl with be-mudded boots in a broken car on the side of a road can.

A shout drew my attention out the window, and I looked out to see a handful of grinning young men, coming off their workday at the dealership. Their attention caught by my less-than-obscure-signs-of-distress, some drove, and others walked over to my stationary vehicle.

After briefly assessing the situation, one of them kindly offered, “well, the least we can do is give you a tow, so you are safely off the road.” He had a good point, the road was frequently used by semi-trucks hauling grain or sand, and the thought of the car ending up under the hood of a truck was not one that made me jump up and click my heels together in joy.

Further inspection revealed the small Ford Focus did not possess anything handy like a tow hook. Nothing daunted, my road angels cheerfully piled behind my car and pushed me several dozen meters until I was off the road and safely in the confines of the John Deere dealership lot. Politely wishing me a good evening and best of luck fixing the problem, they grinned again and left.

As more dealership employees left for home, two others came over to ascertain that I was alright. One gallantly offered my sisters and I a lift back to our farm, and the other very kindly lent what assistance and knowledge he could before my dad arrived with tools. As I recounted the tale to my dad, I suddenly realized how many people halted their vacation plans to help a perfect stranger stranded on the side of the road.

To all of my hidden heroes, I didn’t catch your names, nor had the words to properly express my gratitude at the time–but I’m hoping you will read this and know that your acts of kindness and generosity turned a crummy situation into a memory that makes me smile. Communities are founded upon acts of selflessness and kindness; it is good to know that these qualities are still found in ours.

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