The club ride was Saturday only, so Sunday morning found us in the parking lot, waiting for someone else to show up. Paragon’s rule was “minimum group of three”. The two guys that showed up next were equally happy to find us so we could start exploring together.
It turned out to be another great day that wrapped up with us following a creek bed down to a lake, then turning around and needing to pop out up on the core road. The popping out part of my plan wasn’t working, however, and it required a bit of creative driving to get Kevin’s Jeep up and out. Once there, we quickly strapped the others up and headed for the gate. Plenty of time to catch my plane…
At trail speeds, Kevin’s Jeep drove just fine, but as soon as we pulled out onto the highway it was clear something was wrong. A quick inspection identified a missing track bar bolt…a critical component to the steering gear. Kevin grabbed his “tools” (a screwdriver, a pliers, and an adjustable wrench) and I started looking for a non-critical bolt the right size that we could pirate from some other part of the Jeep. About that time, one of our new trail buddies saw us on the side of the road and stopped to see if he could help out. He dug around in his tool box, found a nut and bolt and handed me his wrench. Perfect fit, problem solved.
Then he reached into the box and found another nut and bolt. “You might need a spare,” he said. When I handed back the wrench, he put Karma into motion for me. “Keep the wrench. If that bolt comes loose again, you’ll need the wrench a whole lot more than I will.” A quick look at my watch reminded me that we had to get going if we were going to get to Philly in time to make my flight.
As I sat on the plane later that evening, I thought about that wrench, now sitting in Kevin’s toolbox. I have half a dozen just like it at home, in my shop, or in the console of my truck, but at that moment in time, sitting on the side of the road, it was a priceless gift that sent me homeward bound. Somehow, somewhere, I will be called upon to loan a tool to someone. I will give away that tool freely, with no regrets, because I was lucky enough to have someone give me one when I desperately needed it.
If Karma is real, I surely don’t want to be on the wrong side of it. My son understood the concept and agreed it would be best to do good things often and bad things never. As the campfire burned down, I knew that quality time like that, with a successful outcome (he’ll be a teenager soon enough) was time well spent. I hope the story works for you as well.
And if you happen to be driving along in Delaware and see a white TJ with a monkey on the spare tire and broken down on the side of the road, please stop and help him out. I’m pretty sure Kevin still doesn’t carry a toolbox with anything more than four pieces!
Related – A Girl and a Winch
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