What are the chances that I come across two people with broken down vehicles two days in a row? Well, apparently pretty high.
You will recall that yesterday I told you about Vincenzo and his “ghetto dealership” purchase that resulted in a $700 trip to the mechanic. Well, today I want you to meet Kathryn.
I was a few blocks from home when I passed a car with the hood up and the door wide open parked on 20th Street in front of a small park. As I walked by I scanned the surrounding area but didn’t see anyone who looked like they owned the car. Perhaps someone was unloading something and just left the door ajar. I decided to walk back and take a seat on a nearby bench and just observe the car for a few minutes. As I got to the bench I noticed a woman sitting in the park who was occasionally looking over her shoulder toward the abandoned Audi.
“Is that your car?” I asked
“Yes it is. I can’t get it to start,” Kathryn told me.
Wearing a floral sleeveless blouse and white pants, Kathryn explains that she thinks her battery is dead. “It just goes tick, tick, tick.” I offered to go get my car, which was a few blocks away, and try to give her a jump.
“Oh, that’s ok. I’ve already called my husband as well as a mechanic, so one of them should be here soon.”
The fifty-something year old DC resident is married and has two step-daughters. She explains that she often drives to the Dupont Circle Metro and leaves her car there and takes the subway to where she needs to go. “I came back and it wouldn’t start.”
About this time the mechanic called Kathryn. He was nearby but was having difficulty navigating some of the tricky streets near our location. Since I knew the area quite well, I offered to talk to him. She handed me the phone and I guided him through about a half-dozen streets until he arrived.
By that time her husband was also there.
The mechanic grabbed a large yellow portable battery charger and within seconds had it connected to Kathryn’s battery and she was able to start the car.
Kathryn was reluctant to take the $10, but in the end accepted it and told me that she would pass it on to someone else. I hope that she checks the website and shares with us what she did with the ten spot.
I got the following email from Kathryn…
It is Kathryn and I met you on a very hot Sept. 17 at Dupont circle
when the battery of my car went dead.
I wanted to let you know that on Oct. 9 at Union Station I met and had a conversation with a homeless man named Fred. He hangs out on Mass. Ave 1/2 block from Union Station. I sat and spoke with him while I was waiting to pick up a friend.
He was so happy to have the $10.00 (Pay it Forward) and I told him to please buy some good food to eat. We also talked about the possibility of him learning to cook so that he might help out in a restaurant. It is a small world because when I dropped my friend at Union Station on Oct. 11 Fred was in the same spot. He was having some lunch and that made me smile. He seemed in a good way.
Thanks again for stopping to help me when I was in need. It felt so good to pass the money on to Fred. Keep him in your prayers. There are a lot like him out there.