Years Ago I Was On A Summer Road Trip With Some Friends From Dallas To Austin

By A Friend • April 29, 2024

Years ago I was on a summer road trip with some friends from Dallas to Austin. On the way down, the battery meter on my dashboard started acting funny. Jumping up then dropping down, all sorts of weird stuff.

We make it down to Austin and we're supposed to go see my one friend's show, but I say I'm going to run to an Autozone and see about buying a new battery (it was 6 or 7 pm and I assumed all the mechanics were closed) (I should also say that this is way before smart phones were a thing, and only one of us even owned a cell phone). I buy a new battery and install it in the parking lot. Turn the car on, and it's not the battery that was the issue.

I go and meet my friends after the show and say we should leave that night instead of the next morning. My rationale being that if we drive at night, we won't need the AC (this is Texas in the middle of the summer so even at night it's going to be hot, but not unbearable) and therefore can use less battery power.

We all pile in my car and get about 20 miles outside the city when my car dies. While we didn't need AC we did need headlights. We're pulled over on the side of the road, my friend with the cell phone calls AAA, and they say it'll be an hour or so before anyone is able to make it out.

While we're standing there on the side of the road, in the near pitch black, a truck pulls over in front of my car. A man gets out and starts walking towards us. All of my friends take a step back, nominating me to do the talking first.

The man asks us what the problem is, I reply that my car's dead. He says he has a tow chain in the back of his truck, and would be able to tow us to Dallas, which is about 200 miles away. This seems like a terrible idea since I'll have to ride in my car steering and using the brakes since it's only going to be attached by a chain. But I was 19 years old and stupid, so after my friends and I talk it over, we say OK. He says that he's got a small trailer at his place about 50 miles away that we could use to tow my car, but until then, I'm steering a dead car about 3 feet away from this guy's bumper.

Myself and my ex girlfriend are in my car, and my other two friends are in the truck. It wasn't until later that I learned the story of the truck driver from my friends who were riding with him. Turns out, a year or so earlier he'd been diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. Instead of doing treatment he decided to accept his fate and spend whatever time he had left driving all over Texas helping people who were stranded on the side of the road.

I can't remember his name anymore, but I'll never forget him rescuing us that night.


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