i A Time and a Place...: Help, I've Lost My Glasses...

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Help, I've Lost My Glasses...

I may have told this before. I woke up this morning thinking about it so I'll tell it again.

In 1957 I was driving truck for J H Marks Trucking Company out of Pueblo, Colorado. There were five other drivers who did the same thing, haul pipe from the CFI mill to oil rigs in Texas, New Mexico and anywhere else it was needed. Sometimes two or more of us went together. This particular time I was hauling a load of pipe to Texas alone. On the route I was taking to my destination, I went through part of Oklahoma.

It was winter time and had been raining. I started out in the daytime but, by the time I got to Boise City, Oklahoma, it was nighttime. The rain had stopped and the pavement glistened each time a vehicle passed going in the opposite direction.(everything was two lane in those days before freeways)

When I started through Boise City, I had to detour around the city part and follow a truck route. That was standard for those days. Just about every town of any size had a truck route around the downtown.

I turned to the right and proceeded at a liesurely pace, going through a sparsely settled residential area. There was no other traffic at this time of night, about 1:00 am or so. The road was wet and the shoulder was very narrow, almost non-existent. There was a small ditch running along the road, carrying off rainwater to some distant destination.

As I was driving along slowly, I saw a light flashing ahead. It flashed back and forth and when I grew nearer, I saw it was an old man with a flashlight. He had walked across a plank walkway that ran from his yard, across the ditch to the road. I could see it was four 1X12s about 16 feet long, two doubled and laid side by side and nailed together to make the walkway.

He was standing right on the shoulder of the road, waving his light at me. I pulled over as far as I could. I didn't get all the way off the road because it was muddy and I didn't want to slide into the ditch. However, there was no other traffic on the road so it didn't matter.

I got out of the truck and walked over to the old man and asked him what the problem was. He had on a light jacket and was shivering with the cold. He said he had lost his glasses somewhere in the house and he was blind without them. He didn't have a phone so he had been careful and crossed the plank walkway and made his way out here to get help. He said he had been out here for quite a while, waiting for someone to come along. I was the first to come along. He asked if I would come into his house and help him find them.

I led him back inside and looked around for his glasses. The house was small, only a single room that contained the living area, kitchen area and the bed. It had a small table with two chairs and a sofa with an end table and lamp. A single light bulb with no shade hung from the ceiling. This bulb was on and it cast a faint light. It was probably a 30 watt bulb at most.

I started walking around the room looking for the glasses. I finally found them on a chair that was pulled slightly back from the small table. I handed them to him and he put them on. He marveled that he had laid his glasses on the chair. He thanked me and offered to pay me for helping him. He asked if I would share a cup of coffee with him or if I were hungry, he could fix us something to eat. I told him his thanks was enough and I needed to go.

He thanked me again and again all the way back to the truck. I pulled off the shoulder onto the roadway and I could see the light from his flashlight in my rightside mirror until I was out of sight.

I still remember how good it felt to help that old man. Those were the days!



Blogger bigwhitehat said...


You gave me an idea for a post too.

God bless Jimbo!

2:21 PM  
Blogger MonicaR said...

That's a nice story. Life was different. I hope that if someone needs my help that my eyes are open enough to recognize what I can do.

8:35 PM  

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