Home Opinion Mine Creek Revelations by Louie Graves: Cleverly hidden tire tools and a...

Mine Creek Revelations by Louie Graves: Cleverly hidden tire tools and a lonely, lonely road


FIRST, THE GOOD NEWS. My insurance guy tells me that I saved a couple of bucks when I opted to buy automobile insurance without ‘roadside assistance.’ I’m always glad when I can save a few bucks.

NOW THE OTHER NEWS. After a splendid, informative and interesting day spent with our Howard County Farm Family of the Year last Tuesday, I asked the dad for tips for getting back to Nashville with ease.

We were at the Nathan and Nicole Hill farm in the beautiful blue mountains of North Howard County, in a spot so remote that there is no cell phone service. The Hills are the county’s honored farm family and I was there to get pics and write an article.

Well, since I so rarely use my phone, it’s not a problem for me, I said smugly to myself. Why, oh why do I tempt fate like that?

Farmer Hill’s directions were to go down a nearby dusty little road for about six miles and I’d come to a paved road which would eventually take me to within a few miles of Newhope.

Did you think I was joking when I said it was remote?

With a wave I drove away from the farmhouse.

Almost exactly three miles later I had a flat tire. REAL flat. I managed to back my buggy off the dusty little road onto a trail which emerged from the woods at that very spot.

Yep, it was flat. No cell phone service, so I couldn’t call either AAA or Alfred Neeley. Besides, I don’t think AAA or a pack of bloodhounds could have found me even if I could have called them.

It looked like my best choice would be to hike back to the Hills’ place and get them to take me to where I could get a phone signal. And then I remembered hearing their kids talking excitedly about going swimming and playing baseball after the visitors left. It would be just my luck that after my three-mile hike I’d find an empty farmhouse.

I stood there feeling sorry for myself. This couldn’t get worse, I stoopidly said. The rain began.

In a bit I heard a noise. My goodness, it was a Guardian Angel, a pickup truck with two good ole boys and a good ole girl emerging from that narrow trail in the woods.

Pardon me gents, I said in my my most humble voice, would you please help me change a tire?

We’d be glad to help, they said, acting like it would be fun.

Where’s your jack? I don’t know.

Where’s those rods you use to lower the spare tire? I don’t know.

We searched under the seats and in the console and under the hood and under the seats and in the console and under the hood and under the seats and in the console and under the hood and we could find neither the jack nor the rods for lowering the spare tire.

Where’s your owner’s manual? It will tell us where to look for the jack and those rods.

I don’t know. I must have left it at home. The good ole boys and good ole girl just looked at each other without comment. There are times when words aren’t necessary.

Another vehicle came down the road. Counting mine, and the good ole boys and girl, it was probably the third vehicle all day long.

I flagged the driver down. Well, actually, I got out in front and dared him to run over me.

It was Marc Jackson, the banker who had been with me at the Farm Family’s house, and he was using the same shortcut Nathan Hill had recommended.

He helpfully asked if we had looked for the jack or the rods to lower the spare tire. Me and the good ole boys and girl just looked at each other. There are times when words just aren’t necessary.

But I stoopidly thought to myself:”What else could happen?”

It started to rain harder.

I thanked everyone for their help and I begged Marc to give me a ride to Nashville where I would beg Alfred Neeley to save my hide.

I’m trying to make a long story short.

Marc dropped me off at Alfred’s. Alfred said he’d send a wrecker and a nice guy named Justin to fetch my truck. I asked about costs. “You’ve probably got good car insurance that includes roadside assistance,” is all he said.

Justin and I brought my buggy back to Alfred’s where they promptly lowered the spare tire with the rods that were in plain sight. And they showed me where the jack was stored in plain sight.

”But you won’t need the jack because this tire is ruined and you’ll need a new one.”

Thank goodness I can afford a new tire because I saved so much money by not buying roadside assistance.

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THE TWINS. Cease and Desist. They just want you to stop.

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THINGS I LEARNED from opening email: If at first you don’t succeed, destroy all evidence that you tried.

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HE SAID: “The third-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the majority. The second-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the minority. The first-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking.” A.A. Milne, author and British army veteran of WWI and WWII

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SHE SAID: “Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work: you don’t give up.” Anne Lamott, activist and author

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