During a recent trip to my home state, Minnesota, we drove our 25 year-old GMC pickup pulling our 5th wheel camper. You may wonder if we are risk takers, but we’ve had the truck serviced when needed for many years and had a safety inspection before leaving. It performs like a champ. The truck did very well all the way, including a reunion picnic with about sixty Hagemeyer relatives near St. Cloud after which we went further west to where I grew up on a farm. After a few visits there, we headed for home.
While driving along a two-lane highway through some of the little towns that dot the farm areas of Minnesota, we were flagged down by a van which passed us. After we pulled over, the van stopped ahead of us and two young fellas in their early twenties jumped out. They informed us they had seen a bearing cap blow off one of the axles on our trailer. When we took a look at it, it was clear we were in trouble. These young men were very concerned we understood that going any further would be dangerous. But they didn’t just tell us to get help and then leave. Before I could get my cell phone out, one of them was already on his phone, searching for the nearest repair place. He called two different garages, learned the first one couldn’t help us until two weeks later. The second was more encouraging. The man cautiously said we could bring it in and he would “look it over.” Fortunately, this garage was only a half mile back down the road. A perfect location for us to get to easily. We turned around and slowly proceeded to its location.
We learned from the two young men that they were AC repairmen on their way to the next town to fix a couple restaurants’ AC systems. After asking where we were headed, a town in Wisconsin where we were to spend the next night with some friends, one of the guys said his uncle is pastor of a church there. We could tell these two are part of the next generation which we do not have to worry about. They cared about us and didn’t leave until they were assured that we would be taken care of, perhaps because they recognized we were quite a bit older than they and our truck was about their own ages.
When we got to the nearby garage, the owner inspected our 5th wheel. He jacked it up, took the wheel off and disassembled the hub, got grease all over his hands and told us we might need a whole new axle, not just the bearings. We had some conversation about that. Next he spent about twenty minutes talking on the phone to a parts supply place about fifteen miles away. While the conversation went on, he went back outside to measure details on the axle, then back on the phone again. He invited me to ride along with him to get the parts and we got better acquainted on the way. After further conversation with the man who ran the parts place, we purchased a set of bearings, seals, outer cap, etc. for less than fifty dollars, which I paid.
When we got back, he carefully installed the parts. Then he cleaned up all the splattered grease on the white wheel and went around to grease the other three axle bearings. He told me to check every hundred miles or so, to feel if any bearings were getting hot. When I asked how much I owed him for his work, he smiled and said, “Oh, you don’t owe me anything. I’m glad I could help you out when you were in a tough
spot.” We were shocked. I reminded him that he even drove his truck to get the parts, and his time was around two hours. Didn’t he need to be paid for that? He smiled DRAFTJS_BLOCK_KEY:1blejand replied that he was the owner of the place and he could do something free if he wanted to. We got into our old GMC and drove away celebrating God’s amazing grace, once again. When we were in trouble, God sent us three angels.
© 2022 Stanley Hagemeyer