Home » 2003 Spring Break on Edisto Island

Side of the road on Route 113 in Milford, DE

Sunday, April 27, 2003 - 8:00am by Lolo
193 miles and 3.5 hours from our last stop


What should have been an uneventful drive home quickly turned into a nightmare when we experienced our second flat tire in two days. We were somewhere along Route 113 in Delaware, when we heard a subtle rumble from the back wheels? Fortunately, we were able to pull off the highway onto a side street where Herb felt pretty comfortable about being able to change yet again another tire. However, unlike the first one, which Herb was able to change quite easily, this one had the makings of an epic. No matter how hard he pulled and tugged, the tire would not come off. It was rusted solid to the wheel and wouldn’t budge.

He must have been working on the tire for close to an hour when a car pulled up and out popped a woman dressed in her Sunday finest—polka dot dress, high heeled shoes, and a large straw floppy hat complete with flowers. “Can we be of help?” she asked.

You have to really know Herb to appreciate how amusing and surreal this situation was becoming. He is extremely capable mechanically and like many men has difficulty admitting to needing help, whether it be asking for directions or installing a new furnace. Now, here was this little woman dressed to the nines offering my greasy and frustrated husband assistance in removing a frozen tire.

“My husband and I are Good Samaritans,” she added as an elderly gentleman in his best Sunday suit emerged from the car.

“Thanks,” said Herb, “but I think I’ll just call a tire repair service.”

“You’re not going to find anything open around here on a Sunday,” the gentleman informed us. “I’m you’re best chance in Delaware.”

I must admit that this did not give me a warm and fuzzy. How the heck did these very kind and generous, not to mention well-dressed, people hope to help when my big, strong, mechanically capable husband was at a loss.

I guess there’s some truth to the adage, “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” because these two Good Samaritans were amazing.

The gentleman, who was named Walt, directed Herb to move our RV to his farm just a stone’s throw away, where he had his own 35-foot motorhome and a totally equipped machine shop. While the boys and I had tea and cookies with Walt’s very lovely wife Cecelia, Herb and Walt jacked up the RV and got down to business. After squirting Kroil penetrating oil on the wheel to loosen the rust, they pounded away at it with a hammer for close to 45 minutes before finally setting the rim free from the wheel. They then put the spare tire, which we had just bought yesterday, onto the RV. Normally I wouldn’t be worried about driving home without a spare, but we were going through tires like hotcakes.

Walt and Cecilia politely rebuffed our offers for any compensation and told us that helping others was reward enough for them.

Oddly enough, we were able to reciprocate in some fashion almost two years later. Cecilia was doing work for her church and had somehow thought she lost the database of parishioners. Walt remembered that Herb was knowledgeable in computers, found the business card that Herb and left, and called us. Herb got on the phone with Cecilia and walked her through all the places the file could be, and she found it. It all comes around in the end.


Somewhere along Route 113 in Delaware

Side of the road on Route 113 in Milford location map in "high definition"

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