FOR WHAT IT'S WORTH with Blake Melnick

Kindness of Strangers

July 02, 2021 Blake Melnick Season 2 Episode 23
FOR WHAT IT'S WORTH with Blake Melnick
Kindness of Strangers
Show Notes Transcript

This week's episode of #TheSpaceinBetween called the #KindnessofStrangers, recounts an adventure my wife and I had a little over a week ago, which could have been quite horrendous had it not been for the incredible kindness shown to us by complete strangers we met along the way. This episode is dedicated to Rogers towing, Dean's Garage,  U-Haul in Ossoyos and the Josie Hotel in Rossland B.C. and all the amazing people who helped us out - THANK YOU! ...For What it's Worth

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Kindness of Strangers 


[00:00:00]Blake Melnick:  [00:00:00] Welcome to this week's episode of the space in between Corrine mindness of strain. I'm your host Blake. Now the pandemic has illustrated the importance of human contact via have all been cloistered inside for over a year. We haven't had the level of social interaction that we enjoyed pre Panda.

[00:00:19] And this has made us all acutely aware of how much we need one another. It has been a time of deep reflection, both at the personal level, as well as at the larger societal level. This period of time has laid bare many of the inadequacies of old structures and systems, political, social economic education, and the belief systems attached to these structures, which until the pandemic we blindly followed

[00:00:45] and now we're beginning to realize that they may no longer fit with the world as it currently exists. For example, we've all been engaged in rethinking the nature of work and learning in a world characterized by continuous disruption and exponential change. [00:01:00] And now there's a broad awareness and an increasing acceptance of our collective responsibility for addressing large scale global challenges, climate equity quality.

[00:01:11] And I think a dawning recognition that we're up to these challenges that we're capable of doing remarkable things as human beings when we work together.

[00:01:21] This feeling of optimism and a broader awareness of the needs of others has also impacted the relationship between people at an individual and community level.

[00:01:30] We seem to have learned to be more tolerant of one another and more accepting of differing opinions. We've also struggled to come to terms with our own biases. That they were a product of a different time. And I get the sense that we're becoming more open to change to shedding these tightly held beliefs in favor of something better with all this in mind.

[00:01:52] I wonder whether we are becoming kinder and more desirous of reaching out a helping hand to those in need. 

[00:02:00] [00:02:00] This thought has been going through my mind, following a little adventure I had just over a week. So I thought I'd share this with you on this episode of the space in between.

[00:02:11] My anniversary is on June 19th and every year, my wife and I take a trip somewhere to celebrate this year marks our 28th together.

[00:02:22] Typically we go to Tofino on Vancouver island, a favorite place of ours, but this year we decided we wanted to do something different. We thought we would go to the beautiful town of RosslandBC. A historic gold rush mining town located high in the Monashee mountain range in the west.Kooteneys. It's the site of red mountain, which boasts some of the best powder skiing in all of Canada.

[00:02:45] A few years ago, an upscale Manhattan squecontemporary five star hotel was built at the base of red mountain called the Josie.

[00:02:54] So we booked a room at the Josie and on Friday, June 18th, we packed up our car with [00:03:00] bikes, golf clubs, and paddleboards, and left the coast for the interior. Our plan was to spend two nights at the Josie hotel and then push on to our place in Kimberley BC.

[00:03:12] The drive from the coast to Rossland is a long one taking approximately eight hours, but it was a beautiful day for driving 23 degrees centigrade and not a cloud in the sky. After about four hours into our trip, we were heading down the long steep hill into Keremeos when all of a sudden it felt hot, really hot -little did we know this was the start of the heat dome, which was the see temperatures in the province rise to historical levels over the next week.

[00:03:43] I turned to my wife, Sharon and said, Sharon, can you please turn on the air conditioning? She pushed the air conditioning button and nothing happened. As we pulled into Keremeos and approached the first traffic light getting ready to turn left, all of a sudden the car died. I coasted through the intersection with [00:04:00] a cacophony of horns sounding behind me and pulled off to the side of the road.

[00:04:04] Let the car sit for a few minutes and tried to start it again. Luckily it started and we continued on our way towards Ossoyos. Ossoyos is the Southern most and the Okanogan valley of British Columbia. It is Canada's only desert often referred to as the Palm Springs of Canada. As we were pulling into Ossoyos we stopped to get some gas at a little shopping center, which included an A&Wdrive through and a convenience store. We filled up with gas, went into the store to get some water and pulled out right in front of the A&W drive through and the car died. This time it wouldn't start. And here we were a little after four o'clock on a Friday in a resort area in the Okanogan valley. And everyone was closing shop for the weekend.

[00:04:50] Our first thought was we needed to find a mechanic. So we pulled out our phones and called around. Nobody answered their phones and we assumed they had all closed early. [00:05:00] Then we thought we needed a tow truck and we tried all the towing companies. Once again, no one answered their phone. So we thought that about renting a hotel room in Ossoyos and we called around all the hotels.

[00:05:12] There were no rooms available. Then we came up with the idea that we should rent a car and drive to Rossland only to discover that there are no car rental agencies in the Ossoyos. Eventually a tow truck driver from Rogers towing called us back and said. I could come out and put your car in a big flatbed truck.

[00:05:32] All our tow trucks are away for the weekend, but we do have a flat bed that we use for hauling trucks. I can send that out to you, pick up your car and tow it off to the collision center. We also realized that our BCAA membership had not been renewed. So we were going to have to pay for the tow, but with one problem solved, we had yet another, what were we going to do for the evening? And how were we going to get to Red Mountain? We decided we couldn't make it to [00:06:00] Rossland, so we called and canceled our reservation at the Josie hotel. In an effort to find other transportation we had called U Haul and had asked them if they had any vans available, that they might be able to rent. They had replied no, we don't. And we're closing for the day. So here we were car dead in front of the A&Wdrive there with a line of cars behind us, waiting for a tow truck to tow us to a collision center. But nowhere to go.

[00:06:28] And then something quite remarkable happened. All the people we called, started to call us back. We got a call back from the manager of U Haul to say that while they were closing, they did have a truck on hand.

[00:06:38] It was a half ton and asked whether we wanted it. We thought, well, we better get some kind of transportation. So we said, sure, but we can't get there. We're stuck in the middle of the shopping mall. So she said, I'll have my husband come over and pick up your wife. Sure enough, a car arrived shortly thereafter with the husband of the manager of the U hall to pick up my wife, Sharon.

[00:06:59] And [00:07:00] while that was happening, the tow truck driver arrived with a massive flatbed. And the driver asked for our BCAA membership. My wife started to explain that we hadn't renewed our membership, but he interrupted and said with a wink, you have it. So no problem. And it did turn out that we had the renewed membership after all, we couldn't get the car into neutral because there was no power whatsoever.

[00:07:21] So the tow truck driver from Randy's towing got out of the. Jumpstarted the cars so we could put it in neutral and he and I pushed the car around so we could get it aligned with the flatbed, but we couldn't get the car on the flat bed because we couldn't drive it or push it up the ramp. So our driver had to get all the winches out and we actually had to winch the car up in the air and place it on top of the flatbed.

[00:07:43] Our tow truck driver. Rick was a big burly guy who looked at me with a wry smile and said, it's really hot out here. I don't like the fact that you guys are sitting out in this boiling sun for so long. Why don't you hop in the cab, come with me and we'll drop the car off. Along the way he said, I want to stop at the seven 11 for a [00:08:00] minute, I thought, ohboy.

[00:08:01] So we stopped at the seven 11, and he goes inside and comes out with an armful of Gatorade and says, I'm really worried that you guys are getting dehydrated. So I bought you some Gatorade. So with a handful of Gatorade, we proceeded to the collision center. By the time we arrived, my wife was already sitting behind the wheel of the big half ton.

[00:08:19] U Haul truck. Next door to the collision center was an auto mechanic shop. Our tow truck driver got on the phone and phoned up Dean of Dean's garage and said, we've got a problem here. We've got a couple they're stuck on the road. It's their anniversary. They have nowhere to go. Is there any chance you can come and have a look at the car. By this time it was about 6:30 in the evening. And Dean was probably having dinner at home with his family, but he said, sure. I'll come in and have a look. So Dean arrived. He asked what had happened to the car. He looked at it and said, I can't do anything now, but I'll put it in my garage. So your things will be safe and I'll have a look at it on Monday. So with our transportation issues resolved, we [00:09:00] now needed to find a place to stay. So we called the Josie hotel again and said, we need our hotel room back we're coming. And they said fine. So we loaded up the big U and proceeded to Rossland BC about three hours from our current location.

[00:09:14] We arrived at the Josie hotel shortly before 10:00 PM that evening, as we pulled in with a massive U haul truck, we were greeted by the desk manager Machje and he said he was sorry for our troubles. And he knew it was late, but he'd asked the dining room to stay open so we could have a meal when we arrived.

[00:09:32] He also told us I'm going to waive a whole bunch of fees for you. You've had a horrible experience and we're glad you're here. Lo and behold. They kept the entire restaurant open for us that evening. There were no other patrons and a full compliment of staff. We had an amazing meal at the Josie. People were incredibly kind to us and we stayed there till well, after closing to finish our dinner.

[00:09:55] We assumed we'd have to stay at the Josue for a few nights, or at least until [00:10:00] Monday, perhaps Tuesday, when the mechanic had a chance to look at our car. The next day we were out playing golf

[00:10:05] and I got a call from Dean. And Dean said, you know, I was thinking about you guys and your anniversary and that you were stuck in Rossland, so I decided to go in and have a look at your car today. I think I figured out what the problem is. It's fixed. You can come and pick it up. So after our golf game, we loaded up the U Haul again and drove back to a Ossoyos, picked up the car and proceeded on to Kimberley.

[00:10:29] We hadn't lost a day. We had more driving to do, but because of the kindness of people that we met along the way, we were able to celebrate our anniversary in the hotel, we'd booked, to have a beautiful meal, to have a game of golf and to make it to Kimberley, according to schedule. 

[00:10:45] I was absolutely blown away by the kindness we experienced throughout this whole ordeal.

[00:10:50] And it's hard to say whether it was a result of the pandemic or whether it's simply the friendliness of people in the Oakonogan and west Kooteney's but I want to dedicate [00:11:00] this episode to Dean's garage, to Rogers towing, to a Ossoyos U Haulto the hotel Josie and to all the people that showed us such kindness during this difficult time.

[00:11:12] Please take a moment to visit the show blog, see pictures from our little adventure. And again, I hope this kindness of strangers continues what it's worth.

[00:11:23] Please join us next week. And for what it's worth, where our guest is comedian extraordinary. Ron James. Ron has published a new book called Crossing the Great Divide -it's absolutely hilarious. You won't want to miss this episode. It shouldn't be a lot of fun and a great cap off to season two.of For What's Worth.