On Monday, I headed to Fred Meyer to buy eggs for the chocolate chip recipe I was making. I’d bought laundry detergent the night before…and failing to make a list, I found myself bright and early on a return trip. It was -35F. Note to self: make a list. Of course, this presupposes that I remember to write down the note to self.

I decided to make the most of the early morning extra trip and I stopped to fill up the tank. While I pumped gas, I blasted the radio–I’d been listening to KUAC‘s report on the Yukon Quest–an NPR driveway moment, sort of. When I tried to start the engine, my battery whined then died. Huh?

I turned to the taxi driver in line behind me. Do you have jumper cables? No, he said as he hustled back to his car, his frozen breath hanging in the air behind him.

On the next aisle, I noticed a gonzo silver Dodge Ram 2500 with a large water tank in the truck bed and a wench on the front end. This guy must have jumper cables.

I asked. He did. After he pulled his truck around to face mine, a station attendant came out and told us we couldn’t jump the car on the cement pad. Huh? Regulations. We’d have to push the car away from the station. OK. Fortunately, my good Samaritan was amenable. The station attendant, the pick-up driver and another man pushed the Suburu Forester off the pad, about 10 yards, first down.

Cheryl Hatch, I said, sticking out my hand as the driver started to hook the cables to the battery. And thank you. Fred. I’m a firefighter.

The battery didn’t respond immediately. He hopped in his truck and pushed the accelerator and the Suburu decided to cooperate.

We drove off, both heading toward the university. I figured he worked at the UAF station, so I walked across campus to offer my thanks and a plate of the fresh-from-the oven chocolate chip cookies, made from the eggs that started the whole morning adventure.

The station chief Todd answered. No, Fred works in the city. I know him. I’ll make sure he gets these.

And just to be extra certain Fred knew how much I appreciated his assistance, I gave him a shout out during my morning conversation with Charlie O’Toole on 970AM KFBX.

If Fred hadn’t jumped to the rescue and jump-started my car, I might not have made the cookies–or my interview with Charlie.

Thank you.

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