Letter: Thank you from a stranded traveler

On Sept. 12, 2011, I was on my way home to New Mexico when, shortly after leaving Kingman, my tire pressure light illuminated. I stopped at a service station and added air, hoping that had solved the problem, and proceeded east on I-40.

Within a few miles, but miles away from any civilization, the light again told me that the tire was losing pressure. It was obvious that I needed to change the tire; I found a reasonably safe place to pull off of I-40 and proceeded to change the tire. Within a very few minutes, a man drove up and asked if he could help. I answered that if my jack was positioned correctly that I would be OK.

With that, this fine gentleman checked the alignment of the jack and proceeded to change the tire for me, while his passenger waited patiently in his pickup.

As is too often the case in these situations, we did not exchange names. However, he noticed that I was retired military by my license tag and he stated that he served in the Navy for 11 years aboard the carrier Enterprise. This man restored my failing faith in humanity and in what I was beginning to think was a former America. But I am not done yet! He then directed me to Seligman, where I could get the tire fixed.

With flashing blinkers, we traveled the approximately 27 miles into Seligman. However, upon our arrival, we were told by a nice wrecker driver that everything in Seligman was closed for the weekend, except that on Highway 66 just two miles west there was a place where they repaired tires and it would be open on Saturday. The place was isolated, but we found it.

Charlie fixed my tire and got us back on the road in record time. He was professional, knowledgeable, and an honest man. I was in desperate need, but this second fine Arizonan took no advantage. He simply charged me the going rate that he would charge his neighbors.

This time I did identify the business. I pass it along to your readers so that they may learn of a great place should they need tire service and are in that vicinity: Ft. Rock Auto Tire, milepost 138 off Route 66, just two miles west of Seligman. Charlie's phone number is (928) 273-0321.

I write to you, the newspaper editor in that part of Arizona, so that your local readers may be reminded, as I am sure they already know, that they live among some of the most generous, honest and just plain great people on earth. The words "good Samaritan" and "help thy neighbor" are real and meaningful to these folks. I thank them both for their help and as a comrade in arms. (Charlie was a Marine at age 17.)

Cres C. Baca, Col., USAF (Ret.)

Los Lunas, N.M.