Try It Now

[dropcap]I[/dropcap] pulled over somewhere outside Mobile, into a grocery store. She was loading her screaming kids into the car. You could hear them three states away. When I walked past her, she wore a helpless look on her young face.

She didn’t have the courage to ask for help.

So I asked her.

“Ma’am, is there something you need?”

She leaned against her door. “My car won’t start.”

Those words. I heard them a lot growing up. I wish I could tell you how many times my father helped a hapless soul with a busted vehicle. It was his gift to the world before he died. Working on engines.

He’d lean into the guts of a stranger’s Chevy and call out, “Try it now!” And it would eventually start.

He’d make certain of it.

I told the woman to pop the hood.

I peered into her engine. Lucky for her it was the battery. I was hoping for something more challenging. Maybe a bad spark plug, or a distributor cap.

I grabbed the jumper cables. It fired right up. Then I helped her load groceries into the backseat. She tried to offer me a twenty-dollar-bill.

I swatted her away.

I could hear my daddy’s voice. “I don’t want your damn money. You’d do the same thing for me.”

Folks would always reply, “Absolutely.”

I smiled at her. “I don’t want money. You’d do the same for me.”

She laughed. “Hell no I wouldn’t.”

I saw how she loved those babies. She’s a liar.

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