There was a brilliant statement on this type of thing from FBI most wanted fugitive Whitey Bulger after he was caught. He was asked by law enforcement where he spent life on the run and how he managed to avoid capture for so long. His response was spot on.I had a pretty disappointing experience with society today.
Coming back home in my older Jeep I stopped to grab a pizza. When I came back out, the jeep would not start. I checked the fuses and made sure the battery connections were good, the wiring to the starter - all of that. Didn’t have much for tools on me and I’m not very mechanical anyways but it wasn’t those things.
It’s a manual but the parking lot is flat. I figured if I could get it going good enough I could probably compression start it, but I’d need a little help pushing it. I asked a couple people but they wouldn’t help me so I grabbed my water and walked home. After getting home and drinking some more water and letting it cool down to around 105, I rode my bike back down there to get my valuable stuff out of it and/or hopefully find some useful people that would help me. I brought cash.
The very first group I asked were four young men that couldn’t have been older than 19.
I asked them if they would give me 30 seconds of their time to push my jeep. They said no. I pulled a wad of cash out of my pocket and offered them $50 apiece. The one said “Nah bro. We good“
Over the next few minutes I asked a few other people who either ignored me or said no.
Then, walking out to the newer, lifted Chevy pick up beside me came a large , clean cut man, well over 6 foot who clearly lifts weights and maybe does a few steroids, with a very large stainless semi-auto handgun strapped to his hip, open carrying like so many do down here. I figured I was in luck. He would be strong and certainly not afraid of me, at 5’ 11” 155 pounds dripping sweat in the parking lot.
Nope. This guy wouldn’t even look at me either. Completely ignored me.
The jeep is no big deal. It’s like 2 miles away from my mechanic’s, is being towed there in the morning and whatever it is, is some small electrical issue. He’ll have it going Tuesday for a couple hundred dollars.
The point of this post is that when people from small towns, like the one I am from in Montana complain about how outsiders are changing their state, you can point to things that are easy to measure that are changing. An increase in applicants for your favorite Hunting District, the median price of a home in Bozeman being over $800,000. The number of acres that have been closed, often illegally, by fly-in/fly-out, nonresident, billionaire landowners.
I’m talking about the things that are harder to measure. If this would’ve happened in Huson or Frenchtown or Drummond or Phillipsburg, or Butte or even Billings, I would not have even had to ask for help. Every self-respecting man and most of the women that witnessed this would have offered their help without a second thought.
If you live in a small town with a sense of community, fight like hell to keep it. Because once it turns into a place like Maricopa, Arizona, that is gone.
My first thought is that these people are cowards and pussies, but that’s not it. It’s just a cultural thing and let me tell ya… The culture in the small towns that we are from sure beats the hell out of this culture.
I never help persons who approach me in a parking lot. You’d basically need to be on fire or spurting blood to catch my attention.
The # of scammers who come to you with some kind of crack story is astronomical. I’ve probably been hit up 150+ times.
If someone is stalled on the road or stuck, I often stop. I carry a chain, comealong and other tools, and they get use.
Standing next to a propped open hood is a good signal to get others to stop. We had a belt go out in Custer, SD last month and it was a couple hours before someone stopped, but eventually they did (I didn’t need anything, but encouraging that some people still care).
Texans do their best to help NJ folks keep rolling.On a family vacation once my Dad’s old RV broke down frequently. He could fix most anything, and did, but the broken fan belt (texas I think) had him caught without a spare. A local guy stopped to help, and then drove off to his ranch, returning a while later with an armload of belts to try to match one up, which one did. I often think about that guy taking an hour out of his day for a NJ plated RV and realize how unlikely that is to occur for me again.
I’ve helped pull or push a few stuck vehicles on my travels and will try to help again when situation presents. But I also run through the thought process of whether the situation seems authentic and safe… nearer to cities and later at night increase odds dramatically that I’d let AAA take the call.