Everyday Angels

On an icy hill, helping cars get a grip

Leann M. Simmons

A day after the ice storm a few weeks ago, I was working from home.

From my second-floor home office, I have an excellent view of the intersection of Providence Road and International Drive. Traffic exiting the two developments at that intersection has to overcome the gently deceiving rise onto Providence. It’s a sneaky “little big hill.”

And on this day, cars and drivers employed every momentum-building technique to get up and over, yet still had to stop at the light before getting onto Providence. Obviously, an effort in futility as one after the other rolled back, spun out and around.

Right beyond the corner is a bus shelter for the No. 14 CATS bus. Several brave souls were out waiting, and watching this repeated act. Soon, one young man sauntered over to help one car and approached the driver. From what I could see, he offered help, and as he moved to assist, another man walked over, and they both got behind the car to help get it corrected.

Then, a third man walked over. They got that car out and righted. But, they didn’t stop there. Since their bus was nowhere in sight, for the next half hour or so, I watched as these young men assisted every car that spun and slid.

At no time did I see any money exchanged, even though I’d be willing to believe many grateful drivers offered. When their bus finally arrived, they got on and rode off. Unsung, but utterly song-worthy.

Leann M. Simmons, Charlotte

Share your story

Did a stranger step in to offer you help out of the blue? Email rwilkerson@charlotteobserver.com. Include name, hometown and daytime number. Or mail Everyday Angels, Charlotte Observer, 600 S. Tryon, Charlotte, NC 28230. Roland Wilkerson