In the early 1960s, my wife, Anne Sarsfield Martin; our 3-year-old daughter, Leslie Jane Marshall (who now lives in Oregon); and I drove from San Francisco and across the Golden Gate Bridge to see the giant redwoods in Muir Woods.
There was little traffic, especially on the side roads. We were passing through an isolated area when we had a flat tire. And when I opened the trunk, I discovered the spare was also flat.
We waited for more than two hours, and no cars came by. Finally, we heard a rumbling noise approaching. It was a group of about 15 Hell’s Angels on their Harley-Davidsons. They pulled over and, needless to say, I was quite apprehensive. We were sitting on a fallen tree, and they all joined us there.
Two of the ladies riding with them asked whether we had eaten. I told them no, so one of them opened a saddlebag and brought us sandwiches and juice. The guys asked if I needed help in changing the tire and I explained the spare was flat. They told us not to worry, and two of them took the tires, somehow strapped them to the back of their bikes, and roared off.
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The rest stayed with us and seemed to have a good time playing with our daughter, who loved all the attention.
About an hour later, the two returned with both tires repaired. When I got up to help put the tire back on the car, they told me to just relax. In no time at all, they had one tire on the ground and the other stored in the trunk. I tried to pay them for the garage bill and their time, but they refused to accept anything.
After handshakes and some back-slapping, they drove off. I know that the Hell’s Angels, as well as other motorcycle groups, get bad publicity, but you will never hear any of that from us. We would never call them gangs. Now, whenever I pass a group of bikers, I make it a point to wave.
You never know who will be your angel. Jerry and Anne Martin, Charlotte