Like an angel from mechanic heaven |

Like an angel from mechanic heaven

“Ron, it was like an angel dropped down from heaven,” Karen says.

Karen and I are good friends, yet we typically avoid comparing religious beliefs. So, when I hear the word “angel” spoken in such a reverent way, I perk up.

“We had been to Carson City and were close to Fish Springs along Highway 395 when our tire went flat. Jack and I got out, saw the big slash in the tire, and knew for certain we were stuck. At that very moment, Ron, we see a young man (turns out he is 23 years old) walking toward us. Jack and I look like a couple of old duffers, but he doesn’t make us feel that way in the least. He calmly sizes up the situation, lets it be known he is a licensed automobile mechanic, and says he would like to help. It was amazing,” Karen says.

Karen created labor contracts for an umbrella of Teamster Union employers in Alaska for 25 years. She never minces words, and will come down on you like a ton of bricks if you are the least bit pretentious. That’s why I always listen carefully to what she has to say and, at this moment, there is a different tone in her voice. This is a “new Karen,” not the analytical Karen.

Karen’s impression of the stranger, who suddenly appeared in their life, is one of awe, and without further delay she says that Jack and the young mechanic crawl under the truck and pry lose the spare tire and, slam-dunk, they are back on the road. God made the right choice and sent the right man to do a specific task for two specific people.

Karen and Jack are our neighborhood support system. They see a need and act on it. Jack has installed many grab bars in various, dangerous locations of our home, and also catered to my vintage Lincoln Town Car countless times. Karen has supplied us with homegrown fruits and vegetables, cobblers and cakes, and sugar-free blackberry ice cream for Orllyene. One day she was so offended by the condition of our living room carpet, that she went home and returned with their rug shampoo machine. She moved furniture, and vacuumed and shampooed the entire carpet. Then she and Jack returned all the furniture to its original position.

This is the topper. When I bought a 2005 Lexus, they “detailed” it into new car condition before I drove a single mile.

The inevitability of Jack and Karen being sent a mechanically qualified angel when in need seems obvious. If you are inclined to be fussy about using the word “angel,” in application to those who do random acts of kindness while expecting nothing in return, you are missing out one of life’s blessings.

Today it is one month since I took a tumble at Boom Town in Reno. Karen is forwarding our mail to us at our son and daughter-in-law’s house in Reno.

Call it divine intervention, pay it forward, or what goes around comes around – good is inevitable. The last note of the symphony of life is yet to be played.

Ron Walker can be reached at