A big push from a young Cyclones fan

The acrid smell of hot rubber and the whine of tires spinning on melted snow and hard ice filled the air at my apartment complex. My beloved Dodge Charge — in all it’s real-wheel drive shortcomings — could not navigate the slick surface on its own. Monday, my apartment complex manager, Pierce, came out of his office, bundled against the icy weather, and pushed and heaved. He laid down 15 pounds of sand. We finally rocked the car over the ice hump. That night I parked on the street. I thought I had enough tread on clear pavement that I would take off without a problem. I was wrong. I rocked the car as I pushed the gas pedal to the floor. I reversed. I put it in first gear. I made progress in inches. Many people walked by and stared, as if my frustration was an amusement. Then one young mad clad in an Iowa State Cyclones sweatshirt knocked on my passenger side window. I rolled it down. “Can I help?” Oh, you beautiful boy, please do. He pushed. I pressed the pedal and in a few minutes I was free. I yelled thank you at him, but I doubt he heard me. Life has humbled me in recent years. I’ve needed more help than at any point in my life. I’ve received many times over. We read so munch about how much humans hate and fear one another. But there are always helpers, the late children’s television host Fred Rogers told us. Be the helper.

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