I was 18 years old. I was at the AM/PM gas station in Fairfield. My car was blowing up (not literally). It was smoking from under the hood. Apparently, you’re supposed to check fluids and get like oil changes… It was late. Probably 10 p.m.
I’m this young and dumb blonde completely confused on what to do…
This man (in his mid 40s ish), rolled up in his truck, and asked, ‘What’s going on with your car?’
I told him, ‘I’m not sure, it’s overheating.’
He asked, ‘Is there fluids?’
I responded, ‘Um, I don’t know!’
He said, ‘Didn’t your dad ever teach you about how to check your fluids?’
I responded, ‘No. I don’t have one of those!’
He got out of his truck. This man… spent over an hour…
He went over Car 101 with me…
Not only, did he teach me how to check my fluids, but showed me how to add fluids. He then began to go over the basics with me – ‘This is where your spare tire is. This is how you change a tire. This is how you crank your car up on this jack (that my car came with).’ He fixed my car, and I drove away that night with a car that wasn’t overheating anymore.
All right there in the AM/PM parking lot.
I know it sounds kind of silly…
But he would show me how to do things and then say, ‘Okay, now it’s your turn – show me,’ and then he would say things like, ‘Look at you! You’re doing a great job!’ He was fun, and funny.
I drove away thinking, ‘How cool would it be if he was my dad…?’
Anyways, I know it’s 10 years later, and I’ve never told anyone that story…
I wish I could remember his name.
In a strange/random way, you impacted my life, in such a positive way.
You are the reason why I was able to give another young lady a Car 101 class…
Two days ago, I was at Chevron, and funny enough – it was like that day, all over again. The tables were turned… There was this young girl there whose car was smoking. I pulled up and asked, ‘Is there fluids in the car?’ Confused as all hell, I showed her how…
I haven’t thought much about that experience over the last 10 years….
But! It brought me back to that simple act of kindness.
Thank you, mystery man, for being my gas station parking lot dad, who taught me Car 101.
My car has never run low on fluids ever since.