When Peter and I returned from our honeymoon in 1968, there was a telephone company strike so we couldn’t get a phone installed in our new apartment. Luckily, we lived a five-minute walk from a gas station that had a public payphone.
I think fondly of that phonebooth, long a victim of the rise of our cellphone society, as I regularly pass that gas station on my way to the library.
Recently, my car dashboard told me that my tires needed air (a task I dread). Someone told me it was the bitter cold, but when it warmed up, the warning light remained. (Stay with me—this will come together.)
The thought of collecting quarters for an air machine, and being sure I got the right pressure, was daunting. Then the other day while walking by that gas station, I noticed that it had an air machine that looked like the old-fashioned kind that when you got gas, the attendant filled your tires from.
Driving by in the rain the next day, I pulled up to the station door and asked if they could fill my tires. The guy said “sure” and proceeded to measure the tire pressure (which was down) and fill all four tires.
I went to pay him, and he said, “no charge.” Then I tried to give him a tip. He wouldn’t take it. When I started my car, the warning light was gone.
Little things can make one’s day.