I live in Cramer Hill and near the top of a real hill. So, I don’t like snow! The snow doesn’t always get plowed on my street. Going up and down an icy hill = no fun.
When it freezes, it’s bad on the hilly streets. I don’t know why, but it melts much later on our street and neighboring streets than in other parts of Camden. It does melt, though, by the Fourth of July…okay, that was an exaggeration.
The small streets around my former school, Wiggins College Preparatory Laboratory Family School, just off Broadway in Camden, rarely got plowed either. The snow and ice didn’t melt quickly there, either.
I dreaded returning to school after a bad storm. Deep potholes invariably lurked underneath layers of ice and snow on Walnut Street, just off Broadway, next to the school, and I had to drive there to get to work.
One such morning after a snowstorm, my Camry got stuck in a Walnut Street whopper pothole that was close to reaching China. I couldn’t move the car. Was it a sinkhole? Just a block and a half from school, but I couldn’t see anyone that I knew…
I grabbed the cheap coarse cat litter that I kept in the car. For traction emergencies. I shook it around the tires nervously.
Cars veered crazily around me on the icy street. I was sure that my car was going to get hit. Not even paid for yet… I wished that I had called out and stayed in bed with a cat and a book.
A young man in a car saw me standing in the street with the bag of kitty litter and waved. “Lady! Get back in your car. Wait.” He couldn’t stop his car where he was, but he went around the block and parked, got out of his car and started to push my Camry.
Then, a mom with two little girls in school uniforms and puffy coats walked slowly in front of my car. I blared my horn and screamed out the window, but they kept walking and he kept pushing. He couldn’t see them. It felt like eternity. Talk about a nightmare?
Thank God, the mom and kids reached the pavement (never turning their heads toward me or moving faster) before my car lurched out of the pothole and into the intersection. It was a day that I was glad that I had used a lot of Mitchum antiperspirant.
I knew that had to make a left really soon because others cars were behind me so I yelled fast, “Sir! What’s your name?”
“Eric. God bless your day,” he said, smiling, and ran to his car in dress clothes and good leather shoes.
I turned on Fifth Street, hollering out the window to him. “Thank you, Eric! God bless your day, too.”
P.S. I’m pretty sure his name was Eric. He was medium height, caramel candy skinned, slim, handsome, young man with a beautiful voice.
If you read this blog, Eric, thanks again. Maybe your name isn’t Eric, but I think so. This happened about three years ago. This retired teacher remembers your kindness that is not atypical of the people of Camden. Even if your kindness was typical, it was very much appreciated and remembered.