Commentary by Arnold Dyre
Some years back, I was hurrying to my car in Jackson’s City Parking Garage after an appearance in Bankruptcy Court. Fortunately, I was representing a client and had not gone bankrupt myself.
Anyway, I was headed for my car when I encountered a grandmotherly type lady crying her eyes out. I paused and inquired, “Ma’am, are you all right?”
The lady kept bawling but managed to reply, “I can’t find my car.”
Thinking that perhaps she was on the wrong floor of the multi-level big garage, I asked, “What floor did you park on?”
That really set her to crying at a whole new level! She managed to tell me, “I do not remember what floor I am on. I have walked up and down and can’t find it anywhere!”
Better Way to Search
The lady did not look like she was in any shape to do more walking up or down parking ramps, and I figured I better help her. I told her I was a lawyer and was just leaving court. I advised that I would help her find her car. Very gently I said, “I know you may not want to get in a car with a strange man but, if you will wait right here and let me go get my car, I will come back and get you and we can then drive around in the garage until you see your car. Would you be willing to do that?”
The lady stopped crying and told me that she trusted me. I instructed her to stay where she was, and I would be right back as quickly as possible. She looked a little worried and wanted me to promise to come right back to get her. I promised.
Soon, after I reached my car and first had to go down a level and come back up, I pulled up alongside the dear lady, who had not moved. When she got in the car with me, I asked for a description of her car and we began our search. Driving slowly, we went up several levels and then worked our way back down without any luck. She started crying again and asked did I think someone might have stolen her car. I asked her if she had her keys with her, and she found them in her purse. I assured her that I doubted that anyone had stolen her car since she had not left the keys in the ignition. I told her that we would find her car.
I went all the way down and started up again and, on the fourth level, the lady enthusiastically cried out, “There it is! There it is. Praise the Lord, there it is!”
The lady was then concerned that she would just never be able to get out of the confusing garage, and she confessed that she had not been downtown in years and really had no idea how to get back to where she lived. I asked where she live and I knew the place, a well-known assisted living home. I told her that she could follow me out of the garage, and I would drive slowly all the way to where she lived so that she would not have any trouble following me. Oh, she was very happy!
We made it to where she lived without mishap, and she thanked me profusely. She wanted me to wait while she went inside to get something to write my name on. I told her that was not necessary because I could just give her one of my business cards. I left, late for whatever I had been hurrying to accomplish, but feeling good that I had done a good deed for a lady in distress.
A few days later, my secretary came into my office and told me, “There’s a lady out front who says that she met you in a parking garage. She has brought you a cake!”
We had coffee and cake in my conference room.
Maybe a week went by, and the lady came back and brought me some brownies. Within a couple of months, she bestowed me with more goodies to eat and brought me a quilt that she had made. My secretary could hardly get any work done for taking telephone calls from the nice, lonely lady. One day, my secretary told me, “If you ever see another old lady crying in a parking garage, just keep on walking!”
My wife Beverly also worked in my office back at that time and became good friends with my parking garage lady. Beverly and I received a Christmas card from the lady until she died.
Yesterday, I had a hard time finding my car in the Walmart parking lot.