The parable of the Good Samaritan, the one about a traveler needing help along the roadside, recently got a nice Pauls Valley touch.
For Minnesota couple John and Dora Fitzgerald it was a couple of Good Samaritans who both offered a helping hand when car problems caused them to frantically pulled into PV on their annual journey south.
They got just what they needed in a very timely fashion and without a price tag allowing them to continue their yearly trek away for the colder weather of winter.
The help and hospitality they got here so amazed John Fitzgerald he felt compelled to reach out and tell more about the story.
“The kindness of the people of Pauls Valley deserves some attention,” Fitzgerald said in a phone chat with the PV Democrat.
“I just wanted the people of Pauls Valley to know about these Good Samaritans and help I got here.”
The help he got first came from the local Seth Wadley car dealership and then Jess Patton of the Valley Body Shop.
It came after a strenuous drive south as a handful of days ago the Minnesota couple discovered someone had smashed a window out of their sports utility vehicle during the overnight hours while at a hotel in Wichita, Kansas.
“We have a winter home down here, so we come down every year,” Fitzgerald said referring to Rockport, Texas on the southern Texas coast as the trip from Minnesota started on Oct. 24.
The following morning he used trash bags and duct tape to put on a temporary patch for the window missing its glass.
Even though it held for a while Fitzgerald said it was loud and on the scary side as the drive became very stressful with the high speeds of travel on Interstate 35.
“It was nasty that day, rainy and cold and windy. South of Oklahoma City it blew out,” he said, adding it came with a “bang.”
As Fitzgerald puts it, they “limped” into Pauls Valley, where they went to a “SW” dealership looking for help. That of course is the Seth Wadley lot next to the interstate.
An employee in the service department couldn't get a replacement for the window, but he did direct the traveling couple to the Valley Body site on West Grant, where they were greeted by Patton.
“I told him I had a problem, and he said he saw it right way. The part would be the next day, but Jess at Valley offered to put a bandage on the opening so we could keep going and equipped us with an amazing temporary cover,” Fitzgerald said as Patton used a self adhesive material to provide a temporary patch on the missing window.
“Also amazing, he wouldn’t accept any payment for it. What a nice gesture, so genuine, generous. Maybe he could sense the stress we'd been under all day.
“It held up very nicely. I thought I should send him a pizza or something.”
Instead, Fitzgerald decided to go online and send a letter to the editor to the PV Democrat. He got another surprise when contacted a short time later to chat more about the road trip misadventures leading them to Pauls Valley.
“So, the horrible events and discouragement of discovering the break-in on our SUV and loss of items important to us that morning somehow were put in proper perspective by Pauls Valley's Good Samaritans.
“Pauls Valley looks like a nice town. Maybe we'll have to stop there someday, get something to eat, look around, check it out for ourselves.”
Also on the bright side for the Fitzgeralds is the thieves breaking into their vehicle back in Kansas did miss some a few things vital to the couple
“We were blessed by the whole affair. They got a couple of things, but they missed some other things. They did not get the stuff that was extremely important,” he said about items like passports and important financial documents.