Palmer: Friends when you need them most June 20th, 2009
Today I headed out to the Friday Fling again. As I drove down Colony Way looking for a parking space (the library and visitors center parking lots as well as the streets were full) with my window down, a lady standing in front of her vehicle called out to me.
“Hello, do you have a cell-phone? I have locked myself out of my car!” I told her yeah, I just needed to pull over. I found a parking space in front of the Colony Inn and walked back to the woman. “My babies are in the car. I put the stroller in the back, with the keys in it, closed the hatch and somehow my two year old pushed the lock button and locked me out!” Sure enough, I looked and there was a cute little two year old boy scrambling around in the van pushing buttons just for fun. A little 3 month old slept unknowingly in his car carrier in the back seat.
I handed the lady my cellphone and waited as she called the 1-800 number on the car door for assistance. Her oldest completely ignored me as I tapped on the window, trying to get his attention. The roadside service told the woman they would call the police and have them send an officer.
Not one, not two, but three officers showed up in two cop cars. They walked over and talked with the woman, each trying to get the two year old inside to hit the Unlock button. One of the officers pulled out some badge stickers and tried to coerce him to come to the door. The closest they got was for him to hit the Lock button. Again.
Three women walked by and saw what was going on. One of them had just bought finger puppets at one of the booths at the Friday Fling. She handed two to the poor woman. “Put these on and try to get his attention,” she told her. No go. Another one of the three grabbed her bag of kettle corn she had got at the Kettle Corn booth and tried to bribe the boy with that. That didn’t work either. Finally the woman with the finger puppets told the woman with the van to keep them, and the ladies wished her good luck and left.
Next a man came by, noticed the problem, went back to his truck and returned with a metal coat hanger. He bent it different ways and then attempted to stick it down the window. He worked at it for a couple minutes and gave up saying “these newer cars were made just so you couldn’t do this.” Meanwhile, the two year old found a book inside the diaper bag on the front seat and proceeded to read it, oblivious to the six or seven adults surrounding the car.
Finally the officers gave the woman two options: let them break the window or call a locksmith/taxi. Taxis, they said, often have locksmith tools/abilities. She opted for the taxi service because they would probably cheaper. She called her husband once more with my cellphone and thanked me thoroughly for my help.
I left, came back a half hour later and saw the van was gone.
Palmer may be growing population-wise, but its peoples hearts are growing along with the town. People truly care about one another and help each other out, even total strangers.
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