Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Ignition Please

You can measure a man by the opposition it takes to discourage him.

Robert Savage
Hello Diane
One summer I spent as a friend of a camp for underprivileged kids. I wasn't a counselor but I was around there a lot helping out with various programs.

There was a young man there who had delivered some of the campers. After he saw them safely with their supervisors he got in his car to leave and the car wouldn't start. He inspected the car trying to get it going, but it refused to start.

There was a long dirt road from the camp out to the country road that led eventually to the town where there was an auto repair shop. It was a distance of 5 to 7 miles. He started out walking and hours later came back with a bag of dinner and a few parts for the car. He installed one of the parts, tried the car again, with result. It was getting dark so he stopped, ate his dinner and slept in the car.

In the morning he went for a swim in the lake, ate his breakfast roll he had bought the day before and went back to work on his car. This was a daily ritual that went on for many days, a week at least.

Occasionally I would pass by and see him with bits and pieces of his engine strewn around and himself with his head in under the hood. If he wasn't there it meant he had made another long trek into town to procure more parts.

Because he wasn't working for the camp he didn't feel right about taking any of its food. And he didn't choose to face the expense of having a wrecker crew come out and haul the car into a shop. He was determined to do it himself.

One afternoon I was standing near by talking to one of the counselors. The man had the back seat out and sitting on the grass, he was inside the car replacing some wires.

The counselor and I were looking out at the lake when we heard the car start. We turned. The man put the back seat in and attached it. He gathered up the old parts that he had removed and put them in the trunk. Then he gathered up his tools and put them in the trunk, closed the trunk and with a smile he got in the car and drove away, without a word.

The counselor said he never thought the guy would do it. I had to admire that young man. How many miles had he walked on hot summer roads, each time thinking, hoping he had the solution to the problem and each time being disappointed, until the last. Never giving up, he faced more discouragement than most of us ever know. I've never forgotten him, obviously.

DB - Vagabond Journeys
Never Give Up


Big Mark 243 said...

If I must say so myself, he sounds like me!!

Arlene (AJ) said...

Sounded like one great young man...he never allowed hisself to give up. Too many people nowadays give up to quickly and when you think about it you realize in doing so all the challenges you are missing in life.

Ken Riches said...

A great read on this Independence Day :o)