Letter: Helping Hand

Letter to the Editor

On Jan. 8, 2019, I headed to Malibu from Thousand Oaks taking Kanan Dume Road. After leaving the third tunnel, I heard a very, very loud “pop” sound. I knew immediately that my tire had blown. I was able to pull to the side of the road and keep control of the car. It was 6 p.m. Parking was not allowed where I finally stopped. I took out my cell phone to call AAA, but I had no service.

I could not leave the car to walk to look for cell service as it was very dark and dangerous to be outside the car, and there were also many rocks on the road, one of which I had hit. I waited and waited, thinking that a highway patrol car would show up and see my blinkers. At 8 p.m., I decided to get out of the car and flag someone down to help. A young woman pulled over to the side of the road and asked what I needed. She identified herself as a Pepperdine student. She tried to call AAA but had no service. We decided that she would drive to an area where she could get service, call AAA, and tell them where I was and what I needed. Then, I waited again. No one came. At around 8:30 p.m., a car came out of the tunnel and stopped in front of me. Two young men got out and asked if I needed help. I said that someone had called AAA and they were coming. One of the young men stated that it was his girlfriend who had stopped to help and me and called him. He and his friend came to find me. Both went to Pepperdine. He told me that he would change my tire. We looked in the back of my Volt, but I had no spare. Volts do not carry spare tires. He then said that he would try to put the spare he had, one of those small temporary tires, on my car. He went to get his jack, and decided that it may not work, but he would try anyway. In the meantime, his friend, who had cell service, was talking to AAA. He advised me that a tow truck could not be there until midnight. We decided to leave my car, and they would drive me home. They did. They had told me their names, but I do not remember them. All I know is that they lived in student housing by Calamigos Ranch. When we got to my house, I told them to wait, that I wanted to give them something for all their help. They told me they did not want anything. I replied, “Students can always use some cash.” They again said they did not want anything. I told them again to wait just a minute. I entered my house and quickly retrieved money, then hurried down the stairs and opened the front door. They were gone. 

These three young people from Pepperdine University helped me that night and I never got the chance to say a proper “thank you.” If they are reading this letter, know that I will be forever grateful and want to say “thank you.” You are very special people. You make a difference.

Barbara Hasselquist