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An Angel in the Desert

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Sharon and I were finally ready to start on our first vacation/honeymoon. Sharon had never had a vacation in her life, she usually visited relatives instead. She and I were looking forward to 'our' trip together. We were tight on money. Our goals was to head West from Oklahoma City to see northern New Mexico, the Grand Canyon, Vegas, to Silverton and Durango in Colorado, to Leadville, up to Yellowstone National park, then meander home.

The plans were nice on paper, but reality hit us in Amarillo when her 1986 Cougar started chugging and we barely made it to the gas station. I thought perhaps she had some bad gas and as the tank was fairly empty, I felt confident a full tank would cure the ill. So off we went again. However, just outside of! Tucumcari, New Mexico, the car would barely do 20 mph. The car had a serious problem. We would have to change our vacation plans in all likelihood. The only repair shop open on Saturday gave us grim news. The catalytic converter was bad and it needed to be replaced. The cost was about 250 (1988) dollars. Also, to add injury, we would have to wait until Monday for the part.

I told the man about my wife, who had terminal cancer, about this being our honeymoon, but to fix it and we would adjust our venue. He looked at me in the eye and said, "If you buy me breakfast and get an oil change, this car will be ready in an hour."

I fed him breakfast and paid him 19.95 for an oil change. What he had done was illegal, he removed the converter and then told us the car would run much better and we could use either leaded or unleaded gas.

This man saved our vacation and ensured we had many memories of our trip. I thank this angel in the desert.

B. J. Cassady Guthrie, Okla BJ.Cassady@af-group.com

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