I'm not one to normally pick up strangers on the side of the road, but tonight was an exception. My husband and I made a quick trip to his office building this evening. As we were leaving, we caught sight of an old man, cane in his hand, hobbling down the sidewalk of a main street not too far from the downtown area. At first my husband thought he recognized this man as one he sees quite often, but as we passed him up he realized it was a different man. We slowed down wondering if the old man might be lost or needed help, and I suggested he turn around and ask him. Then, we pulled into a parking lot the man was walking by and rolled down the window to ask where he was headed and if he needed a lift. He graciously thanked us and accepted the ride.
I quickly got out of the passenger side of the truck and offered him my seat. As I was helping this man in the truck I couldn't help but think, "What if this had been my grandfather?" I climbed into the backseat next to my son Nicholas, the old man gave us directions to his house, and we drove off. During the short drive we learned he was coming back from one of the casinos, and the bus had let him off there at the parking lot. He said. "If you win, you take the taxi. If you lose, you take the bus." It was obvious that he had taken the bus and for a moment I was sad. It was getting dark now, and I hated to think of this old man walking by himself to his home. I wondered if we hadn't of stopped to help if he would have made it home safely.
We found the old man's street. It looked like an old alley street, and his house was an old rickety two story house that at one time was probably one of the nicer homes in the old Highland neighborhood. It appeared he lived alone, and we wondered if he had electricity and food. I helped him out of the truck, and he politely thanked us again. We may never see this man again, but I am grateful we were able to help out this kind stranger when he needed someone.