Springtime, the winter months in the warmth of the Rio Grande Valley, is over. Our feathered companions for the winter, the Boat Tailed Grackles, and Red Wing Blackbirds gather in flocks each evening on the powerlines at every street junction. It's that time of year again. The birds are getting ready, and we, as Winter Texans, must start planning our return drive to our northern homes.
We Heard the Bang
We were approaching Beaumont, Texas, when it happened. I pulled onto the hard shoulder.
The second axle, nearside tire, had burst, and we could still hear air escaping. The tire had exploded and wrapped the steel bracing wires around the wheel hub. It had also sliced the back wall of the front tire.
“I can’t get that wheel off," said the road service driver. “The office will send a mechanic. He’ll be with you in 90 minutes.”
I was looking at the mess when Linda said, “We have company coming.”
I turned, and I saw him. A young man in loose-fitting jeans over his worn cowboy boots and a Tee shirt shrink-wrapped over his muscular body and a cowboy hat was walking toward us.
“I’m Tex,” he told me with a firm but not crushing grip on my hand. “Sir, I saw your road service guy drive off without helping you. Can I be of any assistance?"
I explained the problem.
Tex gave Linda a smile. “I’ll go to my truck and bring some things back that will make this easy,” and off he loped.
“He looks as if he could pick the trailer up with one hand and change the tires with the other,” commented Linda.
Tex was jogging back over the hill with a trolley jack in one hand and a tool bag in the other. Tex had one spare fitted in minutes between his jack and tool bag. He then turned his attention to the wheel wrapped in steel bracing wire.
His hand dived into his tool bag and came out with a long-handle pair of wire cutters.
“That bag must be magic? It’s got all the tools you need," commented Linda.
"I need a touch of magic in my kind of work," Tex said, smiling at Linda.
“Tex, I’m a writer. What work do you do?”
"Oh, not much, really. I have a degree in business studies; I help my dad on the ranch; the tools I carry are for fence repairs, and on the weekend, I ride bulls for fun.”
I knew I should not have asked that question.
With the second wheel replaced, I thanked Tex, asking how to show my appreciation.
“There is no need; I hope someone will do the same for my grandad.”
That did it; Linda was laughing as she thanked Tex too. A Cowboy Samaritan, there when we needed him most.