Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Heroic Dads and Mechanics

Yesterday my daughter Jamie left for a music festival on Madeline Island, which is in Lake Superior. We live in the Chicago area, so there are two ways to get to Madeline Island. One is to fly to Detroit, shuttle to the ferry and ferry across. The other is to drive all the way across Wisconsin, to the ferry, and ferry across. The ferry ride alone is an hour, and driving from our part of Illinois to the ferry is about eight hours. Everyone who has been there says this music festival is truly worth it.

So Jamie arranged to ride with three other attendees, all basically college-age kids. The driver came from Michigan, picked up Jamie and another girl in the Chicago area and the fourth musician from Madison Wisconsin. We were a bit unsettled when the young man from Michigan opened his hood for some reason before they drove away. A little more so when Jamie texted us that the car had 206,000 miles on it. So when she called us to say that the car had broken down in Phillips, Wisconsin, we were not entirely surprised.

But being stranded in a small town in Wisconsin is not a good thing when you are supposed to report to a music festival and you have to catch a ferry to get there. While the kids called the festival staff to see if they could send any help (no, they couldn't), my husband sprang into action at the computer. He called rental car companies to see if anyone would deliver a car to Phillips. He looked up motels in Phillips. And he searched for and called an auto repair shop. With that call, he hit the jackpot. As soon as he said, "My daughter and three other college students are driving to a music festival and their car broke down in Phillips...", the man on the other end said, "Where are they? Give me your daughter's phone number. We'll tow them in. If it's just a part we can probably fix before the shop closes in 45 minutes. Otherwise there's a motel right across the street."

And he did exactly that. He towed the car, found it was a fuse that the faulty A/C blew out, replaced the fuse and disconnected the A/C. (They're going north anyway, how hot can it be on an island in the middle of Lake Superior?) The kids got back on the road, caught the 8:00 ferry and today are presumably making music.

So if your car breaks down in Phillips, Wisconsin, look for Mike. He's our hero today, along with my husband!


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  2. Wow! I love hearing stories like this! It reminds me that there are so many wonderful people in this world . . .

    1. Yes! It was touching and inspiring how quickly Mike leaped to help out. I thought he must have a daughter, too.