When You Least Expect it

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
I'm lost in London and then culture shock...

Submitted: December 17, 2016

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Submitted: December 17, 2016




A few years ago, I was playing in a nice hotel on Longboat Key, Florida and I met a very wealthy, influential English named Tony Derry...He and his wife Mickey were regular customers of mine and became good friends...One week in early 1988, they hosted a friend of theirs named Brian Case, who managed a huge hotel in the middle of England, called The Belfry...It was a beautiful place that had hosted the Ryder Cup golf tournaments a couple of times in the previous few years...Mr. Case offered me a job playing at his hotel and I went over for 9 weeks and had the time of my life...
They provided me with a house in a nearby town, a rental car and paid me, too...!
I learned to drive on the wrong side of the car on the wrong side of the road, shifting with my left hand, and put 4,000 miles on that rental car sight-seeing in my ample time off...
A friend of mine came over to visit for a week while I was there and I drove down to London to pick her up. Looking back now, I can't believe I felt comfortable driving the wrong sides of the streets in big city traffic, but I did...
Of course there were no GPS units then, so I did what I do to this day, stop and ask directions...I was at a stop light and there was a big black London taxi next to me at the light...It was a sunny afternoon in June and our car windows were open...So I hollered across to the cabbie,

"I'm trying to get to Euston Station...!"

He answered back quickly,  "I'm headed that direction...! Follow me...!"

So I did. 

I followed, turning, following through London traffic, hurrying up, stopping and turning for a long ways...Five or ten minutes passed...We were stopped at a light and the cabbie, with a fare in his cab, got out and walked back to my window and leaned down and said,

"I'm turning left here, but if you'll carry on straight ahead, the road will curve around to the right and you'll find Euston Station there...!"

"Thank you so much...!"

I sat there stunned for a moment. He could have easily forgotten about me or blown me off in the time that went by as I was trying to keep up.

And there it was, right where he said it would be, Euston Station...

I have told this story a few times in the years since. I wonder if a New York City cabbie or a Chicago hack would go out of his way to this degree to be helpful to a stranger. 

If you look, I believe you will find kindness in people...where and...when you least expect it...

© Copyright 2018 Brian Beebe. All rights reserved.

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