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June 1, 2020
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Look for the Helpers

Published July 10, 2019

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A scary thing happened last week. With a new driver and a “new to us” Toyota, we had expected a few dings and dents, but had not anticipated spontaneous combustion while our son was driving. Another driver, Jim, saw the flames under the car and shouted for our son to get out. Thankfully, the only true casualties were the car itself and the unfortunate bush the vehicular conflagration landed on. I have felt incredible gratitude since then. We are surrounded by wonderful neighbors and incredible first responders in Madison. I would like to take this opportunity to thank them.

Jim not only alerted our son to the danger he was in but stayed with him until I arrived. I cannot express my appreciation enough. The Madison police responded quickly, were informative and reassuring, and kept the other drivers safe. I thank them. There were familiar faces among the responding North Madison firefighters. My father-in-law volunteered as a NOMAD for decades and his colleagues extinguished the fire safely, helping us keep things in perspective with some light-hearted joking and a welcomed hug for a concerned mom. The parents of the junior firefighters who responded should be so proud of their children’s service to our community.

Chris, the owner of the doomed bush, had small children who had a front row view of the carbeque. His daughter was a little scared and she has been on my mind. I hope her dad told her about Mr. Rogers’ famous quote. To paraphrase, when things are scary, look for the helpers. You will always find people helping. We certainly did that day. Chris himself was kind and understanding about the situation and even brought out drinking water for the firefighters. There are good people all around us, and I am so grateful.

Bridget Newton