2018-07-19 / Letters

Pennsylvania Heroes

To The Editor:

Heroes do not always need to wear capes. Our heroes did not even wear shirts. Our story takes place on Sunday, July 1, which turned out to be one of the hottest days this summer. My family was driving home to Cleveland from a weekend trip in D.C. The dashboard started to light up like a Christmas tree as we entered Pennsylvania. My wife, Michelle, and I hoped we had enough juice to make it to the Breezewood exit so we could get our children something to eat in an air-conditioned restaurant while we figured out our options. Unfortunately, the car had other plans as all of the needles on the dashboard flatlined and we lost the digital displays.

So, I pulled off at the next exit while my wife searched for the nearest mechanic on her smartphone. Michelle called Bohrer’s Garage in Warfordsburg and the owner answered his phone. He agreed to take a look at the van even though the garage was closed. Locals know that Fairview Road and the surrounding area is very hilly. The Odyssey made it up one hill, but simply did not have the acceleration to make it up the next. I suggested Michelle call Bohrer’s to let them know we were not going to make it to the garage while I dialed our roadside assistance. Not 30 seconds later did two men pull in front of us in their pickup truck. It was Floyd and his son, Jacob, from Bohrer’s Garage in all of their shirtless glory! Floyd and Jacob drove out looking for us figuring we should have made it to their shop a while ago. A brand new alternator installed three hours later and we were on our way back home.

My faith in humanity is strengthened by the simple kindness shown to my family by Floyd and his crew. First, they came out looking for us! Floyd was on his way to dinner when we called, again on a Sunday, and he searched for us when we did not arrive on time. Next, Floyd suggested we move the car to a safer location on the other side of the road to avoid a potential blindspot for other motorists after he realized we had children in the back seats. His expertise as a mechanic is excellent as he worked on our car with care and precision. Finally, Floyd is an honorable man charging a fair price for the parts and labor when some may have taken advantage of our situation.

However, what impressed us the most was Floyd as father and friend. Floyd is the consummate teacher passing on his trade to his son. He asked Jacob to troubleshoot the problem and make suggestions for fixing it. In addition, we could sense Jacob’s passion to help us and desire to take on this repair. It can only be something a son gets growing up watching his father interact this way with other people. A cool part of the adventure was the car trip I took with their family friend, Dwight. Dwight drove me into West Virginia to purchase the alternator. We talked about life and I learned a little more about Floyd and his family. (The coolest parts for my children were the kittens they played with and the cold cans of Pepsi they were given while we waited.) Obviously, Floyd is a lot more than a mechanic.

Blockbuster movies are made about fictional superheroes. Documentaries are filmed and awards rightly given to our heroes who serve in the armed forces. The trip to Bohrer’s Garage is about four hours from our house so I cannot give them our loyalty as a customer or refer our neighbors. I hope sharing this story will show Floyd, Jacob, and their crew how blessed we feel that they took the time to open their garage on a Sunday for one stranded family in a minivan.

Jim and
Michelle Swislocki
Rocky River, Ohio

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