Meeting Stewarts was trip’s highlight
Ruth Tucker of Grand Rapids, Mich., sends this Cheer to the Stewart family, particularly 14-year-old Matthew:
“On Sunday, Feb. 9, my husband and I were on our way from Grand Rapids, Mich., to Florida, driving on U.S. 31 through Indiana. All was well until about 20 miles north of Kokomo, when one of our brand new tires blew.
“It was a bitterly cold day, and our vehicle was packed solid with bikes, two boxes of wood for a campfire, food and clothing.
“My husband, 73, started moving items out so we could get to the spare, while I, age 68, furiously paged through the thick owner’s manual to try to figure out exactly how to use the jack, which we had never used before.
“Just as we were about to begin the job of removing the flat tire, Jamie Stewart drove up in his truck. As he was asking me about our situation, his 14-year-old son, Matthew, asked my husband if he could take over.
“In almost no time, Matthew had the flat off and the spare on. They asked us to come to their farm, less than a mile away, to check out the flat. We drove behind them and they directed us into their large garage, and again Matthew took over.
“When he discovered the hole was big enough to accommodate a screw driver, Jamie was pessimistic. Matthew insisted he could fix it. When he showed his father the size of the plug he had chosen, his father said it was too large. Matthew insisted otherwise, and his father backed down.
“Long story short, Matthew successfully filled the large hole in our tire with the confidence of an expert. He added plenty of glue and modestly said he thought it was as good as anyone could do at a tire center (even if one were open on Sunday). Jamie advised us to get the tire checked by experts as soon as we could. But we never got around to it.