As I approached the top of the ramp, I was gearing down to stop at the stop sign. I glanced to my right, at the old blue extended cab pickup parked off on the right shoulder, where it could be easily seen by people exiting the highway as I had just done, or by motorists who were entering the interstate to head on to California. I noticed that the old truck had a full camper type protective cover, and I could see through the windows that the bed of the truck was crammed full of belongings. I took another quick look at the person standing against the truck, holding a crude hand lettered sign that read, “out of gas, no money, please help.” This was nothing that surprised me, as normally both off and on ramps at this interchange are filled with people begging for money. And, I work darned hard for my money, so I hardly ever give a second glance at the beggar.
This time I noticed that it was a lady, mid fifties, a little plump, and wearing a pair of late 80’s, early 90’s plastic framed glasses, with what looked to me to be a reasonably substantial minus prescription. Here was a quandary for me. I wanted to stop, but I had no time.
I came to a rolling stop, and eased the truck slowly into the southbound main road. I tried to look at her as long as I could, and when I turned completely away, I watched her for a while in my rear view mirrors, as I shifted through the gears, rolling away from her. I had to get my load off, and head back for another, so I had no time to waste. 45 minutes later I came back to the same intersection, and as I headed onto the eastbound freeway I noticed that her truck was still across the bridge on the ramp.
I reloaded as quickly as possible, and I was approaching the off ramp again only 2 hours later. I should have fueled in town, as fuel was slightly cheaper there, but I didn’t want to waste the time. As I rolled up the ramp again, I noticed the pickup was still there. I lowered the air window on the passenger side, and yelled out, “ I have to fuel at the truck stop. If you want to meet me there, I will buy you some gas, and something to eat.” The ball was now in her court.
I pulled up to the diesel pumps, got the girl inside to turn my pump on, and started fueling. As my truck was fueling, I tried to see if the lady on the ramp had followed me, but my view was blocked. Just then the rear door to the truck stop opened, and the lady I had asked to meet me came out, and walked over to me.
“Were you serious mister, or were you just putting me on?” she asked.
“Dead serious lady, just let me pay for my fuel, and get this thing parked. I will meet you in the restaurant.” I said.
I paid for my fuel, parked my truck, and went into the fast food chain restaurant. She was sitting at a table in the back corner waiting for me.
“Come on, I’ll get you some food first, then we will get you some gas.” I said.
We ordered, I paid, and we went back to the table. She was hungry. I am a fast eater, but she devoured her food with gusto.
I looked her over while we were eating. She was pretty clean, and so was her clothing, so I figured that this out of money thing was just a temporary glitch. As I mentioned, she was a bit heavy, maybe 20 or 30 pounds, and this was reflected in her face. It was fairly obvious to me that she would have been a lot prettier if she had been a bit thinner in the face. However, her oversized plastic framed glasses, pressed tightly into her rotund cheeks looked darned good on her, even with the chubbiness. I have this thing for ladies who wear glasses, and her glasses, while not as strong as I would have liked, qualified her as a reasonably high myope. I couldn’t stop staring at her, wondering why she was here, on the side of the interstate, with no money for food or fuel.
I couldn’t help but ask her, so she told me her story, of marrying a man from Texas a few years ago, and moving from California, where she was raised, to his ranch in the boondocks of Texas. Her husband had passed away recently, and when it came time to read the will, she discovered that all his property went to his 2 sons from his previous marriage. She was to be allowed to live in the ranch house rent-free until she died, but the big old rambling ranch house was going to be a killer for her to heat, and keep in good repair. She had her late husbands pension to live on, but she was herself too young for any form of social security, and the pension was just not going to do it. So, she had made a deal with the boys. They didn’t have any money themselves, so they took over the ranch, and she agreed to move on. The boys didn’t have the cash to buy her out, so she ended up with a small mortgage on the ranch, and she was to receive monthly payments until either the ranch was sold, or the mortgage was paid off.
Now she was heading into the Los Angeles area, where she was going to stay with her daughter, and her 2 grandchildren. I didn’t ask, but it sounded like her son in law was an ex. She had thought that her money would see her through to her daughter’s house, but she had been forced to replace the alternator on her old pickup, which left her broke, and stranded.
Now it was her turn to ask me why I was befriending her. So, I figured I would be honest. I told her that I was attracted to women who wore glasses. And, as I had hoped, this started a conversation about her glasses.
As I had suspected, she had a prescription of around –10.00D. This was not as high as I would have liked, nor was it as high as the thickness of her glasses indicated. But, it was substantial, and I quite enjoyed watching her, with the reflections off the plano front of her glasses dancing in them. She told me that she had been quite nearsighted for most of her life, and that her daughter was even more nearsighted than she was. And, to make it even more tempting for me, apparently her granddaughter appeared to be heading down the road to become even more myopic than her daughter. I would have loved to know the prescriptions, but of course she didn’t know what they were.
I also told her that I had a collection of old glasses, and with that she dug in her purse, and pulled out a pair of sunglasses with a broken frame. She told me to add them to my collection if I wanted to, or else throw them out. I figured I might have a frame the lenses would fit, so I thanked her, and pocketed them.
After we had eaten, I calculated the fuel she would need to get to her destination. She told me that she already had collected $15.00, so I took a $20.00, and filled her tank. With the other $15.00 I was sure she could make it. She hugged me, and drove off into the western sunset.
About a month ago I got a package in the mail. When I opened it, there was a box containing the glasses that she had been wearing that day, along with 2 other pairs. There was also a money order for the $20.00. I hadn’t realized I had told her my name and address, but a few days later my boss mentioned that a lady had called saying that she owed me some money, so they had told her where she could mail it. I thanked him for letting her know my address, but she had been sly enough not to give me hers. There was a note that read: “Thanks for your kindness. Here is the money back, and my old glasses for your collection. My daughter and my granddaughter also got new glasses, so I am giving you their old ones as well.”
A good deed rewarded!
Specs4ever, Jan 2005