by Margo Hall
I love good stories about community and people coming together to help one another. This year, at Nashville Pride, I unexpectedly became a participant in such a story.
On June 22, 2019, Lisa and Stephanie left their home in Murfreesboro and drove the 35 miles to Nashville for Pride in Stephanie’s beautiful, red 1999 Ford Mustang. Everything went as it should and they arrived safely to the parking garage beneath Nashville Public Square Park, where Pride has been the last several years. They were excited, as most people are when they finally make it to Pride. However, as soon as they found a parking spot, tragedy struck and their car burst a radiator hose. It had been so hot outside that an old tube on the engine finally gave out and spilled antifreeze all over the place.
Just about the time their car broke, I was slightly overheated from walking around Pride and decided to sit in my car, parked below, to cool down. See, I also drive a red 1999 Mustang that I bought from a junkyard and fixed up. I am what I refer to as a self-taught, backyard mechanic. So, as I exited the stairwell and entered the garage, I was greeted with a sweet yet foul smell I am all too familiar with – hot antifreeze. It didn’t take long to find the car in distress and I was surprised to see a vehicle very similar to mine. Standing next to it were the understandably upset owners, trying to contact a tow truck.
No one likes it when their car breaks down because it is often a very irritating and emotional event. Especially when such an event happens upon arriving at Pride. These feelings were recent for me as well because, a few weeks earlier, my car had done something similar. So, having experience with this, I offered help that they gladly accepted. I took a quick look and it was quite clear that a small hose on the top was the culprit. It appeared to be the only damage and seemed to be an easy repair. I showed the owners and they felt relieved. I offered to take them to an auto parts store and to help them repair the vehicle. As Stephanie and I drove to and from the store, we talked and got to know each other. As it turned out, we grew up in the same town, went to the same university, used the same bank, and as we already found out, drive the same car. Surely this encounter was crafted by fate.
When we arrived back to the garage, the repair went as easy as it looked. We replaced the old hose, refilled the radiator with antifreeze, and we fired the car back up. Nothing leaked, and the repair was successful. The tow truck wasn’t needed and, thanks to a little community help, Lisa and Stephanie were able to make it to Pride and enjoy the festivities.
A little bit of kindness can go a long way in this world and, often enough, it does not cost us anything, yet gains us everything. Out of this, I made two wonderful friends and a memory I will never forget. To me, that is what Pride means, a community coming together to support one another.