She walked beside the narrow paved road that is named Bonin. Her uniform of blue slacks and blue shirt edged in an orange stripe announced her profession. She works at the Sonic Drive In and can be seen trudging to work in 90 plus temperatures and the dreaded humidity we endure in the dog days of summer.
A petite, thin young woman, she must be at least 18 yrs old to own a full time job at her place of employment. Her sweat soaked light brown hair clung to her skull. Her blue eyes appeared huge in her thin face. She looked too weary for her young age.
I eased my car to the side of the road about 10 ft. in front of her and hit the window button on the passenger side to drop the window. As she walked up, I asked "Do you need a ride?"
Too tired to smile, she nodded her head and got into the car. Little conversation ensued other then the information on where she worked. We rode in silence. In a few minutes we arrived at Sonic; she gave her thanks, smiled and walked into her job.
A few days pass and again I'm on Bonin. Again, I see the same young lady but this time
she was walking away from her job. Again, I pulled to the side of the road but this time I didn't question her need of a ride. She spoke in a soft voice that was difficult to hear. I assumed she lived in the trailer park and she confirmed that as she directed me to her street.
The trailer was in a less desirable part of the park. Parts of this park, the lots are owned by the people living on them and they have been there for years while parts of the park are rental property. Some of the rentals are obvious. Junk cars and rubbish litter the yards, where the grass is scarce. Very young children play in the dirt yards; teens bounce a basketball with friends while parents relax in the shade available. Sprinkled among the rentals are the lot owners. Yards are fenced and manicured. Not all the lot owners are this neat but the majority of them are.
The trailer sat back from the road on a dirt lot beneath a huge oak tree. Litter sprinkled the lot like confetti on a cupcake. A tired bike sat among the debris that was the front yard. It had a flat tire and that's why the young lady was walking to work.
I asked her to get the bike for me while I got my air compressor out of the trunk. Airing up the tires was fruitless. The back tire was dry rotted and would not hold air. I asked when she worked again and she stated she had "tomorrow" off. Loading the worn out bike into the trunk of my car, I told her I would try to replace that tire.
My next stop was to pick up Carrie to spend the night with me. As she rounded the car she noted the bicycle protruding from the trunk. I explained the reason and off we went to Walmart. My good deed for today would be to find a new bicycle for this young lady that was trying so desperately to support herself. Carrie is a generous soul and was so excited that this young lady would be getting a surprise. Carrie shared with me that her mother also picks up this young lady when she sees her walking. I suppose this gesture of empathy runs strong in my family.
We left Walmart without a bike. None of the bikes in our price range worked correctly. The brakes on them were installed too tight and they 'dragged' making it difficult to move the bike forward. We left that store without accomplishing our goal.
Today Carrie and I will go to another Walmart that is a little farther away. We need a bike before tomorrow to get our Bonin Walker #3 some independence. An update will follow!