To the Editor:

After graduating from Western Carolina, I came back in fall 1992 to attend homecoming. Unfortunately, I got a DUI during that visit. I was convicted in March 1993, and chose seven days in jail, as compared to community service, schools, etc.

During my week in jail, the Storm of the Century hit us. The jailer came to me and asked if I could get picked up, that they were all heading home before the conditions were literally impassable. Realizing I would get released four days earlier than my sentence, I enthusiastically responded yes. I faked a phone call to a fraternity brother, assured the jailer he had a monster four-wheel drive, and he could pick me up on Main Street. He proceeded to give me my clothes and I was released. As I walked down the 107 steps from the courthouse to Main St. in a pair of khakis, button down sport coat and penny loafers, I might have bitten off more than I could chew.

I walked down Main Street, no one in sight, snow blowing like an Aspen ski resort. I doubted I could make it the seven miles back to campus. When out of nowhere, a red/burgundy older model Ford pickup truck pulled up next to me. The older gentleman asked if I was OK, and where in the world was I headed. I replied campus, he said get in, he would get me as far as he could. The warmth of the cab was great, he had chains on his tires and navigated us out of Sylva fine. We took Old Cullowhee Road, and he got me to the driveway of Riverside Apartments. I thanked him, got out and waded through knee-high snow to my brother’s apartment and settled into a marathon game of gin rummy.

I was remiss in asking this gentleman for his name, address, anything. I was a 21-year-old kid, happy to be out of jail.

If this sounds like your husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle or friend, please reach out to me. This act of genuine kindness needed to be thanked. I would like to offer thanks, maybe there is something I can do for him, or his family. Again, please reach out to me at mike.thompson09@spectrum.net.

 

Mike Thompson, Greenville, S.C.