Thursday, March 31, 2011

Good Deed

I have done my good deed for the year, if not the next few years, and can therefore be expected to perform no further good deeds until further notice. Today, running down Terwilliger Boulevard, I noticed an older man -- in his 60's, I'd say -- making very unsteady progress up a muddy trail converging on the Terwilliger sidewalk. Being an American, I momentarily considered doing the bystander apathy thing and continuing my run, but then realized how much I loathe that. (Bystander apathy, not running. Running is great.)

I turned back and about the time I got out the words "Sir, are you OK?" I had the answer: he had turned his ankle very badly and was trying, with little success, to make his way using a stick he had found on the ground. With his ancient (and adorable) basset hound our cheering section, I helped support him up the path to the sidewalk, where he said his car was "very close."

We reached the sidewalk, but looking both fore and aft along Terwilliger, I didn't see any car, and this is a part of Terwilliger where a car cannot hide. I ran back down and got his stick, and on his insistence I let him start in the direction of his parked car. I saw that was futile since his right ankle was unable to withstand the slightest pressure before rolling under again, and there on the sidewalk, he was at risk of not just falling down but falling into the north-bound lane of shoulder-free Terwilliger. Before I could suggest it, he handed me his car keys and sent me to fetch his vehicle, which turned out to be roughly an 1/8th mile away.

I knew it was his car when it matched the description he gave (dark red Subaru), the key fit the lock, and the interior smelled like an ancient, adorable basset hound. I drove back to where he was, helped the basset hound into the car, and then helped the man around the car and into the driver's seat with one last strong encouragement that he seek medical attention. Fortunately, OHSU is less than a mile from that spot, and in the direction his car was already pointing. It can't have been a comfortable drive, but I saw that he could manage it.

I am glad I was there to help and that it wasn't worse. I can't imagine how he would have made it up that muddy slope where I first saw him, nor do I see how he would have made it another 1/8th mile along predominantly uphill sidewalk to his car.

We didn't exchange names but I hope he's a billionaire who somehow look me up and bestow some part of his vast fortune on me. If that doesn't happen -- I admit this is possible -- I hope he is, by now, resting and well with his basset hound at his mended ankle.


The Duchess of Cookies said...

*Nod* to your good deed.

Dale said...

DC, thanks!

Anonymous said...

Good deed indeed.

This is deserving of some good karma (I'm sure you believe in karma). I've done good deeds from time to time.

I was running one day several years ago and I saw a ten dollar bill on the ground. I picked up that ten dollar bill and continued my run. What a lucky day it was for me. Ten dollars and some exercise – it was like being a pro athlete or something. Then I saw a man picking through a garbage can. Feeling like a professional athlete with more money than I could spend in a day, I decided to give the money to the guy digging through the garbage can. I can't say this was all that good of a deed but it did pay off quite well. I won $9800 at the casino the next day.

The moral of this story is that your good deed may end up paying huge financial rewards. I wish you luck with that.