While stuck in Petersburg, VA I made reference to an story that would be shared later. The local paper there printed the story, so now I can share it here.
To the Editor:
Though I once was a columnist for a newspaper up in Maine, I thought I might pass on a tale of unexpected serendipity from the town of Petersburg.
I’d been up in the mountains of Pennsylvania for a few days, hiking on the trail. One disaster beget another, so I fled the mountains with a speed that would make you think I was being chased by an angry redhead.
I wound up in Petersburg after a 50 hour stretch with no sleep. A buddy of mine (my former editor – how many columnists can claim that) wired me the cash for a bus ticket on to Florida.
Even still, the strain of an 11-day journey involving trains, trails and a bus routing nightmare left me sitting outside your transportation center with a look on my face you’d see if you shot somebody’s dog – then offered them a puppy.
I was exhausted, spent. A local woman we’ll call “Amy” to protect her anonymity saw that on the streets of your town, there was someone worse off than her.
She immediately guided me through the streets of your town to the local library, which I couldn’t have found without her help. I was able to charge up a dying laptop and phone, and work out the arrangements for that bus ticket.
Someone from your town that had nothing, not even a place to stay herself took a visitor under her wing, guiding past the weird and the strange, pointing out a local chicken place that would take my debit card.
Find this woman, and help her to get a place to call home. She put the shine on the apple of your city for a stranger in need. She deserves no less.