Boston winter’s can be rough. And anyone in Boston remembers the winter of 2010 - snow storms regularly, ice buildup, frigid temperatures. Elizabeth Ryan remembers it well. Not only because of the terrible weather, but because of a story of that came as a result of it, which to this day, is one of her favorite stories to tell.
Probably about a year and a half ago, I think it was February 2011 [2010-2011 winter], we were having a horrible winter in Boston. It felt like we had snow storms every single day, everything was constantly covered in ice - it was brutal. There was one time that my car just totally stuck. The tires were smoking, they just weren’t going anywhere. I tried salting it and sanding it and, just, nothing was working. So eventually I called AAA and it looked like he had a tow truck. And he got out and literally said, “Oh you’re really stuck. There’s nothing I can do with this truck.” And I was sort of hoping he would then say “Well, I’ll get another truck” or “I’ll call somebody who has the right equipment.” But he didn’t - he got in his car and just said sorry and left. And I started just sobbing and trying to chip away at the ice again, um, and this woman walked by and saw me and stopped and said, “Can I help you?” and she looked at me like she was not going to leave me alone. So she called her father who was nearby. A few minutes later, this little older man drove up in his car, jumped out - he was short, had a white beard. Kind of reminded me of Santa Claus. He was very full of energy. Immediately [he] sort of set to work in trying to get my car undone - he sent me to get a bigger shovel, more sand. And for 20 minutes just worked magic on my car, between the three of us, and eventually got it unstuck. And the fact that these people cared enough about somebody they didn’t know to stop, it just meant a huge amount to me, and I think that when something like that does happen it leaves such an impression that it affects more than just the immediate situation itself.