Saturday, June 12, 2010

An Unplanned Evening in Starbuck, Minnesota

We were returning home from a business conference at the University of Minnesota Morris when we had car trouble in Starbuck. It was about 5:30 p.m. as our car rolled to a stop in front of the convenience store at the intersection of Hwy. 28 and the Main Street of Starbuck.

Being from out of town and about eighty miles from home, I looked at my wife and said, “This should be interesting.”

As we walked into the convenience store, I asked the manager “Who should we call for help?” Without hesitation he said, “Call John Perry” and handed me the phone book but we did not get an answer. A customer filling gas came in and asked how he could help; he said that John lived near him.

Another employee, a young man named Patrick, said John was his step Dad and he would call him on his cell. We were impressed with this small town kindness.

John and Audrey arrived quickly and towed our car to John’s Star Motors. The initial diagnosis was serious—transmission problems.

We called to find a ride home and our neighbor, Jane, graciously agreed to make the trip. Expecting a two hour wait, John and Audrey suggested we have dinner at a fund raiser being held at the old train depot a few blocks away. Incidentally, this is a type of event that was recommended at the conference to enhance our communities—farmers market, benefit meal, and local entertainment.

We, the outsiders, walked in with a tentative nature to be met with friendly servers. After we told of our blight, they jokingly said this supper was planned just for us—they knew we were coming!  Again we experienced the delightful small town kindness.

We ate with two couples; the women happened to be sisters. We visited like old friends; we shared our meal interspersed with good talk and humor. They also informed us that John Perry is a good guy and that they always take their car to him. We were relieved to hear the high recommendations.

We finished eating and walked up to the convenience store to meet our ride and visited with many friendly, helpful people.

The next day John looked at our car and called to say he had good news; it was not the transmission but an axle failure. He would have the car ready in a couple of hours. We were more than pleased. We were more than impressed.

Does the community of Starbuck realize how special it is? Everyone we met was welcoming, helpful, and honest—the customer at the gas pump, the convenience store manager, Patrick, the people at the community supper, and John and Audrey at Star Motors.

We wanted to take this opportunity to thank everyone in Starbuck for the kindness shown to a couple of “wayfaring strangers.” We certainly felt God’s hand in this unplanned and possible trying situation which became an experience of grateful praise to Him as well as His people.  Thanks to all of you, especially John and Audrey Perry—we are strangers no more.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Must be something about Starbuck. Several years back, hubbies car malfunctioned. First person that stopped GAVE us his car to return home, he coordinated the repair, called us the next day to tell us to come get the car. the repair was fair and the loaner was free! Wow! Try to pass that good will along.