In an ocean of bad news, sometimes you have to look hard to find the good stuff. I’m here to report that some good stuff is still happening on the micro level. The macro scene is another story best saved for another column.

I was driving my RV Escape Pod on I-70 last Friday afternoon, towing my raft, when my transmission stopped transmitting. Of course this could be considered bad news and it is. Coolant was boiling under the hood and it was nearly 100 degrees outside. More bad news.

I was considering my options, none of them good, when a tall, black Ford pickup pulled out. A guy jumped out and asked if I needed help. I’ll call him “Mike Hero.” I could tell that Mike had just gotten off work and he was probably looking forward to starting his weekend and maybe even enjoying an ice cold beer. But he stopped to help an unknown motorist in distress. He could have kept going, but he stopped.

There wasn’t anything Mike Hero could do for me but he gave me his phone number in case I needed to stow my boat or if I needed anything at all. Being on the receiving end of random kindness is a special prize.

I managed to get the Pod into the Walmart parking lot in Rifle where other RVs were in the parking lot taking advantage of the company policy that allows RV enthusiasts to stay in their lot. Nice. I called the tow service and was soon met by a driver I will call “Matt Hero.” Not only did he get the Pod onto his truck lickety-split but he also put my boat trailer on a back hitch he brought along. My tow service does not cover trailers so I was anticipating shelling out some extra cabbage for that part of the ride to Glenwood Springs.

Matt Hero did not charge me extra for the trailer tow. Nice. I spent the night in the RV in the parking lot of a repair shop in Glenwood. Not fun, but at least I had shelter.

In the morning I was informed that the shop couldn’t help with my rig but they donated a couple of quarts of transmission fluid just in case that would help. It didn’t, but the gesture was generous and kind.

I had to get Matt Hero back on the job and he promptly got the Pod on his trailer and took me down the road to a transmission shop. He returned the water bottle I left in his rig the night before. Cool.

A friend of mine from Glenwood, I'll call him “Al Hero,” came and picked me up with a bunch of my junk, attached my boat to his pickup and drove me two hours to my house. He just dropped everything and took care of me. This is not the first time Al Hero has come to my rescue. And even though we’ve had our issues over the years he can really deliver when the going gets rough. So nice.

On Sunday I was out walking my dog Chooch when a big, lanky black lab came ambling up. It was hot and the lab had its big, pink tongue hanging down almost to the ground. I had never seen this dog in the neighborhood. He had no collar and he wasn’t fixed. He stayed close during the walk and I managed to convince him to step into my yard. I closed the gate. Gotcha!

I took a picture of his silly mug and put him up on Facebook. He glugged a big bowl of water and wolfed two bowls of kibble. I waited for someone to recognize him and contact me but all I heard was crickets. I called animal control and “Marianne Hero” was at my house in about 15 minutes to scoop up the lab. She later posted on Facebook that Blackie had been reunited with his owner. It felt good to help.

On Monday at 8 a.m., I called the transmission place and “Amy Hero” was there with assurances that they would look at it first thing and get back to me ASAP. That is not the kind of service I’m used to getting at repair shops. As of this writing I haven't heard back from them. I hope my luck doesn’t run out, so I’m hoping for the best while preparing for the worst.

My band was invited to play a reunion this Thursday at 6 p.m. at Marble Distilling in Carbondale. I love those guys and it’s been a long time. Could be a good time.

The sun is shining and spring is here. I planted some sunflowers and wildflowers in the yard and they are coming up. Watering plants is a mellow exercise. I also planted a cottonwood, and despite the intense wind in my barren yard it still hasn’t snapped and is sporting a few green leaves so I remain cautiously optimistic.


These are a few of my favorite things. Reach Steve Skinner at