On Tuesday, May 1, my almost 70-year-old sister with two young grandchildren in her car ran over the sharp edge of a curb and got a flat tire. She pulled into a parking lot off Pinewood Road and called me in a panic for help. I was in Savannah on business which left me few options. She bought the car new from Robert Jones at Jones Chevrolet four years ago, and although it was after 5 p.m., I called Robert's office for advice and direction.
I explained to Robert the situation, and he assured me his was a family business and he would take care of it. Robert then told me to call my sister and tell her the cavalry was on the way. I assured him my goal was to get a number for someone to call, since the day of the corner gas station that once took care of these type issues was long gone, I needed an 800 number; isn't that what we do now? Robert simply said we got this covered. I did as requested and called my sister and told her and the girls to be calm; help was on the way.
What I later found out was that it was Robert himself, with tire tool, jack and spare from the trunk, who left his office and went and changed the flat tire. I was shocked but not surprised when about 30 minutes after my call to Robert he called to say she was on the road again. Breathing a bit harder than before, it was easy to surmise from Robert's call that he had been the one who changed the tire.
I thanked him profusely and then had a good memory. Around 1990 when Robert was in our R.A. group on Wednesday evenings at First Baptist, we knew then he was a godly teen. Now a godly young man. Where did that time go My sister then called in tears, thanking me for the help. I told her Robert was the one who came to the rescue and she needed to thank him. Today she is at Jones getting new tires.
Funny how life goes full circle. When I was in the 11th grade at Sumter High, working at Price's Exxon after school, a man pulled in one afternoon with a nail in his tire. He was in a hurry and asked if I could change his tire. I did and he paid the fee ($1), and the kind man was on his way. It was Mr. John Jones, owner of Jones Chevrolet. I had seen his picture many times for positive community and business events. I think Mr. Jones would be very proud today to know that his grandson is carrying on the family business built on his reputation.
For 30 minutes and a tire wrench, I owe Robert Jones much more than $1. I sure wish we had more businesses that treated folks like family, sure wish we still had an old gas station to change flat tires and really wish my sister would drive around those curbs. Thanks Robert.