Good Samaritan helps family on side of road

Published 11:45 pm Friday, October 17, 2014

It wasn’t exactly three miles uphill through the snow, but my wife and children now have a story to tell when it comes to getting to school.

It started with a bout of aggravation Thursday when I left the driveway before 7 a.m., only to discover a few blocks down the road that I couldn’t shift into second or third gear.

This forced me to take my wife’s car to work, which changed my family’s plans as wife Candace gamely volunteered to walk the children to school and back.

Prekindergarten student Mallory and first grader Dominick were ready to make the most of it, according to my wife.

“I said we’re going to be taking a walk to school,” Candace said, recounting what she told the children. “We’ll actually take the wagon so you don’t have to worry about walking with your backpack.”

Instead of leaving at their normal time for the one-mile trip to Vacherie Elementary School, they left 10 minutes earlier for the trek east on Louisiana 643.

“(Mallory) hops in the wagon, and off we go,” Candace said. “I made Dominick stay on the side of the road and walk in the grass, because it is such a busy street. I made him walk in front of me while I pulled her behind me.”

The kids were well behaved, according to Candace, and my son did his best to avoid ant piles following a recent, aggravating encounter with them in our front yard the weekend prior.

“We were going and had a couple of blocks left when a lady was going the opposite way in her car back towards our house and away from the school,” Candace said. “I see she puts her blinker on, and I thought, because we were right there by a house, that it was her house.

“She stopped and said ‘I know you guys. I know the kids. I cannot let y’all walk on the side of the road. I work at the school and I know your little ones.’”

Candace implored the Good Samaritan that her walk was not bad and, in fact, almost over.

“She was like ‘no, no, no, it’s a dangerous road. I can’t let you walk here with your kids. Please get in the car,’” Candace remembers.

Gratefully, Candace loaded up the kids in the car, joined them in the backseat, left the wagon on the side of the road and hopped in to ride the last two blocks to school.

The Good Samaritan turned out to be a part-time employee at the school and a genuinely friendly person.

“When we came back, I told her ‘thank you,’ because I was just going to get out and walk the rest of the way with the wagon,” Candace said. “But she helped me put the wagon in the backseat and she drove me all the way home.”

Candace and I are both extremely thankful for the help we received Thursday morning from a stranger, which led Candace to post a picture and the following on Facebook: “This is how we started to roll into school this morning. A FABULOUS woman that works at the school pulled over and gave us a ride the rest of the way. There are still some AMAZING people out there with hearts of gold willing to help a complete stranger. I feel so blessed this morning.”

Truer words were never spoken.

Neighbors make communities, and great neighbors make great communities. Everyday we learn why there are so many great communities in the River Parishes.

We were paid a wonderful favor Thursday morning and look forward to paying it forward the next chance we get.

Stephen Hemelt is general manager and editor of L’OBSERVATEUR. He can be reached at 985-652-9545 or