Great day to know Mr. Mount

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 5, 2012

A metal against metal sound being emitted from the front end of the car is never a good sign – especially when you’re traveling 75 mph down the interstate outside of Montgomery.

To facilitate a trip to the orthodontist in Birmingham, I’d taken my “Labor Day holiday” on Friday to avoid losing a day off.

As soon as I heard the screeching sound Friday, I knew we were in for it. Up to that point, the day had not been too bad – our favorite sushi restaurant in Five Points and then a stop Durbin Farms for Ora’s newest obsession, chess pie.

We were clicking along nicely until just before – and by just before, I mean a half a mile from the U.S. Hwy. 331 bypass exit, A.K.A. the worst possible spot to breakdown – it happened.

Honestly, it sounded like a blowout at first, but the grating sound progressed as we made the transition from the fast lane to the emergency lane.

As I made my way around the car, I told myself, “You can change a tire. Don’t panic.”

Well, I started panicking pretty quickly when I didn’t find a flat tire or any other noticeable automotive malfunction.

A call to Brother meant a run down the list of clicks and clacks, and thankfully, we determined it wasn’t in the engine, but instead, something to do with the wheels.

So my girl and I hurried up and waited for the calvary to arrive. After sitting in the car, on the side of the road for more than an hour (in the air conditioning, thank goodness), I decided we needed to make our way to a restaurant for something to drink.

At this point, I realized just how lucky we were on two fronts – one, for having family that would drive two hours to come get our broken down selves, and two, for living in a wonderful place like Covington County.

If the second reason sounds strange, let me explain. Not one single person stopped and asked us if we were OK as we made the trek from the car to the off ramp. Being in a dress and heeled sandals, I got honks but that was it. As we rounded the curve headed toward the Days Inn lobby, we noticed another family parked in a vacant lot. Fellow refugees on their way to the beach, stranded after the vehicle towing their boat overheated. Lucky for them, they had a second vehicle.

They told their story, and we told ours. When I said we were from Andalusia, they said, “Do you know Kennith Mount?” Let me tell you, I was happy to report to the Arnett family that not only did I know him, that he also won the election last week and would be serving another term as city councilman.

That connection got us a ride to the worst Waffle House in the nation, but we were happy to make it there – and happy to know that a friendly face can pop up when you least expect it and it’s needed the most.