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Saturday, July 13, 2024 at 4:53 AM

Thank you to the community

I can’t thank you enough for your hospitality on the evening of Tuesday, April 9. I had been on the road with a rental vehicle for hours before reaching Holiday Inn Express.

As I turned the steering wheel to maneuver over some rough pavement from recent construction at the hotel entrance, the vehicle stopped. I thought I had possibly hit something in the driveway and tried starting the vehicle again. The car moved enough to get me away from the entrance, but stopped again in the parking lot.

After several attempts to the start the car with no success, I called the hotel front desk and spoke to John Espinoza, a Holiday Inn Express employee, explaining my situation and that my vehicle would be blocking traffic entering and exiting the hotel parking lot. John and another hotel guest came outside to push my car into a parking spot. We all determined I had run out of gas.

Both gentlemen explained there was a Walmart and a gas station just down the road.

I called Murphy’s and spoke to Maria to confirm if they had a gas tank and asked her to please save it for me. I asked two other hotel guests getting ready to leave for a ride to and from Murphy’s gas station, which they obliged. A customer at Murphy’s, offered to help me fill up the gas tank and explained that the nozzle and cap were tricky to manage. I thanked him and then I got back into the van for a return trip to the hotel parking lot, thinking, “I don’t how I am going to correctly transfer the gas from this tank to the car even with the explanation from the kind gentleman.”

As I got back to the hotel, I noticed the kind gentleman had followed.

He quickly approached and said, “Ma’am, please, let me help you.”

The kind man, said “Ma’am, I noticed at the gas station that the two men in the van didn’t get out to help you and that bothered me, which is why I followed them back here to the hotel. I wanted to make sure you were going to be okay. I can follow you back to Murphy’s to help you fill up the rest of your car’s gas tank.”

I told Maria at Murphy’s that a kind gentleman had followed me back to the hotel to make sure I would be taken care of. Maria said “Yes, he was watching the whole situation and was concerned about you.”

While pumping my gas, I asked the man, “Sir what is your name?

It was very kind of you to follow me back to the hotel and help me with the plastic can.” He said, “My name is Tony and I live in the neighborhood across from the hotel. I didn’t like that the men in the van didn’t get out to help you and I was worried for your safety.”

We shook hands and both said goodbye. I drove back to the hotel with a full tank of gas and was in my room before the hail came.

While getting ready to fall asleep, all I could think about was John Espinoza could have said, “Ma’am I can’t leave the front desk I have customers checking in,” but instead he stopped whatever he was doing to find help.

Tony could have ignored his gut regarding the men in the van and I would have been in the hotel parking lot fumbling in the rain trying to figure out how to release a valve and fill one gallon of gas to get me back to Murphy’s gas station.

Thinking over the day’s events and what could have been, I was so grateful and so relieved that I fell asleep quickly listening to the hail hitting the hotel window while debating internally about telling my parents this story for fear of a lecture.

Thank you, Taylor from the bottom of my heart!


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