Dead Battery

It was zero degrees on Sunday morning as I headed to the gym. Snowflakes drifted in the morning sun.

Coming down the hill on the icy road, I saw a tall young man standing by his car, hood up. He looked at me almost plaintively, gently waiving jumper cables. Dead battery.

I slowed carefully to avoid skidding, then pulled carefully to just in front of his car and popped the hood of my ’96 Pathfinder.

He was thankful and embarrassed at the same time. “I need to get a new battery—this is the second time this has happened since the cold hit. I hate to be late for church.”

We hooked up the cables and talked while the enough juice flowed to his battery to turn over the engine.

Born and raised here in Helena, he’d recently returned from Kalispell and was looking for work. I asked what he did for work.

“Mainly gunsmithing, but I’m looking for something in machining.” I watched him carefully, sizing him up. I liked what I heard and saw and gave him two names of friends who might be able to help.

He started his car, and I felt good heading toward the gym, grateful I’d had the chance to help someone a bit to start off the day.


Brian Kahn