Strangers in the Night

Blessing appear at odd moments. When touring properties with folks considering moving to Bozeman, I mention that along with Bozeman’s outdoors and lifestyle, it is the people who choose to be here (either full or part-time) that make this place so special.

My dear Dad passed away a few days before Thanksgiving and so I found myself the night before Thanksgiving flying back home to Bozeman after being with family in the San Francisco Bay Area. I was exhausted and emotionally drained, not in the best condition to cope with my connecting flight from Denver to Bozeman being diverted to Billings. 8 PM, Billings, and the airline saying they had no idea when they’d fly the plane to Bozeman– certainly not that night. I turned to the man seated beside me and asked, “Do you want to rent a car and drive together to Bozeman?” He replied, ” I just arranged to rent a car, I’m traveling with someone, and you are welcome to join us.”

Turns out Anne and Neil have a cabin off Jackson Creek that requires 4 wheel drive to navigate. They live in Washington, D.C. and store their car at the Bozeman Airport. Billings had no 4 wheel vehicles for rental. Neil, an astronomer, drives fast and sure, getting us over a near white-out on the Bozeman Pass. Rather than having my Dearest
meet us at a Bozeman exit so Neil and Anne wouldn’t be required to go out of their way, they insisted on driving me home–a minimum half hour delay for them, with treacherous roads. I was chauffeured home just after 11 PM.

Anne and Neil are guardian angels, demonstrating that random acts of kindness have true meaning. I am grateful my flight was diverted as I have new friends– ones who have proven they are folks you can depend on when the going is rough, and ones who reminded me the true meaning of thanksgiving.

See John’s Obituary Here: John R. Schumacher