Be nice to strangers…. you never know who you are going to meet.
I put my snow tires on my car only after it started snowing in December. I am very happy with my all-season radials. But I knew that with more snow expected last Wednesday it was time to put on my snowies. On Tuesday Dec 16th, I drove to 3 service garages, who all were booked solid until Thursday. But I wasn't going to wait.
I went down to Wall-Mart and bought a new tire iron. I had to buy the tire iron, because when I got my present car from my parents last year, I couldn't find the matching tire iron. My dad always takes his cars to the garage to have the tires changed. Personally, I prefer changing my own tire.
There are some pretty fancy extendable snow brushes for your car for $29. I decided to upgrade from the little skinny wooden classic for $2.97. I bought a slightly larger plastic one with a foam grip for $4.97 + a new red ice scraper for $1.97. I also looked at the aluminum and steel show shovels for $12.99 and $15.99. I thought it would be good to have an extra shovel for my car… but since we already had the plastic snow shovels at home, I didn't buy one. One week later, I now regret not buying a shovel for my car. But I am glad that I bought the extra kitty litter. My cat is glad too.
So… there I was on Monday morning, after the big winter solstice snow storm. I drove into Vancouver to pick up my friend Judy Maxwell who is helping me organize the Gung Haggis Fat Choy dinner this year. I had to pick up Judy at a place near South False Creek, close to Monk McQueen's Restaurant. Driving down 6th Ave. wasn't bad. The roads were plowed, but the cul-de-sac near where I was meeting Judy was deep. There was loose snow on top of icy hard pack. My car was stuck. I tried to rock it back and forth, but it was still stuck.
A SUV came into the cul-de-sac, and I waved to the driver to go around me, as he was headed for the building's covered parking. A few minutes later, the drive came out of the parking lot, and came by to check on me and ask if I needed help. My car was still stuck.
“Todd,” the stranger exclaimed when he recognized me.
The driver was wearing a hat and thick coat. I didn't recognize him in snow gear.
“Geoff Meggs” he replied when I asked his name. Geoff was just inaugurated as a Vancouver City Councilor only 2 weeks prior on December 8th, after winning the 9th spot of 10 city councilor positions on November 15th Vancouver Civic Election. See my article: Mayor Gregor Robertson wears kilt to mayoral inauguration
I've known Geoff for a few years now, after first meeting him at Jenny Kwan's Scotch tasting fundraiser. Geoff came to the Gung Haggis Fat Choy 2008 dinner this year, and we kept crossing paths at other events through 2008. He has always seemed nice and thoughtful, and I was very impressed after watching him during the election at all-candidates meetings. At the Vision Vancouver nominations election that determined who would be the 8 candidates for the Nov. 15th Election, I was standing nearby Geoff and his family when the names were called. It was great to share in the wondeful supportive family vibe that he had with his loved ones. There was such relief and happiness when his name was announced.
Anyways…. Geoff quickly helped push my car out of the snow, with the aid of two other fellows walking by. Geoff gave some advice about rocking the car back and forth. With the additional muscles, the car moved more easily out of the stuck snow. Once moving, I didn't dare stop. I waved my arm outside the car window in thanks.
I just wanted to share this small tale of Geoff Meggs helping his neighbors and strangers… as a good snow-maritan. I think he's a good man, and I wish him luck for his first term as city councilor.
worker Todd Wong, with newly elected Vancouver City Councilor Geoff
Meggs, newly-elected Vancouver Parks Commisioner Sarah Blyth, and
Vancouver firefighter Joe Foster – attending the Vision Vancouver
victory party at the Hotel Vancouver on Nov. 15th – photo Todd Wong
Last week, Geoff Meggs was appointed as a liason for the GVRD Labour Relations Bureau, so I also hope that there will be a much more cooperative attitude for the next round of civic labour negotiations than the ones that forced the 3 Vancouver civic unions out on strikes last year. It wasn't fun spending 88 days on the CUPE 391 picket line at Library Square, but I learned a lot. You can read my stories about the Vancouver Library workers strike here: http://www.gunghaggisfatchoy.com/blog/LibraryStrike