Proud Mary, Denial and Kindness on Stockton Blvd

Ike an Tina Turner added  this  verse  to Proud Mary

Ya’ know, every now and then
I think you might like to hear something from us
Nice and easy
But there’s just one thing
You see we never ever do nothing
Nice and easy
We always do it nice and rough

I identify with this song. Life could be easy, but I never do easy.   It was forty days or so, the Department of Motor Vehicle sent me a get out of jail free letter.   All I needed was to mail thirty three dollars and they would send me a new Driver License.  But I never do easy.  I decided to go into the Broadway DMV one day before my license expired.

 I would beat the crowds by arriving early.  651am. I remembered the office opening at 7am.  In line I was told the office opened at 8am.  Sigh, okay.   At 8:07 am, my head voice said OOOOKay?  I’m the ninth person standing in line. Someone said OHHHH, its Wednesday they don’t open until nine.   I’m tired, its cold, and I forgot my jacket.  For a very reasonable fee, I could cut and polish your diamond.

Needing a break I thought I would jump in my car for heat.     The heat made me sleepy, when I woke up, the doors were open and a kajillon people where in line,which had now wrapped around the building.

I’m back in line, its seems colder and my nipples returned to their upright position.

Inside,nearly every inch of the office was full.  This is WEDNESDAY, but it felt like Sunday at Costco.   I was G035. withing minutes I heard them call my number, at a window on the other side of the office.   Some man in a wheelchair is in my space, and just before I was going to hurl him into traffic , I look up and they had called B035.

Shazbot mutha trucker, I wait.      40 minutes goes by, I take pictures and post them on Facebook. (doesn’t everybody?)  G035 is called, no test, just 33 smackers and freedom.  Well almost, I have to take a picture, another line.   After 4 hours and 22 minutes FREEDOM.

Left on Broadway, right on Stockton Blvd.  My thought are bed.  There is a light on X street near UC Medical Center as I started to cross the intersection I hear a pop and my car coasts to a stop.

I knew what it was, the tranny blew and I am blocking a lot of traffic.

You go through several fazes when you car brakes down.  The first one is shock and embarrassment.  Why? Why? Now!   My favorite one is denial. This isn’t happening ,its a dream.  So after several attempts to put it in gear.  I turned the engine off.   Its a dream. and I turned on KGO and let my GM car sleep.  After a few moments of prayer and positive thoughts ,come on baby. it would start and I could testify about the power of prayer.

Nothing, the engine was perfect. Meanwhile the traffic is really backing up behind me. One joker pulled closed behind me and was unable to move. Turns out he and two of his passengers pushed my car across the intersection into a bus stop.

As for parking there are few options around UC Davis Medical Center.  No Parking on Stockton Blvd, no parking on the side streets.   I’m out of the intersection, out of the left lane, but I’m still blocking traffic.  No one has blown their horn at me.   In the bus stop there was a frail older man waiting for a bus.   Feeling guilty, I get out of my car and start to push it away from the bus stop.   Before I knew it, the frail old man is pushing me.  I tried to wave him off but he was determined.  I thank him and waited.   I still wasn’t sure what I was going to do and unsure where I was going to take the car.   So I stood along side my car.

People were amazing, its seemed one out of every group of cars offered some type of assistance.  A female UC bus driver said she was calling someone to help me.   So I waited.  Once I found a safe place for the car, I could get my thoughts together.  People walking by, employees in the green scrubs, random people offering their phone.  Complete strangers wanting to help me.  Ongoing random acts of kindness.

This isnt the first time I have experienced kindness  from strangers in this city.  When I first moved here I ran out of gas in my Minivan at Truxel and West El Camino and these men jumped out of an old beat up van.   I knew they were going to try to Jack my car, its that San Francisco paranoia. They pushed my car and asked me if I needed gas.

I often miss the pace of New York and San Francisco.  Many San Franciscans  are aloof and would look away.  I feel New Yorkers are kinder, the tradeoff is there is an unsafe element in New York.  Through the years I have complicated moving to another city with a vibrant core.  Sacramento will get there in ten years.  I travel often and share my experiences here.    Many cities meet my criteria, of work and play, but what is often missing is harmony.

People get along here.  Perfect no, but very good.

Three strangers, a doctor, a man in a truck and a woman in her scrubs blocked traffic along Stockton Blvd as three of us pushed my car to a side street.

People who were born and raised here, have no idea how great Sacramento is.  Spend a week or two away, venture into the neighborhoods and your likely to come back with a different opinion of Sactown.

Wednesday, was an ordeal, it could have been a bad day all day,if not for the selfless random acts of kindness from people who live in Sacramento..

 A heartfelt thank you


Published by CityFella

Big city fella, Born and Raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. Lived in New York (a part time New Yorker) for three years . I have lived in the Sacramento area since 1993. When I first moved here, I hated it. Initially found the city too conservative for my tastes. A great place to raise children however too few options for adults . The city has grown up, there is much to do here. The city suffers from low self esteem in my opinion, locals have few positive words to say about their hometown. visitors and transplants are amazed at what they find here. From, the grand old homes in Alkali Flats, and the huge trees in midtown, there are many surprises in Sacramento. Theater is alive is this area . And finally ,there is a nightlife... In.downtown midtown, for the young and not so young. My Criticism is with local government. There is a shortage of visionaries in city hall. Sacramento has long relied on the state, feds and real estate for revenue. Like many cities in America,Downtown Sacramento was the hub of activity in the area. as the population moved to the suburbs and retail followed. The city has spent millions to revive downtown. Today less than ten thousand people live downtown. No one at city hall could connect the dots. Population-Retail. Business says Sacramento is challenging and many corporations have chosen to set up operations outside the cities limits. There is vision in the burbs. Sacramento has bones, there are many good pieces here, leaders seem unable or unwilling to put those pieces together into. Rant aside, I love it here. From the trees to the rivers. But its the people here that move me. Sacramento is one of the most integrated cities in America. I find I'm welcome everywhere. The spices work in this city of nearly 500,000 and for the most part these spices blend well together. From Ukrainians to Hispanics and a sizable gay community, all the spices seem to work well here. I frequently travel and occasionally I will venture into a city with huge racial borders, where its unsafe to visit after certain hours. I haven't found it here. I cant imagine living in a community where there is one hue or one spice. I love the big trees, Temple Coffee House, the Alhambra Safeway, Zelda's Pizza, Bicyclist in Midtown, The Mother Lode Saloon, Crest Theater, and the Rivers. I could go on and I might. Sacramento is home.

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