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Hollywood Samaritan

June 04, 1988

While here on our vacation in California, my wife Yvette and I had been disappointed somewhat by Hollywood. Anticipating movie stars and a glamorous boulevard of cinematic amusements, we found instead panhandlers, dirty sidewalks, parking tickets (for being one foot into the red), and gaudy stores selling cheap electronics. Apparently the magic and charm existed only in its movies, and not in its reality--until one recent afternoon.

While driving toward downtown, our borrowed American car began to cough, and finally stopped in the middle of the Hollywood Freeway. Cars were rushing around us; my wife and I were trapped when suddenly a tall thin man in a green jacket appeared at my window. He instructed me to put the car in neutral, and then proceeded to push us through three rows of traffic and up onto the curb with his own car.

Our batteries were connected, but the engine would not advance, until he touched it and shouted, "Heel!" The Buick roared back into life.

Yvette asked for street guidance, and the man understood French, giving us his maps and plotting the route.

We tried to pay him, but he gallantly refused all money for his help and said to "just pass it on."

His car disappeared back into traffic, but my wife noted his license plate letters: "JITTLOV."


Vevey, Switzerland

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