Letter: The Ninety-second Samaritans

The Sunday after Thanksgiving, I was walking down South Street toward Harvest Market when I saw a battery-powered wheelchair on its side on the sidewalk across the street. There was someone strapped in it.

As I ran across the street, I held up my hand to stop the oncoming traffic and simultaneously pointed to the wheelchair. I got to it and saw that the man was shaken up but all right. I couldn’t budge the chair when I tried to turn it back up on its wheels, but within seconds, there were three more men helping me. We struggled but got the wheelchair upright. And as quickly as they appeared, the men vanished. They had stopped their cars in the middle of South Street when they sized up the situation, rushed to help, and then gotten back in their cars and had driven off.

The man in the wheelchair was unscathed but annoyed with himself. “It was my fault,” he said. I helped him get aimed in the right direction, put his gloves on for him, and then crossed the street and continued on to the market. I watched him drive off and make a smooth right turn on to Ukraine.

The whole incident could not have taken more than 90 seconds. Obviously, none of us exchanged names or even spoke. Nobody expected to be thanked.

Jonathan Slater

Jamaica Plain resident

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