On the east side of Cambridge NY there is a company that does bulk milk hauling. They have tanker trucks that run out of there to daily farms in the area and haul the farm's milk to the processing plants that put that milk in the cartons that end up in our fridge.
One of my walking routes through Cambridge takes me past this company’s shop off of Spring Street. At this time of year when I walk in the morning it is generally dark as the light isn’t coming into the sky until close to 7AM. When I walk in the dark I carry a flashlight so if I am walking in the street where there is no sidewalk, cars can see my flashlight and know that someone is walking in the street. The stretch of road in front of the bulk milk hauling company does not have a sidewalk. When I am walking there and see a car or one of the milks tankers coming, I will turn on my bright flashlight to signal that I am in the road.
Recently I was walking past the shop when one of the tanker trucks was pulling out for its daily route. The road I was walking on connects to Route 313 which runs out of Cambridge and east to the Vermont border. As the truck turned out of the driveway and onto the road, I had my flashlight on and was walking on the shoulder. The driver came to the stop sign and pulled onto Route 313.
As I made my turn onto Route 313, I noticed the driver pull over onto the shoulder of the road and put on his hazards. I didn’t know what he was doing. Was he setting the GPS for his route? Tuning into his favorite radio station? Did he forget his lunch in the refrigerator of the shop?
When I got close to the front of the truck he leaned out of the cab and said something to me. I was listening to something on headphones so didn’t really hear him. I took the headphones out and asked him what he said. He repeated his question-“Do you need help or are you just out for a walk?” He said he saw my flashlight and wanted to make sure I didn’t need something.
I told him that I was on a walk and thanked him for checking up on me. We exchanged “Have a good day!” and he went on his way. As he pulled the big rig down Route 313, I was once again reminded that people are good. We are often times fed from a menu of negativity by the media, both traditional and social. But underneath it all, people are good and want to help.
It would have been easy for that guy to see me walking with my flashlight and just continue on his route. I admit I have done that, I have seen someone on the side of the road and have driven by because I didn’t have time to help. But he didn’t, he pulled his big rig over to the shoulder of the road and stopped to see if he could help.