It could have been a scene out of a horror movie. A winding road in an area that is buffeted by woods, a cell phone unable to hold a signal, and a couple with a disabled vehicle at the side of a wet road.
But for Russ and Judy Evans, what could have been a disaster of cinematic proportions for the Basking Ridge couple turned into a happy ending, thanks to the timely intervention of a seldom seen hero—the good Samaritan.
“We were out for a Saturday drive,” said Judy Evans. “We usually drive up through Peapack-Gladstone and look at the houses, and often we are looking to find some place to eat.”
The ride was going according to plan until they literally hit a bump in the road. “We were traveling on Mendham Road and were about 30 or 40 feet from Pfizer Road when our tire blew out,” Evans said. “We were going to try to get to the side of the road but the tire was completely shredded.”
Evans was concerned because her husband was recovering from surgery. “He had a tumor removed from his knee and had just returned to work,” Evans said. “And I tried to call AAA but I kept getting disconnected.”
It was this moment where the residents of Mendham showed the stranded pair their true colors.
“A man came over and laid in the mud and the dirt and changed our tire,” Evans said. “His name was John and he would take nothing even though we offered.”
Both Russ and Judy were touched and amazed by the gesture, and by the others who offered help. “There was a neighborhood boy who asked if we wanted to use his house phone,” Evans said. “And there were so many people who stopped to see if we needed help.”
While they weren’t happy to be stuck at the side of the road, Russ and Judy couldn’t help but be heartened by the experience. “I just was blown away. Everyone was so kind,” Evans said. “There really are good people out there.”