The milk of human kindness apparently doesn't evaporate in hot weather. Witness these two pieces of proof from the summer of '83:
One Wednesday in July, Carolyn Jackson was driving a 17G Metrobus from the Pentagon toward Kings Park Shopping Center. At Braddock and Queensberry roads, she picked up Diana Dempsey of Fairfax. But it wasn't until Carolyn had finished her run and was returning to the Pentagon that Diana realized she had boarded the wrong bus.
Carolyn radioed her dispatcher and asked which bus would get Diana where she wanted to go. Information in hand, she drove Diana back to Braddock and Queensberry. The correct bus came by in a few minutes, and with the help of that driver and a few passengers, Diana got home safely.
"The above scenario has great meaning for me," writes Diana's mother, Jean. "I am forced to ride Metro into the city several times a week and I detest it. The foul-ups, the inefficiency, the surliness of some of the employes and Farecard machines that don't work make me buggy.
"But Carolyn Jackson's response to a confused, frightened girl changed all that . . . . Thank you, Carolyn Jackson, for being such a beautiful soul."
The second case stars Silver Spring cab driver Henry Hackett, who didn't have to be so wonderful, but who was.
Jack Hurrle of Northwest was driving north from Alexandria along the George Washington Memorial Parkway when a picnicker eating at a nearby table tossed a beer bottle onto the roadway.
Jack swerved, but too late. His right front tire crushed the bottle -- and flattened itself immediately in the process.
Jack stopped and opened the trunk to get the spare, but it, too, was flat. Time to flag a cab, he decided.
Hackett's was the first one that happened past. "First," Jack writes, "he insisted we load everything from our station wagon into his cab (he helped). Then he insisted that we go directly to a gas station and get the tire fixed . . . . "
Jack asked to go to a station he knew near Washington Circle, and Henry immediately obliged. "When we arrived," Jack reports, "he turned the meter off, told the attendant what had happened and hurried him along with frequent admonitions that these folks have troubles and they're in a hurry.
"With the tire patched (Mr. Hackett found the puncture for the attendant), we were driven back to our car. After making certain that we had all the necessary tools to change a tire (and the required knowledge), Mr. Hackett said goodbye . . . . "