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Random Acts | An occasional feature

When elderly couple's car stalls at Pinellas Arby's, kids step up to help

Christopher Pacifico, 90, and Jean Mary Arnold, 83, “were very touched by the whole thing,” she said of the experience.

DIRK SHADD | Times

Christopher Pacifico, 90, and Jean Mary Arnold, 83, “were very touched by the whole thing,” she said of the experience.

SEMINOLE — The car wouldn't start.

The last time this happened, the elderly couple's Mercury Grand Marquis was parked on a slight incline in an Arby's parking lot. They eventually got it started.

This time, same Arby's, same incline.

So Jean Mary Arnold, 83, and Christopher Pacifico, 90, got out and started pushing the car to a flat spot.

One young man would have none of that.

"Out of nowhere he comes and helps us push it," recalled Arnold.

Within moments, a horde of young people spilled out of Arby's.

"I couldn't believe this," she said. "They were all interested in helping us, and they were concerned because we were pushing it near the parking lot entrance, and we might be endangering ourselves."

But the help didn't stop there.

"One young woman uses my AAA card to get someone out here," she said. "Somebody else was asking, 'Can we get you a cold drink? Can we get you a Frosty?' We were very touched by the whole thing."

The car eventually got started — "Something about a burglar alarm locking down the engine" — and the couple went on their way.

But the experience has stayed with them.

"Young people are there helping us old codgers," she said. "It made me feel like there's some hope left in the world, that it isn't all shoot 'em up. They didn't have to go out of their way.

"You hear the old folks say, 'Oh, we long for the good ol' days.' Well, this is the future. And the world should know there are still young people doing the same things we were taught to do."

Random Acts: good news
about people making a difference

Every day, people are making a difference in our communities: getting groceries for a sick neighbor; giving a bonus or day off to workers at a small business; visiting an elderly person who lives alone. As a widening economic crisis cuts deeper into our minds and pocketbooks, the opportunities for goodwill are seemingly boundless. We would like to share the many ways that people, randomly, selflessly, help others. E-mail your tale to kindness@sptimes.com and make sure to include your name and phone number. Read previous Random Acts at links.tampabay.com.

When elderly couple's car stalls at Pinellas Arby's, kids step up to help 04/29/09 [Last modified: Friday, May 1, 2009 6:30am]
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