A man with shiny shoes and a kind heart helped an elderly traveler when she could not catch her connecting flight after the Christmas Holidays. His act of kindness reminds us how we can make a difference in the world when we go out of our way to help even one person.
79-year-old Canadian grandmother Elsie Clark was trying to head back to her home in Winnipeg, Manitoba when she missed her flight. Suffering from a bad hip she has to travel around airports in a wheelchair and reportedly a series of errors and delays left her stranded in Dallas-Fort Worth.
She ended up on a different flight that was connecting in Chicago but it was delayed due to bad weather. She worried what would happen if she missed that flight too and was feeling panicked. On the plane she spotted Dean Germeyer, and recalled that her mother had always told her that men in shiny shoes are a good omen–he happened to be wearing a pair and this made it more comfortable for her to talk with a stranger.
“I wanted to talk to somebody to get my mind off things for a little while,” Clark told the Chicago Tribune. “So, I said, ‘Sir, do you mind telling me what you do because I’ve always admired shiny shoes.’ “
Germeyer is based in Chicago, where he lives with his family and runs a technology consulting group. In an interview with the Chicago Tribune he mentioned that he felt a real connection with his older traveling buddy; that she was not asking for anything and yet he felt strongly he wanted to help her in some way.
As it turned out, the delayed flight into Chicago once again left Clark stranded–at first. Although Germeyer arranged for a wheelchair to be ready when the flight landed and even though he ran her to the gate himself, she missed her flight. The airline gave her a voucher for a local hotel but Germeyer wanted to do more.
He called his wife and told her to set another plate for dinner and he invited the elderly woman home with him. After dinner he took her on a tour of the city, got her settled into a hotel and arranged a car to take her to the airport the next day, reports AOL.
“I bawled and bawled and bawled,” Clark told the Chicago Sun-Times. “The city, his condo, the hotel: everything was so beautiful. How do you thank someone that does something so unbelievable?”