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Leading by example: friends and family to the rescue

Published: Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014 11:01 a.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, Jan. 24, 2014 12:18 p.m. CDT

As I turned onto EP True Parkway in West Des Moines, my nostrils were slammed with the smell of burning rubber.

Hoping the odor was coming from somewhere other than my car, I continued driving. I scanned the road in front of me trying to locate the source of the foul smell.

Suddenly, the dashboard of my car flashed with red, orange and yellow warning messages and my steering wheel became paralyzed. I coasted into a gas station parking lot.

After popping the hood, I was greeted with a jumbled mess of rubber that should have been my serpentine belt. With my car not running, I was going to need some help shuttling around West Des Moines to get the necessary parts.

My friend Pam Schroeder offered to help and Nick and Max Newbury — and Nick’s girlfriend Steph — put their celebration of the Bronco’s victory on hold to provide assistance.

The five of us combined had no automotive knowledge or experience, but with the help of YouTube videos, our team effort was rewarded and we reinstalled the belt. The car started and didn’t explode.

At least not right away.

Just before we lowered the hood, there was a loud pop and my new serpentine belt became a tangled mess. The tension pulley was locked in place, causing the new belt to break.

Cold, discouraged and with no way to get a new pulley and belt, we were forced to give up for the night.

The next morning, my father, Kevin, came to the rescue with parts. He never complained about having to make the drive. He worked quickly with the confidence of years of experience.

Within minutes, he had the old pulley fixed, the belt replaced and I was on my way back to Creston.

Having car trouble was not the way I wanted end my weekend, but the willingness of my friends and family to come help me out in a time of need was very moving.

I can’t express to my friends how much it meant that they were willing to sacrifice their time, stand in the cold and help make the best of a stressful situation.

And I hope that someday I can be half as helpful to my friends and family as my father has been for me. My entire life he as been a leader by example, working hard and expecting little in return.

I know I don’t say it enough, so thank you again Dad for always being there for me and showing me by example how to be a great father someday.

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