Race relations

93-year-old woman pens letter in newspaper to find the Good Samaritan who saved her

Motorists on I-75 in Michigan near Detroit (JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP/Getty Images)

Alyce Gilroy, 93, was driving alone down the I-75 near Clarkston, Michigan, when her car broke down. Belatedly, she remembered she had given her cellphone to her 2-year-old great granddaughter to play with and forgot to retrieve it from her. “I’m just here by myself and I don’t know how to handle this. I just started praying,” Gilroy said.

Dozens of cars passed her by, but eventually an African-American man pulled over and approached her cautiously. “He said, ‘I’m not here to hurt you. I’m here to help you,'” Gilroy recalled. After looking over the car, the man determined that the wheel cover on her car had come undone and he pried it off with a crowbar. With Gilroy able to drive once more, he escorted her down the road for a mile to ensure she would be able to make it safely to a mechanic. By the time she waved goodbye, Gilroy said, she realized she hadn’t gotten his name or number. So she sent a letter describing the encounter to the Oakland Press in the hope that it might reach her anonymous benefactor.

In her letter, Gilroy explained that at first she didn’t understand why the man felt the need to reassure her that he wasn’t a threat. “Then I remembered reading about the young black men being shot by police and the violence that happened in Dallas,” Gilroy wrote. “Is that why he felt the need to tell me that he was here to help? I smiled at him and said, ‘You look like an angel dropped from heaven to me!’ When I said that, he hugged me.”

Gilroy said that the man’s kindness, and his caution, have stuck with her. “I think it’s so unfair. We’re all created equally. There’s no difference. None,” said Gilroy. “I just want him to know how much it meant to me that he was so kind and so thoughtful.” If the Good Samaritan does manage to contact her, Gilroy added, she intends to reward him with “a tray of [her] much sought-after chocolate chip cookies.”

Read the full story at WXYZ Detroit.

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