To the people of Fort Payne: I have been in your town less than 24 hours, and I have experienced kindness from your citizens that has really impressed me. Southern hospitality is alive and well here.

My husband and I got off the highway to get gas in the late afternoon. We pulled up the road into Bruce’s Foodland to fill up. The sun was right in my eyes, so I was watching traffic and where I had to turn and missed the curb the extends in front of the first bay on the right. After I heard a huge bang I realized that it was there. My front right tire exploded with a 4-inch hole in it.

Of course being the well-prepared traveler, I have AAA Plus, but a call to them told me I would be sitting in the way just off that road for an hour and a half. A kind lady in an SUV stopped and asked what she could do to help, but I figured I just had to wait, so, I told her I had called AAA and thanked her. After some time a gentleman knocked on our window and asked if he could help. He said he thought he could help us get our car out of the way by watching our tire to make sure it was on the rim while we moved into the parking lot. That was a successful mission, and we were relieved to be out of everyone’s way.

I explained about AAA and the wait, but he didn’t feel that was good enough, so he started calling around to see if he could get a tire to fit our car. It is an odd size so the call to Walmart was unsuccessful, so we tried Noel’s Tire Service. I am sure it was closed but amazingly Noel was in Bruce’s Foodland so he came right over to help. He checked his inventory and didn’t have one so-called his supplier and said he could have one by 10:30 the next morning.

Gary Culberson and Noel proceeded to help me unload my SUV, (I was headed to Arizona for the winter and my husband is 85 and has suffered recent strokes). They had a jack and the tools to put my spare on very quickly. The car was reloaded and Noel left, but Gary stayed and led us across town to the Hampton Inn, so within an hour we were in our room. They were so nice and caring, I even got a hug from Gary before he left.

Tiffany at the Hampton Inn was great too and generally just a sweet person.

Thank you, Fort Payne, for your wonderful citizens as we say in Maine, you are wicked nice.

Terry Hamm Morris, Maine, United States

This letter was sent the Fort Payne Times-Journal Facebook page on Dec. 6.

Send letters to the Times-Journal by writing P.O. Box 680349, Fort Payne, AL 35968. Fax 256-845-7459. Email

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