Tuesday morning—bright and beautiful as it was—took a bizarre turn when I slid into my vehicle to head out to the studio.

Chatting on the phone with my sister, I pulled the driver’s side door closed and was startled by the sound of shattering glass. The rear windshield on the relatively new SUV basically disintegrated right in my driveway. Tiny shards of black tinted glass littered the gravel driveway and the back of the vehicle. What the…????

After a phone call seeking a remedy for this strange occurrence, it was becoming clear to me that whatever happened was my problem, and up to me to get fixed. Unsure if I should drive the vehicle without a rear window, I asked the glass repair company for their input.

“Call an auto body shop and tell them you need crash wrap over the window and then you can drive it until your repair appointment,” the friendly rep said.

I’ve often driven by Patriot Auto Body in Almont, and had heard good things about their car repair shop so I decided to give them a try.

The receptionist listened patiently to my tale of woe, and though she wasn’t familiar with the term “crash wrap,” she said they’d be happy to try to help me out. She said I could stop up there right away.

Forty-five minutes later, the rear window was securely wrapped and safe for me to drive. The extremely kind repairman charged a really small fee for his efforts—a most pleasant and heartwarming surprise.

Over the 30-plus years I’ve lived and worked in the area, I’ve been reminded many times of the blessings and gifts that come with small town living, and the benefits of dealing with independently owned businesses—where customer service comes from intention and instinct, not from a corporate manual. The experience at Patriot Auto Body was yet another reminder.

Small acts of kindness and a willingness to help out when needed go a long way in turning a bizarre and somewhat annoying experience into a true blessing in disguise.

Thank you to my friends and to Patriot Auto Body for helping me out of a strange and unexpected situation.

With gratitude,
—Catherine Minolli
Berlin Twp.