Ronald Garland teared up as he recalled the generosity of a complete stranger.
Garland, a resident of Sealy who served in the Army in Vietnam in 1966, is blind in one eye and has prostate cancer that is spreading to other parts of his body. He lives on a fixed income, which is hardly enough to meet his needs. So when his truck blew a tire, he knew it was going to be tough to replace it.
He took it to El Compadre Automotive at 2284 Hwy 36 North, where he asked the owner, Roberto Solorio, if he could fix it and hold a post-dated check. Solorio replaced the tire but refused to take the check from the disabled veteran.
As luck would have it, another tire gave out on Garland as he was passing by Solorio’s shop.
“The second time I had $25 and that’s all I had,” Garland said.
Without a word Solorio jacked up the truck and replaced the second tire, again refusing any payment.
“He said buy me a hamburger sometime,” Garland said.
The two acts of kindness overwhelmed Garland. Knowing he could never pay for the tires, he just wants people to know about the kindness shown to him by a stranger.
“People like that don’t need to be ignored,” Garland said.
Solorio humbly downplayed the assistance.
“I just try to help people out,” he said.
He recalled Garland’s visits.
“That day he came in he said he needed a tire but didn’t have any money,” Solorio said.
Having a cousin serving in the Marines motivated him to want to help a veteran in need.
“It made me want to help him out,” he said.
Solorio said the shop was started by his father in 2007 and he took it over four years ago.
Garland is very grateful for the kindness shown to him by Solorio.
“He didn’t have to do it, but he did,” he said.