Relay: Bailed Out

The writer's car got stuck in the mud because of the flooding in front of the Wainscott School on Sunday. Elisha Osborn happened to pass by, came back to get the car out of the mud, and then invited her to a party. Durell Godfrey Photos

I am very happy that Evelyn Osborn celebrated her 3rd birthday on Sunday, March 10. 

Her birthday day began late for me because of the daylight-saving/daylight-giving clock changes. In short, I seriously overslept.

Though rushing to my photography assignment of the day, I did note the weather and donned boots. 

The Project Most Empty Bowls mega soup event was packed with soup-ies despite the nearly torrential rains. After slurping up some soup, I headed off to take some pictures of the puddles that the rains had produced. 

Meanwhile, Evelyn Osborn’s family was getting ready for her birthday. We had not yet crossed paths.

After visiting my usual photographic sure-shots — Main Beach, Hook Pond, the ducks on the flooded golf course, the over-washed Nature Trail — I headed toward Bridgehampton using Wainscott Main Street, another sure-shot, as my highway bypass. 

Passing the chapel, I noticed a bunch of cars. Had I considered them at all, I would have thought there was a meeting or a late church service. At the intersection by the Wainscott School, I decided to take that right turn onto Wainscott Hollow Road going north because, again, that is a photographically interesting route. I turned to head north, but behold, the street in front of the school was a pond, or maybe a lake. Side to side, as far as the eye could see, just water. 

This was a cool photo op, so I decided to pull over to get a better view.

This was a really bad idea, and it became a worse idea when, having pulled over a bit to observe the lake, I decided to back up to turn around. Wheels spun, mud went everywhere, and I was up to my tire rims in mud. 

Sunday afternoon. Rainy. Everyone cocooning at home, and there I was in the mud. I did not have my cellphone with me (I know, stop yelling!).

I contemplated my fate. Good that it wasn’t cold out. Good that I was near a church with cars. Good that the rain had stopped. Bad that I had no cellphone. But surely someone would drive by and see that I was obviously in trouble.

There was no traffic at all.

I took pictures of the lake and the 

reflections and my mud-splattered fender and totally embedded tire, and was grateful for the boots I was wearing, as the water kind of seemed to be rising.  

A vehicle took the turn behind me and drove right into the lake. I rolled down my window and waved. The truck stopped and backed up. Salvation!

The two most perfect guys for the moment got out of the truck, Elisha Osborn and Jason Petty. These lovely men got on the ground and assessed my mess. 

Elisha, the driver, announced that they could help me, but first they had to go get pizza for his daughter’s birthday party, and could I wait while he did that and that they would then come back and help.

I said of course I could wait. Where was I going to go?

He said I could go over to the Wainscott Chapel, where the birthday party was and wait. What a guy! I thought it was better not to abandon the potentially sinking ship of my car, so I stayed put and took more photographs.

I saw no other cars until they came back to me, along with another friend, Aubrey Peterson. 

While sitting alone, I had had visions of cardboard under the tires and blankets and mud spattered all over, but, amazingly, it turns out that not only did the guys have everything needed to get me out of the mush, but that Elisha is, in fact, the owner of a towing business, Hammer Towing, in Wainscott, right next to the Wainscott Chapel. 

What luck! Could it have worked out any better? They were not just good Samaritans, they were great Samaritans, with the perfect truck and skill sets. Professional Samaritans. Serendipity, kismet, syzygy? 

The guys knew exactly what to hook to what and Aubrey drove my car and made it do what it needed to do to get out of the deep rut I had created in my first attempts to get out of there. 

Once solidly on the road, I was invited back to the chapel for the birthday party, the chapel to which I would have walked looking for a phone to call a tow truck, which would have been parked 20 feet away. 

It turned out that while these lovely men were helping me, they had missed the birthday party entertainment which was a costumed shark and the 3-year-olds singing the ubiquitous “Baby Shark” song. I am sorry I missed that, too. 

I was welcomed, offered pizza, and, yes, I took some pictures. 

Happy 3rd birthday, Evelyn Osborn. You may forget this particular birthday, but I shan’t forget it or you, your dad, Elisha Osborn, or Jason Petty and Aubrey Peterson. 

You guys are a gift. Thanks for almost literally bailing me out. 

Timing is everything.

Elisha Osborn, who owns Hammer Towing, and his friends Aubrey Peterson, left, and Jason Petty, right, came to Durell Godfrey's rescue on Sunday.