AAA road service reports that one in five don’t know how to change a flat tire. I was taught by George Weissman, a socialist of the 1930s generation & my political mentor. The socialist movement he helped build was in a tailspin & becoming politically corrupt. After he instructed me how to change a flat, we sat on the steps & this very taciturn man expressed his grief, frustration & anger at the debasement of socialist politics which he no longer had authority to influence. Good thing he didn’t live till today to see the worst of it with so many supporting Assad’s dictatorship & the bombing of civilians.

I’ve never had to fix a flat since on the occasions I’ve had one on the highway, a fellow has always stopped to change it for me. I’ve never had the heart to rebuff human kindness. Maybe that’s a grace since I associate changing a flat with George’s political grief. He died in 1984.