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Bemidji businesses stepped up in crisis

My husband and I often travel through Bemidji on our way between Entwistle, Alberta, where we live, and southern Ontario, where our sons, their life partners (girlfriends) and my 90-year-old mother live.

We have always found the community to be friendly and helpful and often spend the night in Bemidji (including eating out and shopping). On July 13, I was traveling, on my own, back to Alberta, when the loaded utility trailer I was towing broke down. I needed a welder. At about 4:55 p.m., I drove into Kenny's Clark and Goodyear. Although they did not have a welder on the premises at that time on the day, they did what they could to assist me.

Alan Merschman and one of his staff stayed past their quitting time in order to phone around in an effort to locate a welder to assist me. They made phone call after phone call until they found Matt Boyer of Boyer Mechanical, who also stayed late to assist me.

Given that it was after 5 p.m. on a Friday, one could have excused Matt Boyer if he had done a "rush job," but he didn't. Matt's friend was also there; they had after-work plans, which were delayed so they could assist me. Matt took over an hour of his time and did a thorough job, And then he charged me so little; I was prepared to pay over three times the price he charged me.

What neither Alan nor Matt knew was that it had been a bad few days prior to the trailer breaking down. Two days prior, I had to put down my 13-year-old beagle, Daisy, one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. The day before, I said goodbye to my 90-year-old mother, knowing I may never see her alive again. Also on the day before, I had said good-bye to my two sons and their life partners knowing it will be a year before I see the four of them again.

Alan and his staff, and Matt and his friend were wonderful. I especially appreciated the good natured joking around and the sense of humor Matt and his friend displayed. None of them will ever know how much I appreciated their friendly assistance on that miserable rainy day; they were truly amazing.

Katherine Ens

Entwistle, Alberta