Monday, May 11, 2009

And then there was Mark

And then there was Mark. What a wonderful experience. Linda and I were going to rent a car in Pittsburgh, and take the drive out to Frank Lloyd Wright’s house, Falling Waters. We didn’t think to rent it ahead of time. So when the hotel couldn’t find one for us and several phone calls netted zero results, we headed out to find a rental place recommended by the concierge. We wandered around for about an hour and were unable to find it. Pittsburgh has named alleys in the downtown core, so we missed that. Finally we went into a shopping mall and I approached a security person and asked if he could tell me how to find Economy Rentals because we were looking for a car. He decided the easiest way to get us there was to lead the way.

He headed out the door, down the street and around a corner, through an alley, around a construction barrier (we did begin to wonder where we were going), and suddenly there was a little place and it was what we were looking for. He escorted us in the door and explained what we needed. They had no cars. This is a picture of one of the buildings we passed in our journey.

But that wasn’t the end of his help. He took us outside again and down another street, through a couple more alleys, chatting all the time about where were we from, his children, saying hi to almost everyone he passed. Everyone seemed to know him. Turns out they were all people who work for him as he was the Senior Security person. We got to the second rental place and they didn’t have anything either. He was very frustrated with his city, which he is obviously very proud of, not being able to provide what we needed.

His next question was “Can you drive a stick?” I said “You mean a standard?” He said “Yeah, a stick!” I said I could thinking he knew of a rental place that had one. He said then “Well you can take my truck.” I said we wouldn’t do that. He said “Why not. It’s just parked and I won’t need it till 6 o’clock”. I said “What if we aren’t back by 6?” He said “Well then I call the police and report it stolen and you deal with them not me!” We laughed and thanked him very much but said we would just do other things today instead.

This is a photograph of the Renaissance Hotel. It faces the river that has six bridges on it....all within view of each other.

Mark's generous spirit and enthusiasm were an example of everyone we ran into in Pittsburgh. We didn’t get to Falling Waters, but we had a great day wandering around the downtown core.

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