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Andrew to the Rescue
by Don Drewniak

Subsequent to our graduating from college in June 1965, Dolores, my wife-to-be, headed off to New York City to work as a summer replacement Radio City Music Hall Rockette. With two very important exceptions, I stayed in Worcester, MA and spent the majority of my time relaxing. The exceptions? A couple of trips to the Big Apple. We married on August 12th during the second visit.

One of the reasons for the lazy summer was convincing myself that I should use the time to prepare for the upcoming teaching position that was to begin the day after Labor Day. My transportation? A 1957 black, two-door ’57 Chevrolet that cost me a whopping $150. Among some of its “features” was a gas gauge in which the needle never moved from empty.

No problem, I’ll use the odometer to estimate when I’ll need to add gas.

And it was no problem until an afternoon during the fourth week of school when I ran out of gas less than two miles into the 27-mile drive back to our apartment in Worcester. The nearest service station was at least three miles away. As I sat in the car pondering what I was going to do, I heard a familiar voice.

“Hey, Mr. D, is your car dead?”

“I ran out of gas, Andrew.” (Andrew was one of my sixth-grade students.)

“How’d you do that?”

“My gas gauge doesn’t work.”

“Why didn’t you fix it?”

“I don’t make enough money.”


“No, just a little lazy.”

“My dad has a couple of cans of gas in his garage. I’ll bring one back.”

“Are you sure it will be okay with your dad?”

“He’s a good guy.”

Off he went and returned in about fifteen minutes.

“Let me pour the gas into your tank.”

I pumped the gas pedal a few times and started the car.

“Here Andrew, one dollar for your dad and one for you.” The price of gas in 1967 ranged between $0.30 and $0.34 a gallon.

He stuffed one of the bills into a pocket and tried to return the other bill. “Here, Mr. D., take this back and give me A’s arithmetic and reading.”

I couldn’t stop laughing. When I finally gained my composure, I told him that could get me fired.

“Nobody would know.”

“Andrew, you would know and I would know. Please keep the dollar.”

“Okay, see you tomorrow.”

Andrew never said a word about my running out of gas to anyone in the school. He earned an A in arithmetic and an A- in reading for the first marking period.