Many recalled Jacqueline Kennedy’s courage and graciousness as the nation recently commemorated the assassination’s 50th anniversary.

Here’s a story I wish had happened to me – but rather, it happened to a childhood pal in New Jersey. Brian’s an amiable, “regular guy” (albeit a rabid Republican).

It was early December 1983. The sky was dark as he drove home in a cold, hellacious rainstorm. His commute traversed upscale Basking Ridge.

He happened upon a late-model BMW with a flat tire. A woman, wearing a hooded raincoat, was attempting to remove the jack from her trunk (no cellphones back then to call the cavalry).

He stopped to lend a hand. In spite of the gloomy day, the woman wore sunglasses. While he jacked up her Beemer, she knelt down beside him to help and removed her sunglasses.

Brian can talk the paint off your house – but now he’s speechless. He proceeds to extol the engineering prowess of the BMW’s jack. The lady was amused.

Task completed, she insists on his address. He complies. Within days, a package arrives from Morristown BMW. Inside, a brand-new BMW jack.

An enclosed note read: “Dear Brian – Chivalry is certainly not dead – at least on the highway in New Jersey. I am forever grateful. Perhaps we’ll meet again someday. Merry Christmas! – Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.”

I would’ve responded, asking how soon she’d like to meet – and suggest a few drinks, as I’ve no use for a BMW jack.

But I digress.

That jack went on his fireplace mantle, along with the heartfelt handwritten acknowledgment on “12 Park Ave.” letterhead.

A Christmas story? You decide.

But in the New Year, I hope you get the opportunity to change someone’s flat tire. Or perhaps someone slows down long enough to change yours. Cheers!

Buddy Doyle


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