After ascertaining that she was okay and the fact that in the heavily trafficked rain swept roadway, she had made a wrong turn, I spoke to John Person, one of the two Turnpike supervisors stationed at 18W.In turn, John gave me accurate directions to reach the building. It was a good thing he did because traffic was horrendous and the heavy dark rains didnâ€™t help. Let me say that I am well acquainted with the NJ Turnpike, a factor that helped, a factor that was needed.
After negotiating a stop and go Route 17 South and reaching Route 80 East, visibility had reduced. Following Johnâ€™s directions, I took 16W on the Turnpike and stayed to the right past the rest stop and neared the stadium area. Sure enough, there was the building on the right hand side. I did have the office number on my cell phone, just in case! Upon entering, there was my cousin seated in the office tearfully waiting for me. John Person and Joe DaSilva were there calming her down and reassuring her.
Next question .. â€˜How do I get out of here?â€. These stalwart gentlemen and I discussed road conditions, flood and accident areas and decided that the safest and best way was to get onto the NJ Turnpike North. Joe offered to lead us out of the morass, recognizing the plight of a senior citizen. They told us to leave the car there overnight and come get it the next day in the daylight. A wonderful suggestion.
Joe warned me that it was dark and we would go through some flooding, no problem for him in his SUV, but a little rugged for a small Nissan Sentra. I never did tell him that I had been a PI and was quite capable of tailing him anywhere. He was very considerate, slowing down for the flood areas and also when I misinterpreted and made a wrong turn.
I followed Joe all around the Sport Complex until he signaled; we said our thanks and farewells and got on the NJ Turnpike North. It is people like Joe and John who deserve recognition for taking that step beyond the call of duty and assisting the Turnpike patrons.