"On the Road" with the San Diego Highwayman aka Thomas Weller

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Heroic Stories

the Good Samaritan 1998 years later -- [ a dissertation on how things have changed :( ]

you CAN "make a difference"

an uplifting musical EVENT

a SMILE for yer heart

the Sandpiper

a taxi ride

Ready or not, some day it will all come to an end. There will be no more sunrises, no minutes, hours, or days. All the things you collected, whether treasured or forgotten, will pass to someone else. Your wealth, fame and temporal power will shrivel to irrelevance.
It will not matter what you owned or what you were owed. Your grudges, resentments, frustrations and jealousies will finally disappear. So too, your hopes, ambitions, plans and to-do lists will expire. The wins and losses that once seemed so important will fade away.
It won't matter where you came from or what side of the tracks you lived on at the end. It won't matter whether you were beautiful or brilliant. Even your gender and skin color will be irrelevant.
So what will matter?
How will the value of your days be measured?
What will matter is not what you bought, but what you built; not what you got, but what you gave.
What will matter is not your success, but your significance.
What will matter is about what you learned as well as what you taught.
What will matter is every act of integrity, compassion, courage or sacrifice that enriched, empowered or encouraged others to emulate your example.
What will matter is not your competence, but your character.
What will matter is not how many people you knew, but how many felt good when they were around you and how you served them. What will matter is not your memories, but the memories that live in those who loved you.
What will matter is how long you will be remembered, by whom and for what.
Living a life that matters doesn't happen by accident. It's not a matter of circumstance but of choice. Choose to live a life that matters.
In Memorium of Alan Little -- the Road Ranger of  Santa Cruz
 San Diego Highwayman says:
October 12, 2007 at 12:29 am
Alan Little was actually known as the “Road Ranger”
I didn’t know him but I know OF him, after he passed away, through this notice --

Santa Cruz Sentinel
April 27, 2004
Sentinel staff writer
WATSONVILLE — To say that Alan Little, aka the “Road Ranger” of Highway 17, was a one-of-a-kind character, would be putting it mildly.
To say that Little cared about his fellow man would be an understatement.
And to say that Little didn’t live life to the fullest would be flat out wrong.
Little died Wednesday at his home ranch in Watsonville after battling brain cancer for nearly a year. He was 55.
“It was always like, what is Dad going to do next?” said daughter Heather Little, 25, of Boston. “He was just a character, a wonderful, weird, intelligent man.”
Fitting with his personality, Little “stole” his own car the day before he died and drove to Monterey to get a haircut, said son Trevor Little of Astoria, N.Y.
“He was really ornery. He could be cantankerous and ornery,” Little said. “But he was my No. 1 fan, supportive in everything I did. For that, I’m eternally grateful.”
Little became a reliable and familiar face to drivers who commuted over the hill between 1979 and 1983, when he patrolled the highway between Los Gatos and Scotts Valley looking to give roadside help to stranded motorists.
He is said to have fixed more than 12,000 cars during that time. Repairs ranged from overheated engines to flat tires and broken water pumps. Never did Little ask for a dime more from drivers than the cost of parts.
“He spent so much of his life giving positive feelings to other people,” said Little’s mother, Mary Mueller of San Jose. “He was a very interesting young man.”
Little received the Road Ranger nickname partly because his gravelly voice was said to be remarkably similar to that of the original Lone Ranger of radio fame in the 1930s. He also dressed the part, with a gray, western-style jumpsuit, black cowboy hat and boots.
His stint as Road Ranger drew national attention and Little become something of a folk hero, giving interviews to NBC’s “Real People” and CBS’s “Evening Magazine.”
Santa Cruz resident Wayne Stanton remembers Little coming to his rescue when he and a couple pals had set out on a hunting trip in Colorado in the late 1970s.
Early in the morning, barely a couple miles over Highway 17, the water pump in their Chevy pickup went out, Stanton remembered.
“We were standing around with the hood up wondering what to do and this guy came up and said, ‘I’m the Road Ranger’,” Stanton recalled. “We laughed, but he turned out to be our savior.”
Knowing there are hundreds of other stories just like Stanton’s, Little’s family asks motorists who have Road Ranger rescue tales to write of their experiences and send them to 1115 Trafton Road, Moss Landing, CA 95039. The family will compile the anecdotes to make a memory album, and file it with a local museum.
Little was diagnosed with brain cancer last June. By the time it was discovered, it had already grown to dire proportions. He underwent surgery that reduced the cancer only slightly, his stepmother, Ikey Little, said.
Even then, faced with a life-or-death situation, Little told his doctor that he would have the surgery only if he could still go on a previously planned sailing trip on the waters north of Vancouver.
“He always did it his way,” Ikey Little said. “He had no fear.”
During the past year, Little underwent chemotherapy and radiation that did little to hold the cancer at bay. While watching himself deteriorate, Little kept his sense of humor.
“He would tell us that his IQ was dropping,” Ikey Little said. “He told us it went from 89 to 79. The other day he told us it was 43.”
The role of Road Ranger was only one way in which Little left his mark as a model citizen.
Little quit high school during his junior year to join the Army. He trained at Fort Ord in Monterey and Fort Lewis in Washington. He served two tours in Vietnam, earning nine medals that included the Vietnam Campaign Medal and the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm.
“I didn’t want him to join the military,” his mother said. “But he gave me no choice. He brought the papers home one day and said he was going to join whether I signed them or not.”
Little contracted malaria in Vietnam and spent three months recovering in a hospital on Okinawa, Japan.
He continued active duty in the National Guard, serving as sergeant in charge at the armory in Gilroy until retiring in September 1993.
During retirement, he worked on the family ranch in Watsonville.
“It’ll be a big hole when he’s not there,” Mueller said.
Contact Shanna McCord at smccord@santacruzsentinel.com.
Alan Norman Little
BORN: June 22, 1948, Watsonville.
DIED: March 31, 2004, at his home ranch in Watsonville.
EDUCATION: Quit high school during junior year, then earned a GED. Associate of Arts degree, Cabrillo College, 1993.
OCCUPATION: ‘Road Ranger’ of Highway 17, Army sergeant, rancher.
SURVIVORS: Son Trevor Little of New York, N.Y., and daughter Heather Little of Boston, Mass.; mother Mary Scott Mueller of San Jose; sisters Bonny Le Pape of San Jose and Donna Sheehan of Gresham, Ore.; brothers William Little of Moss Landing and Roger Little of San Jose.
San Diego Highwayman says
A unique individual I’d call him  ----

 Gonzo says:
April 19, 2010 at 1:50 am
I served with Alan in the Army Reserves, a fellow sergeant along side him. Alan was quite a man and he was fun. We used to do extra duty from time to time, all illegal as all get out but a lot of fun, pure Infanrymens works and Alan was one of the best in the field solders I ever saw. He even had his own cannon range and a home made bazooka, mortar and howiters that really fired!
See you later pardner.Reply

 Marc says:
December 16, 2010 at 5:00 pm
Alan picked me up hitch-hiking in 1993 and I stayed at his place in Watsonville. He missed the Road Ranger days fiercely, it seemed. He had some great weed too. I just went online trying to find out if there was any old footage of The Road Ranger, there had been one or two episodes shown on local TV, I believe, where he had dramatized his actual efforts. Now I find he’s died. ----- 


The Mayonnaise Jar and the Two Cups of Coffee
When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours
in a day are not enough, remember the Mayonnaise Jar ... and the Two
Cups of Coffee...
A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in
front of him. When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very
large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls.
He then asked the students if the jar was full.
They agreed it that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the 
Mayonnaise Jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the 
open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if
the jar was full.
They agreed it was.
The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the
Mayonnaise Jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He
asked once more if the Mayonnaise Jar was full.
The students responded with a unanimous "Yes".
The professor then produced Two Cups of Coffee from under the table and
poured the entire contents into the Mayonnaise Jar, effectively filling
the empty space between the sand.
The students laughed.
"Now", said the professor, as the laughter subsided. "I want you to
recognize that this Mayonnaise Jar represents your life".
The golf balls are the important things - Your God, Your Family, Your
Children, Your Health, Your Friends and Your Favourite Passions - Things
that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would
still be full.
The pebbles are the other things that matter like - Your Job, Your
House, Your Car.
The sand is everything else - The Small Stuff.
"If you put the sand into the jar first", he continued, "There is no
room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you
spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have
room for the things that are important to you.
Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play
with you children. Take time to get medical check-ups. Take your
partner out to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to
clean the house and take the garbage out.
Take care of the golf balls first, the things that really matter. Set
your priorities. The rest is just sand.”
One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the Two Cups of
Coffee represented?
The professor smiled. "I'm glad you asked. It just goes to show you
that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a
couple of Cups of Coffee with a friend"