Thomas Weller had been driving San Diego's highways since 1966, helping people in need of roadside assistance—until his car was totaled.
In 2008, the Los Angeles Times profiled Thomas Weller, the "Highway Angel," who until recently spent his days driving up and down the highway helping those in need of gas or other roadside assistance. And just a few days ago, the paper's videographer uploaded a video profile of Weller from the same year. He had been traipsing around San Diego's highways since 1966, carrying a card that reads:
You don't owe me a thing. I've been there too.\n
Someone once helped me out just the way I'm helping you.
If you really want to pay me back, here's what you do.
Don't let the chain of love end with you.
He explains in the video that his trips have become more infrequent with rising gas prices—they range from every day to every few days—but he still thinks it's a worthwhile way to spend one's money. "Some people spend it for goin' to Disneyland," he explains. "Some people go on vacations. I go out and play on the freeway... When I get depressed, I go out on the freeway, and I help one person, and I come back lifted."
As the video follows Weller on his daily routine, it's clear just how much a small act of kindness thrills him. "I'm gonna give you gas and send you on your way, and you help somebody else to pay me back," he assures one passenger.
Sadly, as the Huffington Post discovered, Weller's tricked-out rescue car, "Beulah," has run into some trouble. After getting help last year from the San Diego Auto Museum and Ray Brock of Ray Brock Racing, Beulah's faulty engine was repaired, but shortly afterwards, Weller's car was totaled while he was on duty. This time, Weller is the one in need of roadside assistance—a perfect chance for those he's helped over the years (or those who admire him) to celebrate Weller's altruistic alternative to Disneyland.