By Christine Kim
Channel 2 News
6:25 AM AKDT, May 15, 2012
A Florida couple on a cycling trip reconnected with their guardian angels from Homer, Alaska after a cycling trip went wrong on a volcano in Hawaii in April.
Near the southern tip of the Kenai Peninsula is the small town of Homer, and for those who live here at the end of the road, helping others is nothing more than common courtesy.
One story in particular, however, caught the attention of Homer City Clerk Jo Johnson when an email from John Josephs showed up in her inbox.
“His first email came on April 24,” said Johnson. She read the email out loud. “I am writing this note in an attempt to find the couple from Homer to give them the deserved recognition for their kind deeds.”
It didn’t take long for Johnson to decide she had to help out John and Tara Josephs, from Florida, who were looking for a couple they called their “guardian angels.”
“A lot of emotion within it,” Johnson said about the email. “That’s what made me realize I need to reunite or try to find her.”
Johnson had little information to go on. She only knew what the Josephs told her: the couple’s workplace and those they live in Homer, Alaska. But in a town of just over 5,000 people, it didn’t take long for Johnson to find who they were looking for: Cinda and Greg Martin.
The Martins were vacationing in Hawaii and exploring Mount Haleakala, a 10,000-foot volcano and cycling destination, when they saw a couple in trouble.
“She clearly was flagging someone down. She had her cell phone out trying to dial,” said Cinda Martin.
The Josephs were cycling down after making it to the top when they realized that they were both hypothermic and shivering violently. There was no cell service, so they tried to flag the cars that passed by. But nobody in those cars pulled over and stopped -- except the Martins.
The Martins loaded up their bikes in the trunk, and blasted up the heat in the car so the Josephs could warm up.
“They said, 'Thanks for stopping,' and I said, 'Well, we had to,'” said Greg Martin. Then he smiled. “Because if my mom found out I passed you that would be the end of me!”
But to the Josephs, that act of kindness in Hawaii saved their lives. When they returned to Florida, they had emailed the City of Homer, news agencies, anything they could think of to try and reach the Martins. And, they finally got through. Johnson put the two couples in touch through email.
But just weeks after that day, the two couples, from one end of the country to another, had the chance to see each other for the first time since April through Skype.
“Good to see you. You look a lot better,” they laughed.
“I told Tara when you dropped us off -- I said, 'You know, those are people we can be friends with,'” said John Josephs.
The Martins thanked the Josephs for tracking them down, and reminisced about the Hawaiian incident.
“I know -- I kept saying I was sorry and you said, 'What are you saying sorry for?' I said that about three times, and you replied, 'What are you saying sorry for?'” said John Josephs to Greg Martin. “Now I want to say thank you.”
After a single act of kindness brought the couples together, the Josephs are already making future plans to visit Alaska and see the Martins.
“And there will be lots of tourists on the road and locals on the road, so if you have any trouble they will all stop from both directions,” said Cinda Martin, laughing.
“That’s very reassuring, thank you,” said John Josephs.
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