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Pittsburgh beautiful, kind

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Contact Colin McNickle (412-320-7836 or

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Monday, Jan. 14, 2013, 9:09 p.m.

On Jan. 3, I got a flat tire after dropping my son off at Duquesne University. I limped my car toward Carlow University in hopes of finding a garage to help or an out-of-the-way place to change my tire.

I asked a road crew about a garage. They said they didn't know but maybe the man behind them would. He turned out to be Pittsburgh police Officer M. Johnson, who looked at my tire and said, “Back up, I will change it for you.” He was professional, calm and a blessing.

As an ER nurse, I am normally the one who is calm, but that day I was flustered. I had an appointment at Duquesne in an hour. He said, “It's OK, I will get you back on the road.” Within 15 minutes, and with a hydraulic jack from the crew, I was ready to go. I could not thank him enough and the last thing he said to me was, “Pay it forward.”

This brought tears to my eyes. I didn't catch the crew's names, but they all helped as well. I did “pay it forward” the next day and the day after, when I got home.

I fell in love with Pittsburgh about two years ago when I first visited and brought my two kids to college here. They are in love with it, too. Everyone is nice and I always feel like I am driving “home” when I leave the Hershey area to go to Pittsburgh.

Thanks for the beautiful city and your kindness. Be proud of who you are and what you have. Most importantly, pay it forward.

Nicole Cruci


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