The Super Secret Road To Block Island – Thank You For Saving Anna’s Life
Thursday night into Friday and now Saturday morning, I have continued to progress physically as I am dealing with Covid-19, Part 2. The headaches, congestion, fever have all subsided and I am slowly but surely getting my strength back. And getting back to comfortable routines, like writing and putting the dishes away and trying not to burn the house down cooking. After a pretty eventful email surprise from the other day from DGranderson, I was eager to read some emails on Friday night before I turned in. One particular email really got my attention and I read it through last night and now again this Saturday morning. The email is accompanied by a few photos and I would like to share these with you now. This secret road, tunnel whatever we are calling it is taking on a life of its own and I am very excited to share my findings with you.
“Good evening, my name is Mike Dawson. My wife Stacey showed me an article you wrote about a secret road from Block Island to Narragansett along with an artist’s rendition of man traveling through what appears to be an underground, underwater tunnel to a home on the island. It showed one leg of a life saving journey that involved my family, specifically my daughter Anna. I can confirm there was an event, I was there, I asked the man for help and he accepted my plea for help. This heroic man did the impossible, left Block Island and went to our home in Narragansett someway, somehow and came back in record time. All these years later, now I know how he did it. I didn’t know then, just that he performed a miracle. That man, now I know his name to be Brewer, that wonderful man Brewer saved my daughter’s life that day. Words cannot describe how deeply we feel and our appreciation knows no limits.
You see, it all started out so innocently that day on Block Island. We arrived via ferry around 10am, just the three of us Dawsons. Had made a basic plan for the day, relax at Fred Benson State Beach, get some lunch in town, do some sight seeing and shopping, etc. The usual stuff we do over there. Anna has exercised induced asthma, which is controlled through medications and an asthma inhaler, so we typically stayed away from the biking tours of Block Island. She is still an active teenager physical fitness wise, her condition is just something we need to monitor and be mindful of.
At the request of Stacey and Anna, we skipped the taxi and just walked the beach over to Fred Benson. Just about the same distance, I would say, just on the sand as opposed to the busy and narrow roads of BI. Again, nothing too strenuous that would trigger her asthma. As we approached the main visitor area of Fred Benson, a tennis ball landed just over my head and plopped into the water. I walked over to the water’s edge and retrieved it and took a look at where it came from.
‘Could you toss that back over here big guy?’ asked the man who was now staring at me trying to figure out if he knew me. I stared back and knew exactly who he was. ‘Mike Dawson, is that you?’ he figured it out just as I had figured out who he was, standing there shirtless about 20 yards away. ‘Hey Keith, what the heck, how long has it been?’ I replied as a jogged over to shake Keith’s hand. ‘Too long, is this your family?’ asked Keith, ‘Keith Timmons, nice to meet you guys.’ ‘This is my wife, Stacey and my daughter Anna. Honey, I set Keith up for an audition with DMB when their keyboard player got ill many, many summer tours ago.’ ‘Did you get the gig, I mean did you end up touring with Dave Mathews?’ asked Stacey. Keith laughed, ‘no, but I got the thrill of lifetime auditioning and it helped launch a new career for me in music equipment sales and service. And I have this big guy to thank for it.’ Keith hugged my neck and invited us to join his family, who were just a few feet out of hearing our conversation, so we had to redo the intros and the back stories.
Again, nothing out of the ordinary, hung out with the Timmons family, Anna played catch with Keith’s son (Wally) and daughter (Piper), who were both much younger than Anna. We had lunch, got some sun, jumped in the water, relaxed, all good. We asked Anna a few times if she was ok, and she seemed fine, her breathing was good, everything was good. Wally was on the water’s edge and Anna and Piper were on the sand, chatting about girls’ stuff. Piper was in the middle of a very important story about her puppy and was not throwing the ball to Wally at the moment. Wally called for the ball and called for the ball, Piper just gave him the “hold up” sign. Wally insisted Piper throw the ball, and finally she did. Way over Wally’s head. To which, Wally turned and started out into the dangerous waving waters of Fred Benson Beach. It was clear from the start, Wally was in trouble. Anna rushed into the water, swam out as fast as she could to get Wally, and help him to the water’s edge. My wife and I and the Timmons ran down to assist and ask that everyone take a break. Stacey then noticed Anna was not breathing right. She asked me to get her purse and find Anna’s inhaler. I ran up and grabbed her purse. Stacey looked through the purse but could not find the inhaler. ‘Where is it honey, did you take it out?’ asked a very concerned Stacey to both me and Anna. ‘I took it out before we left, I’m so sorry Mom, I didn’t put it back. It’s on the table on the deck.’
Keith Timmons and his wife Barb had a suggestion. ‘We are renting a house just up the street with some industry friends from Serenity Cymbals. Maybe someone at the house has an inhaler. At the least, Anna can go and chill out on the couch until we can call a doctor or get help.’ Stacey and I nodded and helped Anna up the sand to our stuff, threw a towel over her, and walked her up to the parking lot to the Timmons rented Jeep. ‘Hop in gang, it’s not far.’ said Keith and we all did just that. Barb hung back and gathered up our stuff and her children and grabbed a taxi back to the house just a few minutes later. Just past the airport, a dirt road took us up to his rented house, where there was a big pool and a big time party going on.
Keith was greeted by all of his industry friends and their spouses/significant others as he parked in front of the house. Anna was really struggling with her breathing, it was very shallow. We needed to find her a comfortable spot until we sorted out the next steps. Keith pushed people aside as nicely as he could and get us into the house and into an air conditioned living room with a big sofa. Stacey propped up some pillows for Anna and stayed with her. Keith and I then went into the party and started asking people one by one if they had an inhaler or any asthma medication. In retrospect, probably not the brightest thing to do, we should have just called 911. Sprinkled into the party was that man, who I know now as Brewer. He looked like a member of 1960s band, so I figured he was an industry guy. Turns out he was also a friend of a friend at the party. I asked him, with a lot of anxiety in my voice, if he or someone he knew could help us. ‘Where is the medicine now, where do you all live?’ he asked. ‘We live off Ocean Road in Narragansett, we are just here for the day.’ I replied. ‘Is the medicine somewhere outside or in your house?’ Brewer was quick with his follow up question. ‘Why, do you have a boat or something?’ I asked, now a bit curious as to his intentions. ‘Nope, I have something better and faster.’ Without thinking, I gave Brewer our address, told him the inhaler was on the deck, and thanked him.
I went inside and told Stacey and Barb, who had just arrived, what I had instructed Brewer to do. ‘You gave a complete stranger who looks like David Crosby our home address? Are you insane?’ asked Stacey. ‘At the moment, what other option do we have honey?’ I replied realizing how bad a decision it appeared after mouthing the words to my wife. ‘Well, never mind.’ said Barb trying to play peacemaker, ‘I called the BI hospital and they are sending a script in to be filled as we speak.’ Barb excused herself as her telephone was ringing. ‘Mike, really, you need to think, this won’t be the last time this kind of thing happens.’ Stacey was upset at the situation clearly and I wasn’t helping by giving out our home address to David Crosby like men. Anna was doing a little better just sitting up and relaxing but we need some relief and fast, but we had to wait and be patient.
About 25 minutes after Barb had called the BI Hospital, she received another call. Stacey and I could see her pacing and talking on the phone in the other room. She slammed the phone down on the counter and then picked it up and talked some more. ‘Ok, they haven’t forgotten about you but apparently there was a huge brawl outside of the National Hotel and the streets are just packed with people. The state and local BI police are trying to clear up the roads and a few people were stabbed so the girl at the BI hospital said they are calling in a special courier to get Anna’s medicine over here. Of all days, right?’ Stacey and I shook our heads and noticed that Anna had shut her eyes and her head was bobbing. ‘Honey, try to stay awake, your medicine is almost here.’ I said. ‘Correction, your medicine is here,’ said Brewer as he stood in the doorway, holding Anna’s inhaler. I stood and walked to Brewer and grabbed the inhaler, pausing to look at him in the face and smile, and then rushed back to the couch, where Anna took several big puffs of medicine. Then sat up and gave us all a deep breathe and a smile. ‘Is Wally okay?’ she asked and everyone in the room laughed and cheered.
After a few minutes of hugging and celebration, Stacey and I looked for Brewer, who was now suddenly gone from the house. I walked over to the door to see a man, most likely Brewer now that I think of it, speed off on his electric scooter or motorcycle up the dirt road. A smile was all I did to thank him for saving my daughter, I wanted to give him a proper thank you with a handshake and a big hug. But he was gone. I asked around the party, if anyone knew him, and most said they sort of did but didn’t know his name or his situation, just that they had seen him around the island. So, when Stacey showed me your article and the house drawing and we read the gentleman’s name who saved Anna’ life, I just felt compelled to write you. If you ever run into Brewer or get his information, can you please let Stacey and I know? We would love to connect with him and just sincerely thank him for his heroic act of kindness for our family.
Well wishes, Mike Dawson
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