Signal Mountain mechanic fixes folks' cars for free
SIGNAL MOUNTAIN, Tenn. —
A retired mechanic in Signal Mountain still spends a majority of his time underneath a car.
Over the years, he's fixed hundreds of vehicles for free, helping the elderly, people with disabilites and folks who fall on hard times.
In this week's Pay It Forward, Jessica Harthorn surprises him at home.
For 50 years, Wes Hayes says his calling was to work on cars.
In 2013, he retired, but that's when he tells us God's work began.
Every week, he's helping rescue a friend stranded on the side of the road, or making sure strangers have reliable transportation to work.
One story in particular involves the help of an old Honda.
"The best riding car I've even been in," said Mark Guiliani.
The engine has 90,000 miles on it and the body nearly 300, but Mark Guiliani says his 94 Honda Accord is his prized possesion.
"This car loves the road," said Mark.
Several years ago, Mark's son Tyler needed a reliable car to get him to college, but he couldn't afford it.
That's when mechanic, Wes Hayes found him the Honda.
He traded dozens of hours in labor for it, then put in a new engine, tires and brakes.
"Here we are almost seven years later, my son is graduated, got him through school and now I use it," said Mark.
As we drove to Wes' home on Signal Mountain, Mark says the Honda is now a symbol of love and generosity.
"God is Awesome!" said Mark.
Mark says after years of Wes' service to others, its time he finally gets his "free ride."
"Good Morning Wes!" said Mark. "On behalf of Newschannel 9 and the McMahan Law Firm, we want to Pay It Forward to you, for all the charity work and everything you do. Hold out your hand my friend," surprised Mark.
"They're dirty," said Wes.
"That's ok. 1, 2, 3, 4, $500 for all the charity and the help you do. God Bless you my brother," hugged Mark.
"My little big brother!" said Wes.
It just so happens, Wes was in the middle of fixing another car for a man in need, and gave us a front row seat as he began rebuilding the front suspension.
"I can sing too, I promise you," said Wes, as he whistled a tune on the radio.
We eventually asked Wes to switch gears, and explain why he spends so much time helping others for free.
"It's what God says to do. Help your neighbor, love your neighbor like yourself," said Wes.
And he says, to have a little fun while your helping others too.
Do you know someone who deserves $500 cash for helping others for free? Nominate them here.