My Dad didn't know it either, but he helped him.
Dad was downtown, driving home from his law practice one afternoon. I don't remember the time of year.
He was stopped at a red light while people crossed in front of his car. One was an elderly man with a cane. One of his legs was shorter than the other, and so he had a shoe with a platform bottom on that side to support him.
As he hobbled across the street, he tripped and fell, landing on his chest. The cane went flying, and he was unable to get back up. While he struggled to get to his feet the typical rush hour traffic began honking and yelling at him.
Dad got out, and helped the man up. The cane was gone, smashed by a car trying to beat the yellow light. He got the man to his feet, but without the cane he couldn't walk. So Dad put an arm around the elderly stranger, and got him to his car. He put him in the passenger seat, figuring then he'd find out where he lived and drive him home.
The man was scared, and badly shaken up. A stranger had just run out in front of traffic and yelling people to help him. And now my Dad learned he didn't speak a word of English - just Italian.
Nowadays maybe people would have left the man lying there, called police on their call phone, and driven around him. Or helped him to the edge of the curb and left him there for someone else to find. Or just not given a shit at all and continued honking at him.
But Dad brought him back to our house.
There was no cell phone. The first hint we had that anything was up was when Dad came in the carport door, supporting an elderly man I'd never seen before. He called my Mom, and as he explained what happened they got him to a chair at the kitchen table. Mom got him some water and a few band-aids for his bumps and scrapes.
Dad went to the phone. A friend of his was a doctor, whose father was an Italian immigrant. He reached him at his office as he was finishing up for the day, and the good doctor immediately called his father (who was fluent in both English and Italian) and they came to our house.
While the doctor checked him over, his father spoke to the man, and they quickly got his information. He didn't know the phone number of the building he lived at, but knew the address. It was a few miles from where he'd fallen, and he'd been on his way to the bus stop to go home when the accident happened.
The doctor's father drove the man home a short while later, though they stopped at the drugstore for a new cane.
I never saw the man again, but the memory is still there. A frail looking elderly man in a black suit, white shirt, and dark Homburg hat. The one shoe with the platform bottom. Sitting at the formica table in our yellow 70's kitchen.
I don't recall my Dad mentioning the events of that day again. I don't think I even remember him talking to me directly about it while it was going on. But I learned a lot that day that I hope I never forget.