SAN JOSE, Calif. — Sometimes even big shots rely on the kindness of strangers.
In the case of media mogul and philanthropist Ted Turner, turning the Atlanta Braves into a powerhouse ball club and owning huge ranches across the Midwest doesn’t mean you can’t be humbled by a cranky old Jeep.
But a couple of European Good Samaritans who were motoring down scenic Highway 1 near Big Sur on Saturday came to the CNN founder’s rescue when they stopped to take in the view and noticed the 73-year-old struggling to start his Jeep’s engine.
Hugo Floyer, a 30-year-old British Royal Navy navigator, and his girlfriend, Anna-Maria Hartikainen, who are on a three-week sightseeing trip on the California coast, offered Turner a lift to find a mechanic. The viewpoint, wouldn’t you know, happened to be in a cellphone dead zone.
The couple said they didn’t recognize Turner when he introduced himself and were somewhat disbelieving when he told them he founded the Cable News Network. They chatted about yachting, one of Turner’s passions, as they motored up the road in their rented Chevy Impala to a gas station where Turner found a mechanic to drive back and jump-start his stubborn Jeep.
Though they Googled Turner on their Kindle and found he’s worth gazillions, the couple declined his offer of $100 for their trouble and said they were just glad to help. Turner thanked them and then rushed off with the mechanic to his Jeep, where his girlfriend was still waiting for him to return.
But Hartikainen ribbed her boyfriend afterward about their experience:
“He had said I picked a very boring place to stop.”