So then I went to my local transmission guy, who is the nicest guy in the universe, because his shop is across the street from my polling place and my car's shifting funny. He found that the fluid was low and topped it off. While we were standing around in the parking lot, this exchange actually happened.
Complete stranger who does not appear to work there: (to me) Hey, kiddo. (To transmission guy) Hey, [guy's name]. Fluid's a little low?
Transmission guy: Yes, just adding some now.
Complete stranger: (to me) I'm glad to see you voted. I won't ask which way you voted.
Me: Yup, of course. Did you get out to vote yet?
Complete stranger: Yes.
Transmission guy: (to stranger) I had an appointment at the VA earlier, that they cancelled; that's the only reason I don't have my pistol on me. (to me) We carry guns.
Me: Right, sure.
Complete stranger: I carry for my state, and I carry for myself.
Transmission guy: You should be all set for now, but you'll have to bring it back in and leave it with us so we can find the leak and fix it.
Day 6 of my month of gratitude: I am thankful for so, so many of the experiences of living and voting and patronizing businesses in a small town. I am thankful for people who can probably assume I vote against them and who encourage me to do it anyway. I am thankful to know my local transmission guy, whatever his politics are.
Oh, also, if you're looking for it, a sad epilogue to the Plattsburgh saga: Poor local transmission guy never got paid for his work. The shop in Plattsburgh went bankrupt and closed; our buddy Lee really did just rip them off and they just never recovered, financially. That guy sucks. Sorry to be the messenger.