LEWISTON, ID -- When you think about a car salesman, a lot of words and images likely come to mind. Maybe some of them aren't so positive.
But business, just like life, should really be about helping others.
Mike Altman knows about helping others. He's a papa who spoils his grandkids with toys and treats all the time. "Dollhouses, swords, you seen them with their Hulk stuff," he says.
On this day, those grandkids go between superhero games, to zooming around on their bikes. "Woo hoo! This is awesome!" Mike's grandson cheers as all four wheels of his bike rumble along the parking lot of the trailer park on Bryden.
He's also a Ford man through and through. Especially now.
"People think that just because you own a car lot, you're stingy, but I don't believe Joe Hall Ford is that way. He's out there for his community."
Help. We all need it from time to time. Two years ago, Mike needed to get his F150 back on the road. He was going through some health issues and struggled to replace the timing belts himself.
"Joe Hall took my pickup in and fixed for me and didn't charge me for it," he recalls.
That would likely make any customer loyal for life, but it's what Joe Hall did next that made them Mike's heroes.
"It's a [myoposy] or something, I don't know all the legal terms to it. I just know it's taken me but I'm fighting all the way," Mike says with a small laugh.
As he sits, in his wheelchair on the patio of his home, he recounts all the health issues he's gone through over the last few years.
From a stroke, to Paget's disease, which weakened his bones to the point they'd bend or even break if he so much as bumped something. That, he smiles, he "has in checkmate."
But life took a turn around a year ago when he broke his leg and was laid up for several months.
"Without being able to walk and use those muscles, they deteriorated faster than they were already so it made it to where I'm probably not ever going to walk again." Mike gives a small shrug.
After Mike began his life in a wheelchair, Joe Hall stepped up to give him a huge discount on an Econoline van to accomodate his wheelchair and family members who now have to drive him.
"Without that van I couldn't get to the doctors, I couldn't get out and go shopping or anything," Mike says.
He still requires help with every day tasks, which are done by a constant stream of visiting children or two regular helpers.
"If it wasn't for my kids: John, Jessica, Lewis, Sienna, Patrick, I'd probably be in a nursing home to tell you the truth. Just stuck in a bed somewhere."
Mike is a big laugher, but an even bigger smiler. His infectious grins go ear to ear. It's hard to be pessimistic when you're surrounded by love and have a hero who has cornered the market on compassion.
"I'd just like to thank Joe Hall Ford and my family. They are my heroes."