After Four Decades, The Princess Saves the Day!

There’s no denying it, The Princess’s 43 years of back-seat driving has finally paid off.  This week we were heading out to dinner, friends Art and Joy in the back seat.  As I approached an intersection in the right lane, a car suddenly pulled out of the left turn lane into ours.  The Princess did one of those “loud intake of air things; in print it might look something like “huuuuuuuh,” and that sound was just enough.  I braked quickly and missed the idiot.  So now she’s struttin around braggin on her excellent back-sat driving skills.  Come on…once in 43 years?  Seems like a pretty lousy return for 43 years of aggravation.

That reminds me of the Princess’s Dowry.  Jeez, sounds like a romance novel.  Before we got married The Princess needed a car to get to and from her teaching job.  She bought a midnight blue,1966, fast back Ford Mustang.  It was a pretty car and she looked good driving it, but from the start it was trouble.  On a hot June day we ventured into the Cook County Courthouse in Chicago’s loop to get our marriage license.  On the trip home the engine over-heated.  Steam was coming out from under the hood and blue smoke was coming out the exhaust pipe, but on the Dan Ryan Expressway, I’m sorry, I held that pedal down, maintained a white knuckle grip on the wheel and willed that limping Mustang home…hmm, my first bad experience with a Pony?    That led to major engine work, but we had no choice but to fix it, because at that point we just didn’t have the money for a new car.  Then during our first year of marriage, the brakes went out on the car not once, but twice.  Talk about scary. 

That led to the purchase of our first car, a Toyota.  It rusted out in about three seconds, after that, a Ford Pinto, we got rear-ended.  Is it going to blow up?  Fortunately, no flames.  Then a Dodge…had air conditioning that only worked when it was cold out,  An Olds diesel…well let’s not even start on that one, then a pretty nice Buick, which Andy wrapped around a tree one night…perfect impression of a small tree trunk in the side, another Buick…which I once ran into the garage due to my bike being on top…caved in the roof, and finally, the current Camry which I guess they say might suddenly, all on its own, decide to kill us someday.  

Ah well, life’s a gamble, right?  You probably aren’t having fun if you don’t take a little risk.  I always stand close to the microwave when its running.  I’m sure too, to cover all my food with plastic wrap when “nuking” it.  All that stuff they say will hurt you, huh!  I’ll start paying attention when I see the first obituary that reads,  “Man dies after a long struggle with a Microwave.”     

Hey, look at this.

That’s my next tractor just waiting in a little shed.  I found it out along one of the roads I take on the “morning 40” to Saxapahaw.  Don’t tell the Pony, but I have a secret desire for one of these old Fords.  Here’s what it could look like if properly restored.

 I know, I know.  First things first.  Speaking of which, here’s a shot Gene took of me priming the next section of the Pony.  And since this photo was taken, I’ve applied the first coat of red paint.  Might even get the second coat on later today.  I’ve gone ahead with this additional section of painting, because this gets us back to where the dash-board attaches.  I’ve also got the dash painted, so with the final coat on this section, we’ll be able to attach the dash and attempt the engine start from switches actually mounted in their proper place.

By the way, for the second time now the Idiotic Brother has warned that Gene and I should have a fire extinguisher handy when we do the engine start.  He’s really scaring me.  Does he know something about that carburetor he worked on that I should know about?  It didn’t help any when I entered Gene’s garage last week and smelled the unmistakable odor of gasoline.  Gene wandered in later though and explained that the fuel system on his mini van was leaking.

The Pony’s fuel system is the last barrier to starting the engine.  Well crap, that’s probably not right, but at least it’s close to the last.  And gas is the only fluid we haven’t poured in again since the “day of big leaks.”

It’s Sunday night.  That’s usually the night I cut my hair, kind of following a family tradition.  Yeah, no fancy salons for me.  I sit in the tub, take my old beard trimmer and run it over my head like a lawn mower.  Then it’s easy to stand-up and shower all the hairs off. 

While my brothers and I were in grade school my Dad would cut our hair.  We’d sit on a kitchen stool, he’d tie a dish towel around our necks and start the butch-ering.  That’s right, we all got the same haircut the guys in boot camp get, just a nice even, quarter-inch of hair all over.  One time he tricked me ( wondered why he was taking a little extra time), I got off the stool and saw he’d given me a Mohawk!  What a comedian.  After those haircuts we kids looked like we’d all just come off an assembly line.  Here’s a photo of his Dad, my Grampa, taken in 1919.   What a time capsule, eh?  See all the shaving mugs of his customers tucked into the little cubby holes. He looks like a real pro, which Dad was not.

Have a wonderful week everyone and thanks for reading.


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