A Grand Day in Siler City

Dr. Reinhold was in a clinic associated with our hospital this week.  Yes, that’s right, sometimes even Dr. Reinhold must seek professional advice.  It took the woman behind the counter about 10 minutes to check him in, so while she checked him in, he checked her out.  She was the amazing “sparkly” 40-something.  She had a dozen shiny, jewel-encrusted bracelets, a couple of hickory nut sized rings, again plastered with clear stones, dangley, spangley earings, a diamond stud through the left nostril and silver sequins here and there on her low-cut blouse.  Since the Doc was standing and she was sitting, well, you can imagine.  Just as he was thinking, this gal has decorated just about everything, she spun around in her chair and stood to go retrieve some copies from the printer.  That’s when Doc was treated to the view of her flowered thong riding high above her pants which were riding low.  Yikes!  Thanks goodness Dr. Reinhold is used to examining women in a purely professional manner.

Old Business
Remember that stuck rear wheel on the Pony?  Following advice received, on Tuesday Gene and I literally “took a whack at it.”  Gene held a block of 4×4 up against the inside rim while I took aim at the block with a six-pound sledge.  My first swing was a little timid, but with my second off she popped.  Those of you not familiar with the rear wheels of a tractor may not realize that they are built to be heavy (aids in traction).  On top of that, the inner tubes are filled with water, so there’s some real weight there.  Well, when that big, heavy bugger came off it caught one of us off-balance (not naming names here) sending that person into a full sprawl on the garage floor.  Again, since Gene and I are both doctors, we were able to quickly deduce that no physical injury was incurred…only some minor injury to the ego.

Money, money, money
This was truly my week.  I struck gold three times.  First, I won $4 playing the lottery.  That money was immediately reinvested (results will likely be just as you would expect).  Then, while riding “the morning 40” down to Pittsboro, I spotted what looked like a credit card along the road.  A couple of years back, I found an active credit card in the road; coincidentally that was also in Pittsboro.  I did a uturn (or is that a “youturn”), scooped it up and noticed that better than a credit card, it was a $50 debit card (even better, unsigned). Ok, don’t get too excited for me, because in checking on-line I found that its remaining balance was $2.17.  Rather than investing that in the lottery too, I immediately spent it more wisely on a $2.08 cup of coffee at Starbucks.  Then the really big one arrived, a check in Friday’s mail, my share of some class action settlement I don’t even remember being a part of.  After “the blood sucking lawyers” (direct quote from the movie “The Money Pit”) took their cut, my share was $8.23.  I’m not sure what’s more pathetic, the scrawny amounts of these little victories, or the fact that I got so excited about them.  Woo hoo!

Speaking of money, lookie what the Cost-O-meter bought today.  The two-slide sequence below shows the Pony’s hydraulic lines. 

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Since I don’t plan on using the hydraulics, I had the lines cut and replaced by a U-shaped hose.  The job, complete with brazed-on fittings:  $34.61.  It was over a year ago that I found the shop that eventually did this work.  The shop is down in Siler City, which I’m familiar with, since they’ve got a Tractor Supply Store that I frequent.  More than that, this busy little farm town has everything that a farmer needs to keep the tractor and farm running:  several tractor dealerships, repair shops and automotive stores.  And to keep the farmer going, they’ve got Johnson’s Drive-In.  Johnson’s is a cheese burger place that’s been in business, run by the same family, since 1946.  I’d never stopped in at Johnson’s, but since it was going to take about an hour for the shop to reconfigure the hydraulic lines, I thought here’s my chance.

When I arrived at 11:20, there was already a line.  I was lucky being a “single” and got the last seat at the counter.  The owner (son of the original owner)operates the grill and was at work right in front of me.  Every morning he personally exams the beef as it arrives at the diner, and then grinds it for the day’s patties.  His technique is to squash about a dozen preformed balls of ground beef on the griddle, and fry them a while.  Then he hand cuts a thick slice of Velveeta and places that on top.  After the Velveeta gets all nice and “melty,” he slaps on the top half of the bun.  A little more time on the griddle and he slides them off onto the bottom half of buns that an employee has prepared with fixins as ordered by the customer.  The result is an incredibly messy, but tasty burger, which is eaten while finding out all about your seat mates, the diner and the owner.  Things heard while eating:
*After Saturday the place is closing for two weeks of vacation.  Owner said he’ll just take things slow for a while, do odd jobs around the place and relax.
*The owner asked the woman on my right how’s it going.  “Bout the same,  husband constantly traveling, Paris, Jamaica, Germany, few other places I can’t remember.”
*Owner said he’d never been on an airplane.  “I figure if God meant me to fly, he’d a give me wings.”
*I asked the guy on my left how long he’d been coming to the diner.  “Since I was a little boy.”
*Woman to my right to the guy on my left, “Do you remember when they had car hop service?”  “No, I musta started coming in shortly after that.”
*The woman two seats to my left shouts over the guy and me to the woman on my right.  “You see they got the sanctuary nearly finished.  Their ’bout to move the pews back in.  Everything pretty much the same, except the lighting’s a bit better.”
Guy on my left is a farmer.  He comes in regularly to Clapp Brothers, one of the tractor dealers in town.  Whenever he makes that trip, he comes to Johnson’s.  A perfect opportunity for me, “Yeah, I’m havin’ some work done too.  Got my hydraulic lines in for work just down street at Chatham Industrial Supply.”
*Again the woman two seats left, “I’ll probably lose 16 pounds while their closed for the next two weeks.”
And on it goes…
Here’s a nice little video done by Our State magazine about Johnson’s.  Don’t forget to hit that back arrow when it’s over.


That’s all for this week.  Thanks for reading.


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