Posted on | September 18, 2010 | 7 Comments
I took the car in for an oil change Thursday. This 2002 PT Cruiser’s got 121k miles.
It’s a lovely day for a trip, just after noon, going West on I-64, almost to Lewisburg, chatting up me old college chum in Chicago, ‘Welcome to West Virginia’. . .wait, I’m slowing down, check engine, oil light, pop the clutch, no one around me, won’t re-start, sonofa. . .
Oil is fine. Bad gas in Woodstock, VA back on I-81? No, this engine isn’t even trying.
Call the insurance company, get a wrecker out of Lewisburg. Fortunately, that’s where I’m going.
Call the people I’m going to see. Yes, they can come fetch me in about 10 minutes.
Getting the parts and manhours on task for the repair, no’ so fast. Eating some vacation on Monday. Grrr.
Finally, I get to the destination, meet the subject of the treck. Worth every minute of stress. This 85 year old duffer is amazingly articulate and has a story with everything: heroism, travel, romance, art.
Oh, to have the journalistic chops of Stacy McCain and the visual auteurity of Ladd Ehlinger. I set up the camcorder and do a 1 minute clip just to show him what the gadget looks like. He has no interest in a chronological attack on matters; he already knows the story.
So I take notes, and will try to get an outline together. The acme of skill will be to draw it out of him in some sensible manner that won’t destroy me trying to edit. That his first three decades are the makings of righteous war flick don’t matter; he is a Sowell fan and wants to talk about American culture on the skids.
When your feet no longer touch bottom, it’s time to shut up and swim.