Monday, October 15, 2007

The Raggedy Man

Prompted by a good friend, I'm adding "not necessarily art"-related stories to this blog. This other life of mine seems to eventually relate somehow to time spent working on art type things.

This is the story of Reese and me going to the airport a few weeks go to pick up the Shaws, whom I mentioned in the October 1st blog entry.

As we were driving to the airport, we noticed that the car was driving a little rough. We pulled off at the next exit to see if we had a flat, and noticed smoke coming out from under our hood. There was a Shell station at the next intersection; we pulled in to check under the hood. Sure enough---lots of smoke.

Reese went in the little convenience store attached to the gas station to buy some coolant. Then he pulled the suburban over to the water hose at the edge of the gas station parking lot to add the coolant....He had just gotten the hood up, and had added the water/coolant mixture, when out of nowhere a raggedy old man appeared. Looking under the hood, he said,

"You have a problem with your thermostat. I can fix it."

In his left hand, the tattered and timeworn fella held a bag of aluminum cans. He said that he had been out collecting cans when something (someone?) told him to walk toward us. He said that in a past life he had been a car mechanic. Then he opened up his right hand and much to our surprise, there in his filthy fist was a small supply of tools. Not waiting for permission, he immediately started loosening this and tightening that. He kept up a running commentary of the work he was doing and why it needed to be done. He crawled under the car, worked a bit more, looked under the hood again, tightened one last bolt....then said,

"Well. That should take care of it. You shouldn't have any more problems."

I asked if we should tow it home.(?)

He said,

"Lady, you could drive it to New York." (which is a long way considering we live in Houston, Texas)

Still a bit stunned from the suddenness of it all, we tipped the guy and drove off.

With extreme gratefulness in our hearts, we safely made it to the airport just in time to greet our friends as they walked out of baggage claim.

In case you are wondering, the car is fine.


Sol said...

I love it!

Sarah Hazel said...

You asked for it.

Kristin said...

That gives me goose bumps. God is watching us, we are not alone. cool story.