Most of my misadventures have occurred in the thirty-three years I have been a widow. I am very grateful that my husband taught our son well, and that our son was very receptive to these lessons. He not only learned about carpentry, electricity and plumbing, he also very much enjoyed automotive lessons. In fact, early on, he decided that would be his future. He has switched jobs since, but at the time it was all he cared about, and he became very proficient in his field. So I had no problems concerning general maintenance of our car. But I was still making long trips between states, sometimes alone, and sometimes with one or more of the girls.
There's nothing like the excitement of having your engine suddenly quit, at 60 or 70 miles per hour, in bumper to bumper traffic on Long Island's Belt Parkway! Add pouring rain and an unfamiliar neighborhood. It happened just before I had reached the Coney Island Exit. Momentum carried me that far. Gravity carried me down the ramp onto Coney Island Boulevard, where I made a quick left turn, away from the ocean. I coasted to the curb.
All I knew was that I could not abandon the car in that neighborhood. I sat a while, wondering what to do. This, of course, was long before the cell phone. Finally I tried the ignition one more time, and the engine turned over.I traveled a couple of blocks, and it quit again. Sat a while longer to let it cool, and tried again. It went a couple of more blocks. I continued like this until I reached Coney Island Hospital, turned into their over night parking lot, paid $8.00, and found a space. My daughter and I dashed through the torrential downpour, got inside, reached a pay phone and called another daughter further out on the island, which had been our original destination, and she came to pick us up. This is not as easy as it sounds, since this was a holiday weekend, which means that everyone on the Island was heading for Manhattan, and everyone in Manhattan was heading for the Island, to spend the holiday with relatives. Traffic was unbelievable.
Once back at her house, I phoned my son in New Jersey, who intended to come up the next day. I described the problem to him and he knew immediately what was needed. The next day he drove to Coney Island Hospital, fixed the car, and called me. Into Coney Island we went, and then had us a three car convoy back to Suffolk County. Rescue completed.
I've also broken down - without Joe's help possible - on Staten Island. Not fun. Very expensive. Ending badly, and necessitating re-repair by my son once we did get home. If you are ever going to break down - do not do it on Staten Island!
Stay tuned. More next week.
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Misadventures Along the Road - Part 2
Labels: Belt Parkway, Coney Island
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You tell a good story, Bobbie, and you were/are lucky to have Joe ...
I try very hard to do nothing at all on Staten Island ;)
I can picture exactly where you were at Coney Island and that is not a fun place to be stuck
That's a real breath-holding story! Glad it all turned out okay! Some of my best times (road trips) and worst times (flat tire and a 360 spin in a torrential thunderstorm) have been in cars.
I'd be interested in hearing what was wrong with the car.
Dear Bobbie, you have my sympathies! We have lived through many car breakdowns in our past and with little money to help us get along. We'd barely get one car running and the other would break. I am so glad you had family to help you. I would be a basket case!
I love that you just kept restarting until you made it somewhere safe. That's some genius thinking right there.
You are so lucky to have such a wonderful, knowledgeable son. Good for Joe! He's stepped up to the mark gallantly and efficiently. You must miss your husband very much. Sending you lots of hugs.
Glad all turned out well, but what an adventure!
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