Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Misadventures Along the Road - Part 3

When Joe, Rita and Kitty and I moved from New York, two years after Ralph's death, there were a number of things I left behind in a kind neighbor's garage. Soon after we got settled, the two youngest girls and I (and the dog) drove back to Long Island with a U-Haul trailer to retrieve our possessions. We spent a couple of days visiting, then started back, trailer full, and this time with my friend and two of her daughters. It was a very hot, Sunday afternoon. A U-Haul trailer is not permitted on the Belt Parkway, so we were forced to take the dreaded BQE (Brooklyn-Queens Expressway). Not a road known for it's good repair and a smooth ride. As we buzzed along in Brooklyn, almost reaching the Verrazano Bridge, we rounded a blind curve - and the trailer hitch broke. We quickly got the girls and the dog out of the car and safely onto the grass. Almost immediately, a Brooklyn NY Police car appeared. Thank heaven! The two cops were very cheerful and helpful, telling us they would get us back on the road. One said to me, "Just walk back to the curve, and wave off the traffic." I DON'T THINK SO! I wasn't about to stand anywhere near Sunday traffic moving at high speed, and wave at them. The cop shrugged and said well, he guessed he'd have to get out the traffic cones from his trunk then - which he did. A much better solution!

They got us hitched up again with a piece of chain, and directed us to the nearest U-Haul lot, which they assured us would be easy to find. Uh-huh. Then we were on our way again. Need I tell you, we could not find the lot following the directions we had been given.

Do you happen to remember the opening scene every week on the old "Welcome Back Kotter" show? That is exactly where we were, under the El. No one in the entire neighborhood spoke enough English to give us directions, even if they knew what we were asking. We wandered around for a while, and did come upon the lot at last. We got our new hitch, and found the Verrazano Bridge, and headed home.

Have you noticed a theme here? Every time I am in a car that breaks down, I seem to be accompanied by children and a dog.

I'm not sure why I felt I had to try to illustrate these incidents. I know I did it very badly, but since the pictures are done - here they are, for better or worse. Another mishap will be coming next week.


Judy said...

Sounds like something that would happen to me, Bobbie. I can't imagine being broke down with all those people with you and not being able to find the U-haul place. I don't blame you for not wanting to direct the traffic. I would not do that either.

kenju said...

That would be my worst nightmare! We once got sort of lost in Harlem, when mr. kenju took a different bridge into the city because there was a marathon in the city that day. Luckily it was broad daylight!

Daryl said...

You drew that? Its good. Your proportions and perspective are right on .. do you paint?

Sylvia K said...

I love your stories and I love your drawings! They are just great! I can't even draw a straight line, let alone anything that would be recognized!

Dianne said...

You were in my neighborhood, Bensonhurst - on New Utrecht Ave - right undah dah L - I know that U-Haul place very well - I once crashed one of their trucks right there in there driveway!! I too had a child with me, no dog though -

I love this story

I have a picture of that intersection, Nana used to live very close to there

I have to post it

Dawn Fine said...

Good story..and i too like the is fun to record memories like that.

Kay said...

Bobbie, you're really an artist! That's a terrific illustration. Thank goodness that New York has such nice policemen. It restores my faith in all our finest.

Sparkling Red said...

U-Haul is a terrible company. I have heard a lot of horror stories regarding their busted-up vehicles. In my ignorant youth I rented a truck from them once, to move from one apartment to another. First of all we were stopped on a hill and the ramp at the back started rolling out into the windshield of the car behind us. Then, fortuately once we were all moved in, the truck broke down on the way back to the depot. We walked the last few blocks and handed them the keys, told them to go find their truck on the main street. It was a fiasco.