Sunday, June 5, 2016

Generator X

You don't drive thousands of miles in a lemonmobile. My family has been lucky to have decent reliable transportation that has held up through thousands of miles. Clark Griswald was not as fortunate:

We did have a couple of road hazards. One happened in Colorado, in approximately 1979. While cruising through the Rocky Mountains, the Oldsmobile's red "GEN" light popped on. We could still drive, but what exactly was going on with the generator? Or off? To our relief, that tank of a car held up to the nearest capable gas station, where a mechanic discovered a broken generator belt to be replaced pronto. We had just had the car inspected before this journey.

My Queen Mother explained it to a relative thus: "Dave says he's going to the Oldsmobile dealer and lash that belt in their face."

A bigger problem emerged about a decade later near Estes Park, Colorado, where a tire on the Nissan station wagon suddenly mangled itself. We heard and felt something out of the ordinary, but it took a passing driver on a mountain street to enlighten us:

"Hey, do you know your tire is shredded?"

It's not clear how it happened, or why it happened so spectacularly to just one tire. It had to have been something in the rocky Rocky Mountain road. But now, Dad had to deal with it, taking time out of the leisure trip to get the car back to something resembling normal.

To understand the level of frustration, you have to understand that simply buying one new tire was not an option. As I recall it, the Royal Father wanted four -- of a certain standard, preferably from Pirelli. In those days, you had to get out the yellow pages and dial your way around, which is what we did after getting the spare on and getting to our motel room.

While he was supervising the job of getting the wagon re-tired, the rest of us retired to Lake Estes... out on a boat in the middle of the water with GOD's beauty around us.

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