York: May 9 - 10
Seno and I followed Highway
9 down the west side of Gorgeous George--that would be Lake George, stopping
sometimes just overwhelmed with the blue beauty of it all. Bobbing
boats, lapping water, clear blue sky, warm day--perfect roadster weather.
Found the World's Tallest Uncle Sam at the south end of the lake at Magic
Forest. He is 38 feet tall and weighs 4500 pounds--made of, guess
Seno and I flashed thru another
state capitol, Albany, and did find the elusive 9W so went down the east
side of the Hudson River. Crossed over and then up to Saugerties
and finally found the KOA where the time and the weather seemed to permit
another camp out. Was especially nice because I also cleaned ALL
my clothes (no, did not go topless in the KOA laundro-facilities) and cleaned
me too. Felt great! Also put the egg cooker on a stumpy thing
at my spot that was an electrical outlet and so I had plenty of hard boiled
eggs for the next leg of the trip.
Woke up in fine shape and met
Larry and Jane from Staten Island who are "just trying it out for 10 years"
which I assume meant each other. They are a couple of characters
who love sailing and they were on their way to a basketweaving course in
Vermont. They say "hi" to daughter Janet and were camped out in an
RV a couple spots down from me and Seno. Jane could not get over
the idea of someone camping in a 4 cylinder RV. She has lovely red
hair and Larry is a major sailor, ties flies and the two of them are busier
than ever just keeping after their interests. Jane said, don't forget
quilts. Heavens, quilting is the state religion in Vermont and Pennsylvania!
I tootled around the Catskills
and did a drive thru for a little rummage sale. Didn't even get out
of the car and bought a purple bowling ball case from Carol who teaches
school near Asholean (I think I got that right). You will all be
thrilled to know that I actually passed on buying the purple bowling ball
that came with it. I know Seno was relieved that he didn't have to
Made for Poughkeepsie and Vassar
College. What a luxurious treat this was! Vassar reminded me
of Oxford and my jaw was hanging loose for most of the drive around campus.
The history of this place is amazing. The alumni magazine features
an article of Vassar as depicted in various Hollywood films and television.
I'll find the article and tell you about it later. Monroe, for instance,
tried to pass for a Vassar-ite in Some Like It Hot. Anyway, had dinner
with two Vassar K's: Kelly and Kelley both bright, articulate, and
intent on keeping the Vassar tradition of contributing to the planet.
In just a short time I felt the pressure that someone must feel coming
from such high value tradition. You'd just HAVE to make good.
Awesome place. Also got to meet Robby who likes bigger, beefier cars
than Seno. He and his sister Kelley have smiles that could blind
a Crest executive. It being the eve of Mother's Day I couldn't help
but think that any mom would be extremely proud to have any of these 3
students as their own. (My daughter is also a Kelly and we are not
together for Mom's day since I am on this Wild Trip.)
Well, the trip got a good deal
wilder after I had quiche and coffee at the Vassar Alum House that morning.
I was west bound going over the Hudson River Bridge when the left rear
fender broke loose. I pulled over, duct taped it and called AAA.
Will, the tow truck driver, just helped put more duct tape on the fender
and wished me "good luck".
I limped 70 miles over Bear
Mountain and thru West Point in the RAIN hoping to heavens I could make
it to Chestnut Ridge, New York where Irving and Christina live. I
couldn't find Highway 59 to save my soul, stumbling around on narrow streets,
totally unfamiliar and gripping the soaking wooden steering wheel.
Then the brakes started locking up.
This was more than duct tape
was designed for but I made it--barely. Spent most of the rest of
the day wanting wine and kissing the ground inside Irving's dry house.
After several hours I went out to the garage to check on Seno and discovered
that his right rear fender has also popped its weld but was still holding.
It is at this point a person
has to ask themselves: is it time to abandon this project?
I had a book in my emergency
kit that lists Early Ford V-8 members across the country by states.
I need a referral I could count on and I needed it NOW. I wasn't
familiar with the names of the towns near by so Irving went thru the New
York section and found Ross in West Nyack. Called Ross at 7 or 8
pm on Mother's Day and described the kind of fix it person I thought I
Several miracles happened after
that. Ross, a retired DEA agent (NYC) just took charge and called
back with the perfect person to do the work. This Wizard named Joe
it seems can fabricate anything and does on a regular basis working on
cars a whole lot more valuable and intricate than my little buggy.
Irving (bless his heart) got
up at 5:30 so that he and I could meet Ross and Joe at 7:30. What
a fabulous shop! Clean, organized, a 1/2 put together '33 Lincoln
with huge wide whites, a '53 Merc woody. Wow, old car heaven!
Ross brought his scrapbook of his car--this is too great for words!--he
has a 1939 black and white cop car complete with "radio microphone" on
the dash! He drove it back to Dearborn (to its birthplace to you
non-car people). I met John who owns the whole operation and he was
brief--what else does the car need? And they'll handle it.
So I just got the news about
an hour ago that Seno has the OK to continue this trip. Gosh, folks,
I thought I might get out of driving this little purple box for another
4,500 miles but no, these guys think I can do it, so what the heck, looks
like I'll be back on the road Wednesday after the rain dies down a little.
(Tornado warning out just south of here and it is pouring BUCKETS out there
now.) I have been rescued by a whole fleet of angels: Howard
who gave me the book, Irving who has taxi'd me around and fed me and whose
office I'm not typing from, Ross who swooped in like Superman to save the
day, Joe who is the handsome genius that pieced my silly car back together
again BETTER than it ever way and John who gave a green light to the whole
I went to class with Irving
this morning after leaving my Rescue Squad and I met a group of people
who are all doing their autobiographies. They each read from their
work and I mean to tell you, it was entertainment that I should have paid
admission for--good writing and fascinating stories. Jan, thanks
for letting me sitting in on the class and to Vi, Mary, Abe, Wendy, Cindy,
Winnie, Joyce and of course, Irving--keep it up, you all had my full attention
for over 2 hours!!! What an amazing group of people who could write
about Downs syndrome, black books, camping, weddings and dreams!
Pictures of all this to follow.