It all seemed so simple. Gordon Lightfoot was performing in Columbia, SC, just three hours away. Why not? We drove over and enjoyed the concert, though his voice sounded a little more strained then it had when we saw him in Atlanta a year ago. Perhaps a cold or an allergy, but nonetheless we were glad to see him again.
The plan was to be back in Atlanta in our trustworthy 10-year-old Ford Explorer by midnight. We had to drive 2.5 hours to Rome, GA the following day and needed some sleep first.
Instead, we arrived home at 3 a.m. in a bright red 2010 Mustang. Okay, so a little less sleep, but we drove to Rome anyway and everyone thought we’d gone crazy and bought a new car.
Truth be told, we enjoyed driving the Mustang for several days, though the circumstances could have been better and cheaper.
When leaving Columbia, the freeze plug blew out of the Explorer. This was late on a Sunday night–at the time we didn’t know it. We thought the water pump had gone out. It took a lot of cell phone calls to find a tow truck that would take the car to a place that would assess the damage the following day; then to call a taxi to take us to the airport, the only place with any rental cars open.
We called ahead and reserved a cheap, mid-sized car. But traffic was heavy and the place ran out of cheap. So they gave us the Mustang as a complimentary upgrade.
When my wife–who had several Mustangs in the 1970s–saw the car in the airport parking garage, she said “things are looking up a bit.”
The following day, we learned that there was no major damage to the Explorer–just a corroded plug. We thought it was going to be worse.
You can tell we’re both out of touch with today’s cars. When we pulled in to a gas station, we had no idea how to open the gas tank “door.” We expected a latch on the inside. We felt pretty stupid when we found out all you do is tap the door and it opens.
I keep wondering if Gordon Lightfoot is somehow responsible for all of this and needs to buy us a car or send us an autographed CD! Or maybe a sack of extra freeze plugs…
Visit Malcolm Campbell’s author’s site at Vanilla Heart Publishing.