100 Miles

Feb 22 2014 027

 

Reading another’s blog about his childhood made me nostalgic for my own. Here is another glimpse back to those halcyon days.

My parents and I once took a month long vacation took while we were living in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada.  I was probably 9 or 10. We packed the car and started out okay until we hit a particular section of highway that is 100 miles long with nothing but trees the entire way. It was a two lane highway so some passing of vehicles was required.  It was also popular with trailers which of course drive slower then most cars.  We had successfully passed several of these vehicles when we encountered a problem just as we came alongside one of these trailers. No acceleration. Fortunately my father had just enough power to finish passing and pull over on to the shoulder. A kind soul passing by stopped and between him and my father they determined that the accelerator cable had broken.  This stranger promised to stop at the next town and send back a tow truck.   We made ourselves comfortable.  Soon another stranger going in the opposite direction stopped to say that there was no tow truck so he would stop at the previous town and try to send one back from there. Eventually the same news came back: no tow truck available. Never one to admit defeat my father was able to rig up a solution.  A trusty coat hanger attached to the accelerator was threaded under the hood of the car to the driver’s side window became a makeshift solution.  My father wrapped socks around the coat hanger and pulled on it to accelerate.  Sounds good, with a few caveats.  It was hilly terrain so the car had to go at least 100 mph downhill to get up the next hell.  My mother sat close to my father so she could jam the gear shift into neutral if necessary.  It was a very long run to the next town I must say. When we did finally make it, the local mechanic was amazed by the ingenuity but didn’t have a replacement cable.  He did however rig the coat hanger through the floor board so it was much easier the next day.  It was replaced later.

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