Oh, maybe for about a year, my dear poor husband has been driving a car with no reverse. As you may have noticed, Randy drives a 1965 Mercury Park Lane. A true land yacht. It’s his dream car. Not necessarily the Mercury part, but the largest convertible he can find part, yes. I was glad he finally got it when we moved to Florida. His search for a large convertible is actually the beginning of the story of Randy and Jessica.
He bought his first classic convertible, a canary yellow 1974 Cadillac on Ebay in October of 2001. Randy was living in Abilene, Texas at the time and he had his friend Noah and Noah’s wife drive him down to Dallas to pick the car up. They decided to stay the night in Big D to catch a delicious steak at the Capitol Grill and a little pool down on Lower Greenville. As for myself, I was working as a Marketing Director for a handful of prestige fragrance distributors (selling to military retailers, coincidence??) and had just flown in from New York City. This is important because if you look at these dates, this is on the heels of September 11th. I met my friend Amy that night for cheese fries at Snuffers. Oh, how I miss thee. We had met early for Dallas standards and decided to wander down the street a bit. For some weird reason, we stopped at the Billiard Bar on Lower Greenville. I’ve never been in before, and have never been in since. We actually sat outside on the patio, ordered a drink of some sort and chatted. We were completely by ourselves. Shortly, Amy started to feel really ill (she now admits she was violently ill) and we headed inside so she could check into the bathroom. I decided to let her have her privacy and was hanging by the bar. I happened to have tied an American Flag handkerchief to my brief-bag for my NYC trip, and a girl came up to me and told me how cool that was. She said she was an Air Force Pilot. I thought THAT was cool. She subtly suggested I play the winner of her husband’s and his friend’s game of air hockey, which I did. Oh, the winner was Randy. I think he had me at his philosophies of “everyone should drive a car without a top” and “everyone should play in a band”, and I’m pretty sure I had him just by knowing who the “Throwing Muses” were. The rest is history. My point is, that car didn’t make it 30 miles out of Dallas the next day. It was a complete lemon. Randy had to sic his friend, Phil at the people he bought it from to get his money back. Said money was shortly used on an engagement ring for ME instead of another car. Awwwwwww. So, now you know why I was pleased for him to have this car.
I was NOT pleased, however when his transmission blipped and the car stopped going in reverse. We were quoted at $1200 for labor ALONE. Parts were hundreds of dollars more. Egad. Someone he worked with said he’d help him rebuild his transmission, but in the military world, one person or another is always in a far off land. So, Randy’s been parking in far off regions where reverse isn’t needed ever since.
Well, worlds came together last week, and this person who might not want to be named and Randy spend DAYS working on his car. I am talking they were working till 1 am sometimes. Randy was coming home looking like a man’s man. With black fingernails and the smell of transmission fluid on him. Very sexy. I’m not being sarcastic.
Finally, after days and countless Mountain Dews and hours, the car was running like a super-champ.
Here is my point. The guys who worked till midnight for DAYS AND DAYS refused money for their work (there were plural GUYS after a while working on the car… guess it was a dandy to figure out). Randy did finally convince them to take $100 at least for gas and some miscellaneous parts. Absolutely wouldn’t take the rest of the money in Randy’s hand. Said they were happy to do it, enjoyed working on the car.
If you want my opinion, I think they were also happy to do it for Randy, just because he’s a good dude.
Word to the Helicopter mechanics at the 6th. From what I hear, you’re some pretty smart dudes. We will continue to look for ways to compensate you where you cannot refuse it.
I’m told all of our neighbors will miss the spectacle of Randy running his car out of the driveway and then jumping in it when the car hits the street. Gave the car character.