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"Busted flat in Knoxville...waitin' for a part...." (Part III)

by Connie O'Donnell

While the two of us spent a delightfully uneventful week at home, the broken down MFRV remained in Knoxville, undergoing a series of tests and tuneups. Finally, "Jimmy" called to say we could take it home. Oh joy.

Tom found another one way rental car and we forked over fifty dollars more, drove to Knoxville, paid "Jimmy," picked up the heavy box full of old parts that had been replaced, and headed back home.

"Sounds better, don't you think?" asked Tom.

"Uh huh."

Once again, having forgotten the former pains and inconveniences (like the way you forget labor pains once you are holding your baby) we headed north towards home. Tom's choice of music, Willie Nelson singing "On the Road Again," made us chuckle. We began anew to dream of exploring the country in our little bargain home on wheels.

Things went well; I was beginning to relax. Geez, I almost told him he was right....I was wrong, when HAPPENED.

We were close to home. We decided to stop and gas up. We had forgotten to count miles, and since that gas gauge didn't work, we never knew when we'd run dry. We pulled off the expressway into the Speedway, right up to the pump. Then......


Tom got out, opened the hood, looked down, saw something that made him climb under the bumper, then came out, stood up, and looking quite forlorn, held up the fan belt.

He walked toward the Speedway building, a bent and broken man. This is when I knew I had to take charge. I grabbed the flashlight from the glove compartment, walked upfront and peered down. When Tom returned with paper towels, I pointed and asked if that "thing" should be hanging down like that.

"Oh oh...that's the alternator. Looks like it broke off the support. Great."

We knew we were dead in the he called our son, Sean, to come to the rescue. Tom went back inside and sweet-talked the woman behind the counter into letting us push that beast over to the side and leave it until the next day.

After about 45 minutes (or was it 45 hours?) Sean arrived, toolbox in hand. He and Dad had a little talk (difference of opinion) about what needed to be done. I backed off. When my two "mechanics" finally agreed to wait until tomorrow to tackle the problem, we all climbed into Sean's truck and rode home together, silently. Tom found the parts he needed and the two of them went back the next day, and got it going enough to bring it back to our own driveway...FINALLY it was home!

I was busy preparing stacks of "For Sale" signs, while Tom was calling around to arrange for a "second opinion."

His favorite garage agreed to take a look at it.


......fasten your seatbelts, there's MORE......

Read Parts One and Two:
*For Sale...The Start of a Dream (Part I)
*WD 40 and Cornbread. (Part II)

Connie O'Donnell and her recently retired husband Tom, spend summers in Kentucky in a cabin on the river and winters in sunny Florida. Connie admits that they have become pretty impulsive, and that some of those decisions have "worked" and some...okay...MANY... have not. It's the "have nots" that are the more interesting stories!

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