Every Time That Wheel Turn Round…

…Bound to cover just a little more ground.

As you all know, my life has been rather stressful for the past few weeks. This afternoon it got even more aggravating: the transmission on my car gave out.

I was on the way home from town, and was going up the last little hill on the county road when the engine started roaring and the RPM needle jumped up to between 3,000 and 4,000. Somehow it managed to find the gear and get back into it, and I was able to drive all the way to the driveway. I stopped to get the mail, and when I put the car in gear afterwards it just baaaarely made it. I drove the last half mile in first gear, but I made it home.

I went out a little later and warmed it up again to check the transmission fluid, just to make sure it hadn’t all suddenly leaked out. Nope. It still had transmission fluid.

Just for the heck of it I put it into gear to see if it would move at all. Drive, 2, 1, reverse — nothing. No engagement at all. It’s going to stay there until a tow truck comes to get it.

The car is almost twenty years old and has well over 200,000 miles on it. I did a rough actuarial calculation, and decided it’s not worth putting a new transmission in it. Time to get a new (old) car.

I called around and lined up a possible replacement that I might be able to afford. A friend is coming by tomorrow afternoon to take me down to look at it. Depending on how things go, I might be caught up in car-related hassles (as well as all the death-related hassles) for the next couple of days. Or it may get resolved fairly quickly; who can tell? So posting may be light, or not-so-light.

The car was Dymphna’s. She found it on Craig’s List more than eleven years ago. She said she wanted a big boat that she could steer with one finger, and that’s what she got. It made her very happy.

I liked it better than my car, even though it didn’t get good gas mileage, so when Dymphna became unable to drive, I gave my car away and we made do with just the one. It lasted eight years longer, which is not bad at all. All those trips to the doctor were much less grueling for her because of that car.

I keep telling myself how fortunate I was that the old boat didn’t give out on the incline of the driveway leading out of the grocery store. Or on the big dual highway. Or on the winding, hilly back roads. It actually got me all the way home.

It was Dymphna’s car. It’s as if it knew it was done — it had lasted through its owner’s funeral, and then a couple of weeks longer.

“I’ll get you home this one last time, and then I’m going to take a nice, long rest.”

Update: I told the future Baron about what happened to the car, and he said: “It’s Mom’s version of ‘My Grandfather’s Clock’.”

He’s right, you know.

10 thoughts on “Every Time That Wheel Turn Round…

  1. Here is a version of My Grandfather’s Clock, which when younger, I personally loved even more, than the standard version. Partly Glenn Yarbrough’s voice, acting. This had been put up on You Tube, by his daughter, Holly. Holly is who took care of Glenn, in southern Ohio, after he developed Alzheimer’s, for a number of years, before passing.

    Also, Baron, you might find a vehicle on a platform I do not wish to support, but in this instance an exception, until Facebook is reformed to be pro-American freedom and our Constitution, especially supporting 1A, such is my attitude and behavior. Here is a URL lead, to try, if you wish. https://www.facebook.com/marketplace/ Be aware, many or most sellers are trying to save their bacon on their vehicle, which may be in about to break down condition. Some are worse than others, but make certain you have someone knowledgeable of breakdown symptoms, to check it out before negotiating price. Best of luck, it may be better to work through someone you know, such as you indicate you are doing….

  2. For those unfamiliar with the song, the lyrics trail below. Clearly, the Future Baron inherited a good ladling of common sense from both parents.

    I’m more familiar with the version by American folk guitarist, John Fahey. Here’s an excerpt from his wiki wacky wookie bio:

    After graduating from American University with a degree in philosophy and religion, Fahey moved to California in 1963 to study philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley. Arriving on campus, Fahey, ever the outsider, began to feel dissatisfied with the program’s curriculum. He later suggested that studying philosophy had been a mistake and that what he had wanted to understand was really psychology. He was equally unimpressed with Berkeley’s post-Beat Generation, proto-hippie music scene, loathing in particular the Pete Seeger–inspired folk-music revivalists he found himself classed with. Eventually, Fahey moved south to Los Angeles to join UCLA’s folklore master’s program at the invitation of department head D. K. Wilgus, and received an M.A. in folklore in 1966. Fahey’s master’s thesis on the music of Charley Patton was later published by Studio Vista in 1970. He completed it with the musicological assistance of his friend Alan Wilson, who would go on to be in the band Canned Heat.

    and …

    A hallmark of his classic releases was the inclusion of lengthy liner notes, parodying those found on blues releases. [bwahahaha!]

    In the later half of the 1960s, Fahey continued to issue material through Takoma as well as Vanguard Records, which had signed him along with similar instrumental folk guitarists Sandy Bull and Peter Walker. Albums from this period, such as Days Have Gone By, The Voice of the Turtle, Requia, and The Yellow Princess, found Fahey making sound collages from such elements as Gamelan music, Tibetan chanting, animal and bird cries and singing bridges.

    “Sound collages”? Sounds hippy, dippy, trippy to me! And …

    In addition to his own creative output, Fahey expanded the Takoma label, discovering fellow guitarists Leo Kottke, Robbie Basho, Bola Sete and Peter Lang, as well as an emerging pianist in George Winston. Kottke’s debut release on the label, 6- and 12-String Guitar, ultimately proved to be the most successful of the crop, selling more than 500,000 copies. Other artists with albums on the label included Mike Bloomfield, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Maria Muldaur, Michael Gulezian, and Canned Heat. In 1979, Fahey sold Takoma to Chrysalis Records.[1] Jon Monday, who had been the general manager of the label since 1970, was the only employee to go with the new company. Chrysalis eventually sold the rights to the albums, and Takoma was in limbo until bought by Fantasy Records in 1995.

    That he was, “…equally unimpressed with Berkeley’s post-Beat Generation, proto-hippie music scene, loathing in particular the Pete Seeger–inspired folk-music revivalists he found himself classed with”, makes Fahey near and dear to my own heart.

    The drug-addled parasites that quickly infested Berkeley’s astonishingly erudite, generous, and gentle hippy scene forever tainted public perception of that emerging culture. Between being co-opted by corporate America (faded Levi’s, anyone), Hollywood’s commercial record labels and their engineered bands, (Millie Vanilli?), and the MSM (all of the above), true hippy culture was strangled in the cradle by those who were deeply offended by any dawning intelligence that might upset The System’s ever-fragile applecart.

    I’ve seen several of the artists mentioned (e.g., Leo Kottke, Pete Seeger [bleagh!], Bola Sete, George Winston, etc.), so it would appear that Fahey is single-handedly responsible for a substantial portion of the modern, west coast, music catalogue. I remember seeing him back in the 1970s, performing for free with Albert Collins and other blues legends at the UC Berkeley Faculty Glade.

    “I’ll get you home this one last time, and then I’m going to take a nice, long rest.”

    We, all of us, should be so fortunate as to have that sort of lift in life.

    “My Grandfather’s Clock”

    My grandfather’s clock was too large for the shelf
    So it stood ninety years on the floor
    It was taller by half than the old man himself
    Though it weighed not a pennyweight more

    It was bought on the morn of the day that he was born
    And was always his treasure and pride
    But it stopped, short never to go again
    When the old man died

    Ninety years without slumbering
    tik,tlk,tik,tok
    His life seconds numbering
    tik,tok,tik,tok
    It stopped, short never to go again
    When the old man died

    My grandfather said that of those he could hire
    Not a servant so faithful he found
    For it wasted no time and had but one desire
    At the close of each week to be wound

    And it kept in its place, not a frown upon its face
    And its hands never hung by its side
    But it stopped short, never to go again
    When the old man died

    It rang and alarmed in the dead of the night
    An alarm that for years had been dumb
    And we knew that his spirit was pluming for flight
    That his hour for departure had come

    Still the clock kept the time with a soft and muffled chime
    As we silently stood by his side
    But it stopped short, never to go again
    When the old man died

    Ninety years without slumbering
    His life seconds numbering
    It stopped short, never to go again
    When the old man died

  3. Glad you (and the fb) can find the humour in the situation (and the lovely old photos). Wry is the word that comes to mind, but we all know Americans don’t do irony!

    • Wry is the word that comes to mind, but we all know Americans don’t do irony!

      What do you mean by that?

      Someone told me just the other day that, “When they elected me class wit, they were half right.” And I didn’t get that joke either.

      A little help, please?

      Confused in California

      • It’s a saying here in the UK, and I believe elsewhere. Of course it’s not true, or we woudn’t have “Frasier” or “The Simpsons”, or indeed the Baron, who can be quite dry.

        In other words, I was being ironic at the expense of people who think that way about Americans.

        • In other words, I was being ironic at the expense of people who think that way about Americans.

          I still don’t get it … Then again, my still makes some of the finest.

          • I can only say “Cheers!” Which is quite apposite, since “Frasier” was a spin-off from said show.

  4. Drive by The Cars

    Who’s gonna tell you when it’s too late?
    Who’s gonna tell you things aren’t so great?

    You can’t go on thinking nothing’s wrong
    Who’s gonna drive you home tonight?

    Who’s gonna pick you up when you fall?
    Who’s gonna hang it up when you call?

    You can’t go on thinking nothing’s wrong
    Who’s gonna drive you home tonight?

    Who’s gonna pay attention to your dreams?
    Who’s gonna plug their ears when you scream?

    You can’t go on thinking nothing’s wrong
    Who’s gonna drive you home tonight?

    Who’s gonna hold you down when you shake?
    Who’s gonna come around when you break?

    You can’t go on thinking nothing’s wrong
    Who’s gonna drive you home tonight?

    You know you can’t go on thinking nothing’s wrong
    Who’s gonna drive you home tonight?

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