A Visit From Yard Guy

When I realized that Yard Guy (Tom) was outside this morning, it made me sad.  Because it’s October 15th, which means I won’t see him again for probably 5 months.  Which is sad in itself, but worse, it’s a harbinger of winter. It by no means is winter yet, and won’t be for another 2 months, but stuff has mostly stopped growing.  I so dread it.  I’m like the poster child for Seasonal Affective Disorder.  If I could just find something I LIKE about winter, or could look forward to, to balance it out. ..then.  But I can’t think of a thing.  About the only good thing is that about two weeks after it really gets cold, the days will already be getting longer.  Which will make me think of spring, and cheer me up considerably.

One of the best things about Yard Guy’s visit was that I finally remembered to get an update on the Camaro.  Turns out, it didn’t need a new engine after all, dammit.  It had a blown head gasket, and needed a new water pump, and a few other things I forgot.  Then it turned out the AC didn’t work, and he didn’t want to spend the money to fix that, so he sold it to an auto AC guy.  Then that guy sold it to a young couple with a new baby, who were in desperate need, for that reason, of transportation.  Yard Guy said he kind of got the impression that AC guy may have just given it to this young couple.  Sometimes you come across surprising examples of goodness and compassion in the most unexpected people and places. 

Yard Guy said he told AC Guy, “Are you crazy?  You sold a CAMARO to a young couple with a new baby?”  He said that once he got the engine fixed up, he took it out a couple of times to see what it could do, and his comment:  “Man, that thing would FLY!”  Um, I said, I know 🙂

It turns out the young couple live somewhere near Yard Guy, because he sees them driving down Highway 20 a couple of times a week.  The young man is driving, and he is always driving cautiously. 

I can’t lie, I felt a little pang to know that the Camaro was working now, and I don’t have it.  On the other hand, if I’d been able to shell out the money to repair it, and been able to wait while it was repaired, I would still have a car that is now 17 years old.  So I decided to be glad it’s still doing good work for new people in its second incarnation. 

My old boss in Iowa used to call the Camaro The Rocket, which makes me think of this song.  Now the song is about an Oldsmobile, and has some unkind things to say about Chevrolets, but still–the spirit is there!


12 responses to “A Visit From Yard Guy

  1. Just try to think of how much happiness your old muscle car is still giving.
    The couple might look back in 50 years and remissness fondly about those days when they were young and no longer “free” but had a cool looking car anyway.

    As for something to do in the winter in Tallahassee besides sports I have 2 suggestions. I have had a life long love with Wakulla Springs and it is cool to go there in the winter when they have a big old fire in the lobby. The grounds are still fun to walk around and breakfast is cheap and delicious. If you go on a home game weekend be prepared for out of towners huddled around the lone TV. I sit in the lobby and read and feel like it’s a different time and place/ (Like the 30’s)

    I love getting into the stacks at Strozier and it’s affordable. There are some really neat old books and periodicals to browse through.



  2. Very good suggestions pt. The latest I’ve ever been to Wakulla Springs is November. I’ve never spent any time in the lobby of the Lodge. But one of the things I like best about it is that it has an actual soda fountain, where you can get an honest-to-God chocolate soda. Chocolate sodas are one of the fondest memories of my teenage years, when we used to go to the drugstore on Main Street after school in the small town where I mostly grew up.
    I also forget about Maclay Gardens, which is a treat to go to in winter when the camellias start blooming. But you make me think, which is good!
    Do they let you uise Strozier if you aren’t, or haven’t ever been, a student?

  3. From your link, it appears as though you have to be a member. I find I don’t read quite as much, correction, quite as fast, because I can’t go to my picnic table. But perhaps this year I can take some pleasure in reading in front of my fireplace. Yesterday, Yard Guy said he would drop by on occasion to sweep off my roof. He knows I’m too afraid to use the fireplace when the roof is covered in pine straw.
    And for the record, I never used the Camaro in a 455 Rocket fashion. It was nice to have the power to get out of tight spots, but mostly, it looked cool 🙂 It may yet have a third life. Eventually, it really will need a new engine, but it will always look cool.

  4. My good buddy owned one of these and I drove it a lot in 1971-72. I did use it in a rocket fashion. The Ram Air was really explosive, felt like you were doing a space launch. 0-60 in 5 seconds. Never went faster than 130 but the cops couldn’t go that fast on hwy 20 (east of 231) so no worries:)

  5. Whoops I meant West of 231, it’s sparsely traveled and you can see for miles at times, particularly in 1972.

  6. pt….I just adore you 🙂 We are kindred spirits in many ways. (Of course, then there are those other ways lol). Some of the differences are that when I first bought the Camaro, I was already 45 years old. I liked the power and the coolness, but I mainly bought it for the price. It was advertised at $14,999 on TV–it was the first year the body style had changed so it didn’t look so Dukes of Hazard-ish. I later said that price must have been without the optional features, like an engine. And still I took a lot of ribbing about being a redneck, which I don’t really deserve.
    And I LOVED this car. I loved how low it was to the ground. You can feel what you’re doing. I love a 5-speed, which makes me feel so much more in control. But my goal was never really to drive it fast.
    The fastest I ever went in a car was 120, on some road in Mississippi with a boyfriend, in…a GTO. Yellow convertible. And I did go 100 mph on the back of a motorcycle across the Mississipi River bridge (later, with a different boyfriend). It’s kind of interesting that I was willing to let other people take my life into their hands, but wouldn’t have done it myself.
    Now…no way. It’s sort of the difference between being male and being female.
    Yesterday, Yard Guy was quite surprised to find that my (relatively) new Baby Toyota is also a 5-speed. I don’t get to be that close to the road any more, but I still get the feeling of having more control. It so amused me that he was surprised.

  7. Women are not supposed to be competent at 5-speeds, I think. Or at least we aren’t supposed to like them.

  8. You remind me of an incident long ago that happened in the office buidling cafeteria at Lockheed-Georgia. I and a fellow female co-op student were having a cuppa with one of the men in her group and talking about cars. This guy went on and on about how women could not drive stick shift cars. Not that us females drove them poorly but that women were incapable of doing it. She and I looked at one another – we both owned stick shift cars – and I commented “Gee, we must have walked to work!”

    Let’s say it’s a good thing he wasn’t MY co-worker that quarter. He never spoke to me again. Like it was my fault he was an idiot and willing to demonstrate it in public. 🙂

    I loved driving my then boyfriend’s GTO – same performance you remember PT but an automatic with a dual-gate shifter. (Fondly known as ‘his-and-hers’ I’m now told.)

  9. fakesister Heah come de JUDGE:)

  10. Fakename-I’ve been away for a bit. Good to be back.

    I always like Yard Guy. He’s a cool dude.

    But when you wrote: “harbinger of winter,” I cracked up. We just had 18 inches of snow and the trees still had their leaves ..which caused major tree damage … which caused major electricity line damage and the schools used up almost all of their snow days; and we didn’t have electricity for 5 days. Harbinger of Winter? Your words are too gentle! If this is the harbinger, I dread the real thing.

  11. Rocky, I guess you ARE glad to be back after 5 days without power. I can’t even fathom that. Did you have to move out? During the second of two years I lived in Iowa, it snowed once in October, and same deal–the trees were still in full leaf. As I understand it, it isn’t the leaves that make the trees so heavy, it’s the sap still running through the tree. In any case, my then dog and I huddled together trembling on the bed while giant limbs cracked off the trees in the back yard. It sounded like rifle shots. The upside was that I had a wall of cascading red roses, and the next morning I was able to take a picture for my photography class of the roses with snow on them. Of course, every single person in the class had the same idea 🙂
    What’s spooky about “your” storm is that what was it, only two months ago you were dealing with a hurricane?
    And yes–Yard Guy is truly a cool dude.

    • Fakename: That’s interesting that the sap contributes to the weight of the limbs; but in our case, it was also a very wet, very heavy snow — and the leaves acted like little baskets. (The rifle shot noises that you describe were indeed scary … as was the sky being lit up by shorting power lines.)

      The amount of damage (and the estimate I just got from our tree company) is breathtaking. Yes, we had a hurricane and a tropical storm just last month and we lost power for about 4 days that time too. Trophy Wife has finally had it — we’re getting a serious backup generator (to power the sump pump, well, furnace etc) — the problem is that we have no town-supplied water or gas … so we need to store lots of propane and/or diesel or the generator will run out of fuel in about 3 days! And if the generator runs out of fuel, will not be a pretty picture at the Humbert Residence….

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