Monday, May 4, 2009

The Battle of Broken Cars

Saturday it rained so it was Sunday before we got to visit our dying car on campus. We bought it a new battery because the old one had an oozing green mushroom sitting on the terminal. By the time we returned with the battery and carefully neutralized the green with battery cleaner, it became apparent that it was instead a hot arc or something that completely disintegrated the copper wire connecting the fuse with the battery into corroded copperish mush.  All of us were expecting the normal run-down battery and overlooked the details that told the rest of the story- the disappearing copper wires. 

Fortunately, in my town of less than 4000 people there are about 8 auto parts stores and my friend who sang in my wedding owns one.  His diagnosis was to buy at new connector, strip back the remaining wire and attach everything back together.  We have rescued a couple of ceiling fans by buying sockets and replacing them with connectors and electrical tape, so I believe I can fix my own car for about $2.41... well and a $50.00 battery we bought yesterday.  

You know, if I was at "home" in Cary I would have sent this car to the mechanic asap. I was so pleased at the prescription, I decided to see what else I could fix on my other cars.  I need a new mirror and assembly. My auto parts buddies sent me directly across the street behind the embroidery shop to a recommended mechanic. He was great and it was a beautiful, clean shop with lots of local cars getting checked out. 

We discussed the mirror and it turns out the better solution is a body shop which my new best friend mechanic sent me too. He could have certainly fixed it, but he was looking out for the best price. I mean really! Honest, talented and helpful!! I told him I didn't even know he was here behind the embroidery/printing shop. It's .5 miles from my house. But, now I do. 

I went up the road about 1.4 miles still in the town limits to find the body shop across from my vets office. Inside was the most striking Scots-Irish gentleman with bright, blue eyes, curly strawberry blonde hair, a nice square chin with a little beard and sinewy forearms.

Okay, I thought he was scary handsome, but young enough to be my son. He looked over my car and gave me an estimate. 

I asked him if his family was from here.  He said forever, or in the colonial days, the Alexanders from Salisbury. Everything comes back to the Revolution for me. I told him he looked like an overmountain man to me and should be in my movie. He said he had a nephew actually a graphic artist working in Tennessee on a movie right now about a rogue elephant, (a true story: of rebellion gone wrong- my opinion). But look at that. Relatives of the real overmountain still live here in the backcountry and they are good looking and strong and still rescue fair matrons.

By the way the parts and labor were reasonable and while we talked he polished away what I thought for two years was a paint ripped scratch for free.  

All of this help within a radius of 2 miles. I love Elkin.

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