|Jerry Waters towed Honey about midnight.|
We made it only 179 miles. After two hours of driving through pouring rain, I pulled off on an exit ramp to make a phone call. When I got back on the road, Honey lost power. I tried to crank her a couple of times, and she made a feeble gasp, but never got started.
In my bones, I don't think it's serious. Good thing I have Good Sam Club Emergency RV service. Hope to be back on the road Tuesday morning.
In about an hour, Jerry Waters showed up, driving a Peterbilt heavy duty tow truck. It had more lights than a Christmas tree. Jerry said it weighed 40,000 pounds and that the heaviest thing he ever towed with it was an overloaded semi that weighed 110,000 pounds.
I want one. Talk about a muscle ride. And the cockpit looks like a 747. Peterbilt is the Cadillac of tow trucks. Jerry said the owner buys Peterbilt because he wants his drivers to be happy on the job. And it was as tricked out and comfortable as some purple Land Rovers I've been in.
But I think the real reason for the breakdown late last night was so that I could meet Jerry.
He's 42 years old, and he lost his wife last year when she hit a deer on her motorcycle. And he loves trucks, engines, towing and recovery.
|Jerry and his rig.|
And he had a few kind words for Honey, which is built on a Ford 3/4 ton chassis with a 454 cubic inch engine, even though every mechanic in the world calls it a 460.
"If someone told me I had to spend time in an RV, I'd rather do in yours than one of those new ones," he said. High praise for Honey.
|The cab of the Peterbilt recovery truck.|
So here I sit, in the middle of the night, in the lot of a Ford dealership waiting for sunrise and the shop to open. Jerry says Rex is a good guy and he'll fix me up.
I told him about growing up in a construction family and riding in concrete trucks and the Lima crane I once saw pick up a GE locomotive and set it gently on an ocean freighter bound for Africa. We talked about how Mack trucks used to be the gold standard, but not anymore. The automatic transmissions suck and they're really uncomfortable. And I told him about Meriwan Abdullah, the Iraqi Kurd who replaced Honey's header gasket (Jerry says next time I should get the copper gasket instead of aluminum because it's worth the extra cost).
And Jerry told be about the gift he had from God when his wife died. She hit a deer not far from their house and was messed up pretty bad. As a tow truck driver, Jerry has seen a lot of hurt people. When he got to his wife, he held her. She squeezed his hand twice. "When she did that, I knew it was going to be alright," he said. She died in the next couple hours.
"God put us here to go."