Waiting 2

In Waiting I described the saga of being all set to go on a long trip only to have my car break down the night before I was to leave.

In Waiting 2 we continue and conclude the story.

Finally, the dealer called saying the car was all set. I called a cab, loaded all my gear in for the trip, and hoofed it to the dealer across the river. It was -9 degrees outside. 

I paid up and loaded everything in the car. Driving out of the garage the temperature went from warm inside the shop to brutal cold. I watched the new paint job on the hood from a few weeks earlier shrink, crack, and peel off as I drove away, leaving bare metal. I didn't hesitate. I headed straight for New Orleans.

914 Porsches were mostly the same as VW Beetles meaning their engines were air-cooled and any heat was provided by heater boxes on either side of the car under the body. What warm air the car made was provided by the exhaust pipes going through the heater boxes, then that air was sent into the cabin by a fan. -9 degrees was way too much for this system so I froze until I got far enough south for the outside temp to be higher. I drove to New Orleans as fast as I could. 

The rest of the trip was uneventful and I had no more disasters.  I met and befriended wonderful people: Fred Sommer, Todd Walker, Ed Ranney, Bill Jenkins, Harold Jones, Ann Tucker. And I made pictures, lots of them:

 I didn't get a teaching job in the Southwest that year or any other year. I ended up heading home after having three memorable days with Fred Sommer in Prescott, AZ at the end of the trip. The next year I'd be offered the job at Northeastern University and taught there for the next thirty years. 

But waiting that early January in 1979 put me through some changes. I can still feel that desperation and panic too. Forced to wait, all control over my own fate taken away by a broken axle. 

Topics: Commentary

Permalink | Posted January 28, 2022