Thursday, September 9, 2010

Bert's Car

This olelongrooffan's neighbor here at the Taj Mahal is Bert Crow and he is 88 years young. The best part is that he is a retired fertilizer and animal feed salesman from The Ozark Mountains area. The day I met him is the day I came over from Slocala to inspect the Taj. The aforementioned career was disclosed and I mentioned my upbringing on Haven Lee Farm, Halltown Edition. This olelongrooffan was sure I was approved to move in as when I left his company, he said, "It'll be good to have another Missouri boy around."

He has been here for the 8 years since his wife went on to join Mom and TheGentlemanFarmer. Bert has been the defacto manager for the owner who lives down in South Florida. The first time the owner, after I moved in, drove the four hours one way to trim the bushes around the Taj Mahal, I told him I could, and would, take care of that duty. And slowly Bert's responsibility has been redelegated to this olelongrooffan.

A couple weeks ago, Bert had minor surgery and his daughter was lamenting his after surgery care. She commented that Bert was having difficulty stepping over the side of his tub and she asked me if there was kit to convert that tub to a shower. There is and they are around $400 but told her I could remove the tub and tile the area where the tub was so it would be, effectively, a walk in shower. She was elated! I mentioned to her I would talk to the owner and get his approval to do this. I had, after all, replaced Bert's water heater last year.

And yes, I ruined the twelve dollar heating element on that brand new water heater by turning on the power to it prior to bleeding the air out of it. Yeah, I know, Dumb*ss.

So anyway Bert went off to surgery and this olelongrooffan hooked up with Manuel Labor and commenced to tearing out that tub. I had mistakenly thought it was a case iron tub, the removal of which merely involves busting it up with a sledge hammer. Unfortunately, it was a metal tub and the extensive use of these were involved.

But it got done, turned out real nice and Bert is especially grateful and mentions to this olelongrooffan all the time how much he appreciates the things I do for him, you know stuff like get his mail from our remote mailbox station, pick him up some Preparation H, set out his recycle bin. Small stuff for this olelongrooffan but big stuff to 88 year old Bert Crow.

But as this olelongrooffan relates every time he mentions that, "Bert if we were neighbors on farms up in the Ozarks and you needed some help, I'd be doing the same thing."

Last winter, Bert decided to hang up his driving gloves and his rusty 1992 Toyota Corolla went off to his daughter's home for use by one of her sons. It recently developed a knock in the front end and she was going to have it hauled off, much like my olewreckedragtop.

Bert and I were chatting it up on the expansive veranda of the Taj Mahal last week and he mentioned his daughter was coming by to pick up he title for that transfer. This olelongrooffan mentioned that, "H*ll Bert, I'll give her a hundred bucks for it."

He responded with "You want that car?"

"Yes sir."

"Well John, it is yours and you are not giving us any money for it."

So now Counters, this olelongrooffan is the proud owner of a NUMMI built Toyota Corolla and that knock in the front end? A 40 dollar CV joint, as diagnosed by thejeepjunkie.

So, for 40 bucks and a couple hours labor I got this:

In the above shot, it looks pretty good.

thejeepjunkie and this olelongrooffan picked it up tonite after Happy Hour from the daughter's home about ten minutes north of the Taj Mahal, Beachside. We got it started and thejeepjunkie was driving down the street toward the Atlantic Coast trying to field diagnose that knock. He stopped at the end of the street at A1A and got out. "I'm pretty sure it is the CV joint. But hey longroof, if it dies and I pull off to the side of the road, we are not parking it, we are abandoning it."

But believe this Counters, it is definitely "pre-rusted."
Yeah, it is pretty bad all over.
The paint on the roof, much like the hair on the head of this olelongrooffan, is getting pretty thin.

The interior doesn't look to bad until
you look a little closer.
It is a one owner, one driver, adult driven 188,000 mile bearing olerustbucket.
Plus, it has the standard cracked dashboard for pretty much any car here in The Sunshine State over 15 years old.

And yes Counters, it will always, at least to this olelongrooffan, be known as "Bert's Car".

But it is knowing Bert is happy for finding a way to repay me and this olelongrooffan has a $500 Craigslisting just waiting to happen, allows me to

Celebrate Life.

2 comments:

kashgar216 said...

Wow, Florida weather is not kind to cars.

This is an incredible story about the NUMMI plant:
http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/403/nummi

You can stream it onto your computer for free.

I'll be driving by it this Saturday. Maybe I'll snap some pictures.

Horse-farmer said...

John,
Dad always said what goes around comes around....
both ways.

Glad you are carrying on the tradition of helping people....
I remember a story of Dad giving a guy his coat one day. An expensive one too..... he needed it more than me.....

So keep on helping Bert, and enjoy his company while he can still relate.
tom