Years ago, I used to haul kids and horses all over NM to rodeos and 4H horse events. It was a great time in my life with lots of good memories. Yesterday while reading another blog, I was reminded of an incident when I was only hauling one horse and one kid, my son, Bo who was about thirteen. We were coming from Lubbock where we had picked up a horse and had just left Nowhere, NM, with miles of nothing between home and us when the truck died. Keep in mind that this is before cell phones, and keep in mind that Toby made me carry a pistol under the seat for "just incase". We only sat on the side of the road a few minutes when another truck pulled up. It was a young airman from the nearby base. He seemed nice enough and gave us a ride back to Nowhere. There were only a few buildings in the town, but one did happen to be an auto shop with a mechanic. He brought the truck and horse trailer back to Nowhere. After looking the truck over, the mechanic said the problem had to do with the belt (the one that winds all around your engine) and some sort of part that the belt goes around. He thought the next town over might have the part we needed (of course, he did not have one). So the young airman took me to the next town, which was not any larger than Nowhere, but it had a farm implement store. They did not have the part, and back to Nowhere we went.
In the meantime, things were not looking good, and I thought I had better call Toby. The mechanic let me use his phone after looking me over like I might call overseas or something. I called Toby at his office. He was not in at the moment, but I spoke with his secretary. His little secretary was nice enough, but basically she was a monkey doing a job and could not think outside the box. Several times in the recent past I had called and left a message with her for Toby to call me back, and he did not (really made me mad). Later I found out that the secretary had told him that "Liz" had called. Liz is not my name – Liz is the name of the last secretary that Toby had fired,and of course, he was not going to call her back. Now I am talking to monkey secretary explaining about the truck, broke down in Nowhere, have Toby call me. She says back to me, "Sure thing, I will have him call you, Liz." I went ballistic at this. I screamed my name over and over along with a few other things. I was trying to be normal, but this was not the time for her to be stupid.
About this time the mechanic thinks maybe he can get in touch with his wife who is in Clovis, and she could pick up the part for us, but it will be a few hours before she can return. Whatever – let’s just get this fixed. Bo and the horse are being great through all of this. We sat and watched cars come and go at the town swimming pool (not many, but a few). A few hours later, the mechanic’s wife was still not back, so he decided that maybe the truck would run without that part. He put the truck all back together, minus the part needed, and we drove off. I was really on edge after being in Nowhere all day, wondering if we were going to get home, and now I had to worry if we would make it without the missing part. To top it off, we were just about out of gas, but there was no way I was going to spend any more time or money in Nowhere.
We drove on to San Jon where there was a big truck stop – handy for pick-up trucks with horse trailers. I pulled in well back from the vehicles getting gas because it is difficult to maneuver a truck and trailer if you pull too close, and I did not know which pump would open up first. Unfortunately, as soon as one car pulled out, some little car would pull around me and get to the pump before I could pull up. This was pretty irritating, so I picked out a car that I thought would leave soon (the driver had gone inside to pay) and I pulled up close behind it. When the driver finally came out, I was ready to pull in (I’m running on fumes by this time and getting worried). Instead of leaving the driver reached up and got a few paper-towels and started wiping his car – the bumper, the hood…I went ballistic again. From my truck, I was ranting and complaining and threatening. Then from the passenger’s seat, Bo hollered, "And she has a gun too!" It was so ridiculous and so true, we both burst out laughing. The tensions was gone. We managed to get our gas and get the heck out of Dodge, and made it home safely. We never did replace that part.