Tuesday, December 28, 2010
My daughter, Whitny, was telling my wife, Gail and me about a friend that was having a very difficult time getting back to New York because of the weather. After several cancelled flights, she got one that had a layover in Chicago, another in Bangladesh and another in Islamabad before arriving in Philadelphia. From there she had to take a bus to NY. This reminded me of Christmas Eve, 1980. Gail and I were with my parents. We had been visiting my sister in Sacramento and I think it was me who suggested that a drive down the coast would be a good idea on Christmas Eve. Well, we were in one of the coolest cars ever made. A 1979 Oldsmobile Station Wagon that some engineers at GM decided would be great with an engine that was originally designed as a gasoline engine and simply converted to diesel. Eventually, GM replaced all those engines with actual diesels and my parents gave it to me when I was in grad school and we couldn't afford anything else. I am getting off point...this original engine...blew the primary fuel injection pump in a little town that shall remain nameless that was right out of the Twilight Zone. There was no way in Hell that car was getting fixed and we soon discovered that if we didn't want to spend Christmas with Sinaloa Cowboys and Zombies...it was the bus. We soon discovered that it is apparently a custom among all these small towns that the bus stops in to oust their wretched on Christmas via Greyhound. Just when I thought it couldn't get any worse, my mother, sitting several rows back from Gail and me said quite loudly, "Hey, kids, it could be worse. At least we're not these people." That was my Mom. I think she was teaching us about the miracle of Christmas. I am writing this 30 years later and that means I survived.