Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Mystery Jag

The block drain petcock on my buddy J.B.s 1948 Ford had developed a crack and needed to be replaced. Needless to say, this part was not available through the Auto Parts store, so we called around to see if there was one available in a junkyard.
We ended up at Corde's Towing at 6th and Spokane St. in South Seattle. Removing the part took only a couple of minutes.
I love junkyards, always have to wander around and see what there is. Close by where we were, there was this Jag Mark X. It seemed to be in perfect shape. I checked it out. No damage to the body, no broken glass, the gears shifted nice and crisp, the tires were all like new and holding air. everything inside was pristine. It looked like a brand new car. I would not have been surprised to see it in an upper end car lot.
As we left I had to ask "How much for the JAG?"
"Don't have the title, can't sell it."
"How about if you sell it as parts"
Can't let it leave here in one piece"
How about it you sell me the body and sell my friend here the chassis, and it all just happens to leave at the same time?"
"Can't do that either."
Well, how about if you sell me the body, and I take it off of the chassis and take it home, and my buddy here comes in and buys the chassis and we take them out separately.?"
"No can do."
"How about...."
"Go away kid. At this point I wouldn't sell you a lug nut off the car"
So we left, and went home and fixed the Ford.
The Jag stuck in my mind, though, and every once in a while I would stop by the Wrecking Yard and ask if it was for sale. Eventually I gave up.
About 15 years later I went to work for a place called Northwest Container services, which was a storage and repair yard for ocean going cargo containers. It happened to be located where Corde's Towing used to be. Old Man Corde happened to be our landlord.
He happened to come in one day to talk to the boss, and I asked him "Hey, what was the story on that Jag?"
He scrutinized me and said "I thought I recognized you. You're that kid that kept trying to but it, aren't you?"
"Yeah, that would be me. I was in love with that car."
"So here's the story. At that time we had the towing contract with the city of Seattle. The car showed up abandoned downtown, and we towed it. Figured we would be getting a frantic call from some guy wanting to rescue his baby. Nothing."
"Eventually they ran the numbers on it to trace ownership. Funny thing. It wasn't registered anywhere. The plates were stolen. Ran the vin, and it never showed as entering the US. In fact it never showed as leaving England. We never could find a legal owner for it."
"We were granted salvage rights to the car as payment for storage, but under the stipulation that the car could not be sold as a car, in fact could not be sold in any way that would allow it to be reassembled as a car."
"What ever happened to it?"
"We parted it out over several years, and the hulk went to the crusher."
Brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


Just trying to plan a fabuloso trip for next year.
Next April will be our tenth Anniversary, so I want to do something extra special.
After some careful consideration, I have proposed at least a week in Bora Bora.
Stay in one of the bungalows that are built out in the bay over the water, with glass floors.
Mrs A has given the go-ahead, so I am looking on the Internet at various accommodations. It will be pricey, but the way I look at it is that some day way too soon we won't be able to go for fiscal or physical reasons, and I want that memory stored away to retreat to when life gets to close and cold.
I can't imagine growing old and saying "Gee, I sure wish I had stayed home more and done nothing worth remembering."
So, the Productivity Bonus I just received, and the Income Tax return go in the kitty, and some of my overtime money. I want to have enough set aside that we don't have to worry about the expense.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Small Miracles

Small miracles happen. I know because I was just in the middle of one.
I haven't talked about it, but Mrs A has been going through a health crisis.
They were doing an upper GI CAT scan back in November when they noticed a nodule in her lung. They called her back for an additional CAT scan, specific to her lung. Sure enough there was a small mass in her lung. Then they injected her with radioactive sugar to see if the mass was processing the sugar at an accelerated rate compared to the surrounding tissue. It was, but the test ( PET scan) was inconclusive, so we made an appointment with the chest cracker to discuss options.
The most conservative approach was to do a needle biopsy, which we had scheduled for Monday.
It took a couple of hours to get her prepped and queued.
The doctor spent about 20 minutes explaining what the possible complications were. Collapsed lung, internal bleeding, infection, coughing up blood, cancerous growth. The list was pretty scary. By the time he was through he had us pretty much terrified.
Finally, into the operating room, get her situated, give her a sedative. take a scan. Take another scan. Mrs A is scared and asks what is going on, why they haven't numbed her.
The doctor leans over and says "Because we are not going to proceed. They mass is gone."
I went into the day thinking that the very best that could happen was that they would find the mass benign, and there would be no complications.
I got everything I had prayed for, plus.
No one can explain what happened to the mass.
Not a major miracle, as such things go.
Just a small everyday miracle sized just right.

After thanking the Lord, we went out and had Pie. The sun was suddenly brighter, the day warmer, and the pie tasted better.