I have had a few “adventures” while driving my trucks to and from jobs in Southern Ca. I drover close to one hundred miles a day in my work.
I worked in Los Angeles, Orange and Riverside Counties.
I have had many things go wrong with my trucks over the years. I am not a brand guy when it comes to trucks. I have had all three major brands and find them good at some things and bad at others.
Once I had my gear shift come out of my transmission while getting on the freeway. I was stuck in second gear for sometime until I was able to jam the shifter back into the transmission. I thought that I would have to go directly to my mechanic, but I figured out how to get it back in and drove it in this condition for sometime.
The shifter came out now and then, but once I realized it wasn’t a total disaster and I could continue on my way, I had no reason to take the truck in for repairs until something else more important broke.
I worked six days a week for thirty-eight years and had little time to have my truck sitting in a garage being repaired. When it did have to go to the shop, I would rent a U-Haul truck and worked out of that until my truck was repaired.
Once my truck broke down in Whittier, California and I had to walk to find a place where I could use a phone. I was in an industrial area and no pay phones were in sight. I had a pager then, but cell phones were not invented yet.
I finally found a large building that looked as if it might have a phone I might use. I walked into the large lobby and looked around. I walked up to the counter and stood waiting, silently. I soon noticed that everyone in the place was Chinese. “That’s odd,” I thought.
I stood at the counter and asked a young Chinese woman if I might use their phone. She didn’t understand me at first. I used the international gesture for phone by holding my fist to my ear and the young woman placed a phone on the counter.
I had no Idea who to call for a tow in the area. I looked at her and shrugged my shoulders. She handed me the telephone book. She placed a phone book on the counter and I opened it up. All of the writing was in Chinese. What the heck. Was this a dream or a nightmare?
I found a picture of a tow truck on a page and dialed the number. I explained where I was broken down and walked back to my truck to wait for them to tow me to my favorite mechanic. I put his kids through college, by the way.
I couldn’t believe that I had happened upon a building in Southern California where everyone was Chinese and no one spoke English.
I could well understand that I might find an establishment where everyone spoke Spanish in Southern California, but Chinese? I could have worked with the Spanish speaking situation as I speak passable Spanish, but my Chines is rather limited.
At the end of the day, I had been rescued and rented another truck to work out of while my truck was being repaired.
My tax man always was always telling me to by another truck as mine had lost it’s tax benefits long ago. I just couldn’t see buying a new truck every five or six years only to destroy it through my work. It just didn’t make sense to me.
And besides, if I had bought a new truck, I would never have found this little spot where I had jumped into a small piece of China without planning on it. No passport needed, by the way.
“Sunrise, Sunset” my book of ten short stories is now on Audible.