Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
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Re: Pros and cons of steel sailboats
We all have those humiliating stories from our man-child days. They become great grist for bar side conversations assuming we all survive them. My first car was a used Triumph. It came with an 'over ride bar' on the front bumper which was supposed to prevent American cars with their higher bumpers from backing into the sheet metal on the hood. I had other friends with a mix of odd old sports cars and we would sometime go places as a group. One of these friends usually drove his dad's bugeye Sprite or his own Morris Minor, a car as odd as it's name.
Chris always gave me grief about the fact that I would look up and down railroad tracks as I was crossing them rather than straight ahead towards where I was driving. On one of these trips we came to a grade crossing in a large switch yard that was probably 7-8 rows of tracks wide. And as it happened Chris was in his father's sprite ahead of me. He decided to get a rise out of me and so when he saw me looking up the tracks, he stepped on his brakes.
I turned back just in time to see his brake lights and hit my brakes but it was too late and I hit him. My car's over ride bar was just the right height that it jumped over the top of the bumperettes on his car and so the two cars were now hooked together and stopped right there on the tracks. We got out and try as we could we could we could not disconnect them. About that time some one noticed a train coming way off in the distance.
We decided that we needed to get the cars off the track and then disconnect them.it was agreed that my date, Pam Angel (that really was her name and appearance) would stand by the cars and count to three and we would drive off the tracks together. Like a scene out of 'Rebel Without a Cause' Pam counted to 3and dropped her turquoise silk scarf and both cars started to roll. Unfortunately Chris pulled forward and I rolled back. He figured we were driving forward when this happened and I figured we were barely on the tracks and it was closer to back up.
The net result was that one of the trapped bumperettes was pulled clear off his car, falling on the tracks with a ring sounding somewhat like a cross between a trashcan lid on concrete and a distant churchbell heard through cold morning air that I can still recall precisely even as I sit here writing this today. Dumbfounded, we stood and stared at the bumperette lying on the ground, before we remembered the train and got Chris's car and the Bumperette off the tracks.
We went back to Chris's house to try to repair the damage and remount the bumperette. Guy, Chris's 10 year old brother agreed to crawl back behind the gas tank with a dolly while we with a heavy hammer pounded flat the damaged sheet metal where the mounting bolts had pulled through the metal. We got it all back together again in a manner that you could not tell anything had happened. I have always felt guilty about the sheer amount of noise that poor Guy had to endure in the closed boot of that car.
The poignant thing about this story is that just this week I received an email that Guy had died this week after a long illness at age 56.
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Curmudgeon at Large- and rhinestone in the rough, sailing my Farr 11.6 on the Chesapeake Bay
Last edited by Jeff_H; 01-11-2014 at 02:14 PM.