robin c

only when young

I was living in Boston and had managed to get a month off. As a new landed immigrant to the US I wanted to see as much of North America as possible. So I set out to drive west in my older classic XK140. I got as far as Chicago when I had muffler problems, had to make a repair stop in Illinois to get a new one. Proceeded along the old US 66 past Oklahoma to Dallas where I was picking up an old girl friend from London who was a BOAC stewardess. Made contact and went on our way south into Mexico, through Monterey, the Hidalgo canyon staying one night in an old Indian town of Tamazuncharle. Eating at an outdoor restaurant, at the next table was a middle aged American woman on her own but with a young Mexican boy as a hanger on. He came up to me , and said,'señor' and offered me a green chili pepper, i took it from him and ate it without batting an eyelid. He lookd at me, then came back with a green/red chili, I said that if he ate one half I would eat the other, he shook his head and said 'no señor' and left. For the next few hours my mouth was in agony , BUT i had too show intestinal fortitude. We continued to Mexico City, spent several days there, it was the week that the Chapultepec museum first opened. Continued to Acapulco for a few days rest for the old car. Made our way back, stopping in Mexico City long enough to see the Ballet Folklorico and get Montezumas revenge, as soon as i had recovered went north to Brownsville. We crossed the border on a Friday evening, 100 mls north, i heard a disastrous knock from the engine. Pulled in to a small mortal in Kingsville , Texas. Next morning found a foreign car garage run by a young guy who worked on Porches. We listened, shook our heads and dropped the pan, I had ova led a crank, and needed a new crankshaft!!!!! At this stage my companion was getting a tad disturbed as she had to get back to New York by Tuesday to get her flight back to the UK. So she had to get the Greyhound from Kingsville to NY, she hasn't spoken to me since!!!! During the next week, i had to drive over to San Antonio to pick up a new crankshaft, when I was stopped by the Texas Highway Patrol, I was in the garage owners car, i had left my ID and license back at the motel, and I was close to there border!!! After telling him my story, he looked at me and told me that no one could make that up and let me go... So Saturday , we both worked all night rebuilding the engine, come Sunday lunch time I left for Boston and this was the time before the Interstates. I remember going through Shreveport at 3 am, then taking a nap on the front seat in the middle of Arkansas, eventually arriving at the beginning of the Pen turnpike at 6am, without any money left!!!!!!! I managed to get the attendant to take a personal check for a $1.50 to let me through-I did have Federal ID with me. Fortunately i had a gas credit card, and a kind Mobil station allowed mer to add an extra $10 onto my gas bill. So I arrived back in Boston Wednesday midday, I had certainly achieved my goal of a seeing North America.......

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