i suppose some of you might remember i’ve had a 1965 ford galaxie 500 for 11 years. in fact, it’s been exactly 11 years. i know this because i can go back and find the first time i wrote about buying in august of 2002 ( kids, that was so long ago i had a to take a picture with a film camera and scan it in because digital cameras didn’t exist and neither did any photo sharing/social sites. GET OFF MY LAWN! ).
it’s fun to go back and read what i wrote and see from the first day much of the joy of having the car comes from hearing people’s stories about their childhood and their family galaxies or their first car was a galaxie or going on their date in a galaxie. i’ve heard probably dozens and dozens of stories. maybe over a hundred. i wish i had written them down because they’d make a great book.
me and galaxie have gone on a lot of adventures over the years but in 2008 i let the plates expire and stored her in the garage and instead of haulin’ straw or joy riding with dogs, she collected dust ( and garlic drying bits during garlic harvest season. ) and waited for the day when i’d have time to give her the attention a 50 year car requires.
turns out that day has arrived sooner than i thought! we temporarily need a second car for a variety of reasons and the easiest solution was to get the galaxie back on the road. whoohooo! win, win, win for the family, me and the galaxie 🙂
since she’s been sitting for 5 years, after getting plates and insurance, the first order of business was to get her checked over by a mechanic to see if anything needed fixing. finding the right mechanic is another part of the fun of having an old ford. usually, but not always, the right mechanic “of a certain age” and really enjoy working on cars without computers. and because i like to share stories ( you see a trend here? ) the right mechanic will be amiable enough to sit and chat for a bit about cars and fixing things. they get to tell stories and i get to learn how to fix cars ( i know my way around the engine but there’s still lots more to learn ).
as luck would have it, right across the street from my post fire work digs and ole and lena’s and the uff-da mart there’s a mechanic shop that looked it had potential to be perfect. and boy, was i right. bruce at “the corner mechanics” is the perfect mechanic for the galaxie. and as an added bonus i can see when the work is done from my office window!
bruce gave her a once over. no surprises – she’s in great working order and just needed a new drive belt, fuel and oil filter and and oil change. and as we talked for a bit in front of the open hood about the ford ( i told the story of how i got the car and he told me a few stories about fixing old fords ), and he turns his head and looks down under the air filter ( which is sitting on top of the carburetor and said, “hey, you see that you’ve got a leaky accelerator pump.”
took the galaxie 500 to a mechanic of a certain age who found a small leak in the accelerator pump. machined some surfaces and no leak! $6.
— Eric C. Snowdeal III (@snowdeal) August 9, 2013
of course, i immediately assumed it’s going to cost a load of money and time to fix. “naaaah, i’ll just pop that square face off and machine the surfaces for a better fit. six bucks in parts and a little labor.” with a wistful tone he said, “i used to fix accelerator pumps leak all the time. haven’t seen it in years.” yup, i found the perfect mechanic. as i left the shop he said, “she’s a fine automobile.”
in short order, he fixed her up and finally solved mystery source of aromatic hydrocarbons in the cabin while the engine was running. in a way, i miss that smell.
so she’s back on the road and, once again, i’m happily standing in parking lots listening to stories.
talking w/ guy in his 60s for 30 minutes in grocery store parking lot about his childhood memories of riding in his family galaxie 500.
— Eric C. Snowdeal III (@snowdeal) August 8, 2013
it’s the holiday season which means it’s time for another trip to snowy ridge our favorite christmas tree farm! only there wasn’t any snow. boo. at least it wasn’t muddy.
odin picked out a fine looking white pine for our family tree.
he’s holding the tree while i lay in the ground with the saw after he gave up trying to cut it down himself. maybe next year! of course he’s totally used to me saying, “oh hey, wait, let me take a picture!”
haulin’ the tree out…
time to start the process over again with the second smaller tree that will go in odin’s room.
he gave another go at cutting down the tree and almost made it through before running out of steam. i bet he’ll do it next year and this will actually end up being the last year i cut down a tree for a while 🙂
happy to be haulin’ both trees out…
it’s a long walk back to the car so i guess i should lend a hand. but just one. the other one is for the camera.
then it’s finally time to ride the zipline! they took the tree down and built a bigger platform.
we’ve been doing this for six years and i still marvel at the genious of combining a christmas tree farm and a zipline. it’s a magical memory maker.
seeing this treehouse every winter partially inspired our wanting to build a treehouse with a zipline.
as we do every year, we ended our visit in a cabin warmed with a wood fire and enjoyed a cup of hot chocolate and more than a couple of cookies.
thanks once again to the folks who run snowy ridge for all the great memories.