An evening tow truck ride
By Jim Thompson
On Saturday, July 15, I drove across Atlanta to Austell, Ga., about 40 miles. I was going to the Atlanta Corvair Club meeting, so naturally, I drove my Corvair. I arrived without incident.
The trip back home was a different story. Corvairs are notorious for throwing fan belts. Mine did on the way home, in fact, I had barely started home. I had a spare (good), but had neglected the tools needed to change it (bad).
I called my antique car insurance company to get transportation. Due to several issues, it took four hours for a proper sliding bed tilt truck to arrive. I managed to keep my cool, for this is a situation I had willingly gotten myself into and was responsible for the negligence of not having the tools with me.
When the driver showed up, he promptly and professionally loaded me up and we headed home. It turned out he was only 21 years old. It fooled me; this was a large man of excellent demeanor. I would have guessed him at 30.
The next hour was surprising. He told me has plans to buy his own truck, then trucks and have his own towing business. When he found out I was nearly 73, he started quizzing me for comments and advice.
He wanted my whole story, and this is how it went.
Chris: “So, you have lived a long time, any regrets?”
Me (after thinking awhile): “No, I don’t think so, I wouldn’t change a thing.”
Chris: “What advice would you have for me?”
Me: “Follow your dreams, but don’t let them possess you.”
We drove on for a while. I was getting my brain in gear now.
Me: “Watch your weight. When you are young, it is easy, but it can get away from you. Very hard to take it off, especially when you get older.”
We discussed that for a while.
Me: “Be careful about relationships. Bad ones can be costly, emotionally and financially. Don’t let your human passions get too far ahead of your rational brain.”
Me: “Watch your health.” I told him about my cancer experiences. “If some part of your body starts going weird on you, get it checked out pronto. Early detection is key. And you can’t follow your dreams if you are not here.”
Me: “Do you go to church?”
Chris: “Not very regularly.”
Me: “Understand. But there are plenty of good services on YouTube every week. Get in the habit.”
Chris: “A good idea.”
Me: “Go listen to a very old song by Simon and Garfunkel, ‘Homeward Bound.’ It perfectly describes our life here. We are all sitting in a railway station with, hopefully, a ticket for our next destination…the life after this one.”
We arrived at my house. Should I give my last piece of advice? Sure, why not, I thought.
“Chris, there is one more thing.”
“Do you know what tithing is?”
“Then do it. God doesn’t need the money, but we all need to learn to not be greedy. This is how we do it.”
We unloaded the Corvair. I gave him a decent tip with the words, “Use this to start the fund for your first tow truck.”
May Chris have a long life with few troubles and much joy.
Jim Thompson, formerly of Marshall, is a graduate of Hillsboro High School and the University of Cincinnati. He resides in Duluth, Ga. and is a columnist for The Highland County Press. He may be reached at email@example.com.