Your chariot has to be tuned up to keep you in the race.
You aren’t going to get anywhere in this L.A. burg without a good set of wheels, a team of rested and well fed horses, and enough time to get where you are going through a maze of interconnected freeways, on and off ramps, incorporated towns that remind you of a patchwork quilt with each town independent but linked to the others to make a California dreaming quilt.
It is almost a forty minute drive to Los Angeles to reach Chris’s mechanic.
Ontario is fifty miles from the Pacific Ocean, the Getty Museum, Staples Center, Sunset Strip, Hollywood, the Walk of Fame, and other landmarks. The car’s CHECK engine light is on and fan belts, recently replaced, are slipping. It isn’t something any garage can’t fix but when you get a mechanic you trust, you will drive the half hour to let him work his car magic.
The Auto Care Center is busting open at the seams with car hoods up, tires off, doors open, uniformed grease junkies busily removing and replacing parts, running computer checks, calling parts suppliers. It is the day before Christmas and cars are doing what they invariably do – break down.
Belts are tightened and the engine light turns out to be caused by not tightening down on the gas cap enough so a seal is broken and escaping emissions trigger a sensor.
On the way back to Ontario we stay off the freeway.
Traffic here always is on our minds, especially near a holiday.
Chris worked in an assisted living home in L.A. and watched my father and stepmom, both of whom have passed. We still call and keep in touch and fondly talk about my Dad – J.L.
Some people you don’t ever want to forget.