Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Nothing Worth Doing Will Ever Be Easy

After what was considered a bust on the Dodge situation, I continued my quest on Craigslist in search of a project car. I was pretty much open to any 2-door car made between 1967 - 1974 for $600 or less. The options were pretty slim. There were dozens of beat up trucks and Jeeps, and to be honest, I would totally take an old Jeep and make a kick-ass hunting/off road vehicle, but Jesse was against that idea. (There's a part of me that doesn't want to give up on hating Jeeps just because I had a bad experience owning one back in 2005.) Most of the other finds that fit that criteria were plagued with serious rust issues. Not little spots of rust here and there, but the kind that was common out on the east coast; so sever it would disintegrate in your fingers. It was depressing.

I had become distracted and accidentally closed the tab to Craigslist, but remembered what I was doing and pulled it back up again. I looked in Atlanta because they are close enough to Columbus, but large enough to provide a better selection. I put in my filters: project car, max price $1000. Open things up a bit.

Then I saw it: Plymouth Roadrunner/Satellite Project Car $750.

"JESSE! LOOK!" I sent him the link via a Facebook message. It was easier than to make him turn around to look at my laptop. "I WANT IT!"

He looked at it. "I'm gonna call the guy," I told him.

"It looks pretty good," he said.

I was already in the bedroom on my cell phone, my heart racing as the phone rang. It went to a voicemail. My heart was sinking at the thought he was on the phone with someone, making arrangements to sell. I left a very short and to the point message, "I'm VERY interested in your Plymouth. If you still have it, I'm not gonna lie, I'll show up on Saturday with cash. I live in Columbus, call me back."

My heart fluttered with excitement and anxiety. I don't know why I get so worked up over things, but I do. Some girls get those feelings when going on a first date, I get those feelings when going on job interviews or making major purchases. It probably has something to do with a lesson my dad taught me when I was 18: if you see something you want, buy it, otherwise it might not be there when you want it later. Granted, this is a good lesson and also a horrible one for a person like myself, who had to break myself of this habit due to bad financial decisions in my past, but, I have learned when it comes to major purchases, this is a very important lesson to follow.

The phone rang. It was him. He still had the car and told me about it. How it was stripped down and needed a lot of body work, he blasted off all the rust and primed it. He had other parts that he had taken off. He wanted to do a project but realized he took on more than he could deal with and was going to sell it for what he paid for it, but was open to reasonable offers.

After I spoke with him, I told him to talk to my husband since he was the more knowledgeable one on the issue. I handed the phone over and Jesse talked to the guy and turned around looking at me giving me two thumbs up. Jesse gave the phone back to me and I asked him if he would take $600 for it since we had to get a tow situation and drive 300 miles round trip to pick it up. He was OK with that. I texted him my contact info and he gave me the info of his cousin's shop where he kept the car.

The next day, I called his cousin to make the pick up arrangements. He informed me the seller had given him the bill of sale and title and we could come by on Sunday as he was going to be out of town on Saturday. We got to talking a little bit and I asked him about an engine we were looking at on eBay that was for sale in the same city. He informed me that was not him selling it and he actually wasn't a car person but worked in boat fabrication. I was fascinated and asked him if he'd mind if I took some photos for my Mechanical Marvels when I came out, explaining to him I tend to be a bit of a photo nerd, to which he replied enthusiastically, "Photo nerds are always welcome!"

I couldn't believe how everything was coming along! It was like fate. I was destined to get this '69 Satellite, who I have already named Sputnik Guster, despite not having him in my possession now. This was really happening!

Tuesday the temperatures start dropping below freezing. Then it rains. The roads become icy. I had been off work since noon as the mayor decided to send everyone home in fear of snow. Sure enough, it starts to snow around 4:00pm. Having lived in Reno, NV for four years before moving to Columbus in 2011, this wasn't a big deal. To the people who grew up in the south, it was. The south is not facilitated to handle such events. The best the city could do was send people home and tell them to stay there until conditions became safer.

The mayor up in Atlanta didn't act the way Columbus did. Interstates around the area became parking lots. There were serious accidents and fatalities. On Wednesday, conditions didn't look any better. The only difference was there was now more snow on the ground. It wasn't much, maybe 3" at the most, but it was 3" the south was not prepared for. There weren't snow plows or salt trucks. Residents didn't have snow tires or chains. Unless you had 4WD, you were screwed.

By the end of Wednesday, not much of the snow melted, but there was enough on the road and cold enough temperatures to ensure there would be some nasty black ice on Thursday. The mayor closed non-essential government services again for Thursday.

I was getting pretty worried about the situation of the roads and weather. It wasn't so much the fact the roads were at standstills; people were dying out there! If the weather didn't get better, there was no way we'd be going out to Cartersville on Sunday.

Granted, everything I do tends to never happen flawlessly. There are always major hiccups or difficulties to overcome and this is definitely one of them. So, until Saturday comes along, I'm not sure exactly what the game plan will be for Sunday. All I know is there is a 1969 Plymouth Satellite with my name on it 150 miles away north of me. Until then, I just need to be patient and hope for the best for the poor people stranded in Atlanta and the families of those who lost their loved ones due to this unfortunate weather.

Note: There are not many times I miss living in California, but during this snow debacle, I surely do miss the days of being a 22 year old recluse driving around in my '82 Chevy S-10 with the windows down and heater and radio blasting driving along PCH to the deserts and back to the valley on weekends. "West Coast" comes to my mind often, even though it didn't come out till some years later, it is one of those songs that makes me long for California.

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