Smog & Fog Rain & Shine 07.03.16

So today is the day when I finally make the decision on what wheels it’s going to be. The last few days have been fraught with second guessing and second guessing the second guessing and even second guessing that and lets face it its all a guess isn’t it?

Humming bird bad cop had really not liked Jose Coyote looking out for my best interests for sure. I had pulled the universe card on the day we went to meet the Jose Coyote. I’ve been exploring the Tarot for some time now. It is remarkable to me what appears. I don’t pretend to know how it works. But it adds a flavor to the proceedings that appeals to me and is uncannily accurate. It is a mystery, but highly interesting.

I‘d said to Jose Coyote that if he smogged the car (I wouldn’t be able to register it in my name without an emissions test (smog) test. So off he’d gone the next morning. Jean had been saying don’t like the car don’t trust the guy etc. Cards the next day said Justice twice and the Emperor. I still second guessed. Then the day after card said 6 of wands Victory. I still second guessed. I didn’t trust the Coyote either.

In the many years I have been building up to this trip, I have pined for those big old American cars that I I’d lived in the first time I’d come to the US. Then the first car I’d had gone to see this time turned out to be a 1994 Chrysler, a Big old boat.

She wasn’t as old as my last ones, the 1972 New Yorker and a 1973 Neuport both with huge engines. She 1994 and was the same color scheme as my old one, Burgundy and crème. When I rolled her out of Coyotes driveway down the hill the hood was so long I couldn’t see the road until her nose pointed downwards with a flop. I loved it. Not quite as big a nose as a New Yorker or a Neuport, Chrysler were getting streamlined by the mid 90’s but still , she was big.


You know sometimes when all you have wished for arrives and you just can’t see it or you just don’t believe it can be, it was a moment like that, it hadn’t really dawned on me, I even recognized the smell of the engine when I looked her over and the sound of the big thudding automatic gear box. It couldn’t really be the first one I saw could it, but some how I knew that it was the one.

I’d been swayed by the humming birds alarm and by my own lack of clarity and trust, so over the next few days I had been over to see Eric again and the gold Japanese cat Audi. We really wanted it to be the right car. We really liked Eric.

Jean had called in the troops for another opinion and they arrived in the shape of a wonderful guy called Willy who lived in a truck around the corner and was the grandfather of one of Jeans dearest friends. What Willy didn’t know about cars wasn’t worth knowing.

Willy had said later “oh I love those big old American cars, they keep me in work cos we have to keep fixing em”

It was another seed of doubt.

Willy was dark skinned, closely cropped, with a wide beautiful smile and a voice that just oozed treacly confidence. I watched Willly’s wide strong leathery hands reaching into the engine and I knew you could trust him, he had an air of deep confidence, we were sailing on his ocean right now.

We met him and Eric over at Home depot parking lot, after about 30 seconds Eric said “Who is that guy I really like him” I said oh he’s a friend of ours Although I liked Eric too it was best I thought when buying something unknown it was best to try and keep at least one card close to the chest.

The Golden Audi had an engine light on it wasn’t smogged and wouldn’t pass with the red light on. Willy kindly reset with his had held computer set then stated that it was Eric’s responsibility to smog the car as he was the seller. Eric agreed. But first we took it for a drive up to Watsonville which would apparently reset the car.

When we got back we ummed and Ah’d about the price. It was agreed that if it passed smog it would be $1250 Eric took it to be smogged. Willy had said he had reservations but said wait and see if it passes and went off to get on with his life converting his new trailer home. Jean Kai and I went to have lunch at taco bell and await the result.

Eric came back with a long face. It had failed, The mechanic had said it needed to be driven for another couple of hours at minimum 55 mph.

Eric said he didn’t have time as he had to be back in work ort he’d get fired. We all looked at one another, we all wanted it to happen, Eric said well if you have time you could take her for a drive up the coast. I didn’t have to be asked twice.

Jean went home and suggested I take the car north on Highway 1 as there would be traffic south on the 101 so off I went

Thick mist rolled in across Santa Cruz as I left town . The rain lashing down and the sea churned and blew in great clouds of spray across the road. I tore along the car rocking in slow motion for split seconds as the water on the road tried take hold and the rain hit like machine gun fire. It was such a treat, but to be honest I wasn’t absolutely sold on the Golden Audi

Back in Santa Cruz a few hours later Eric had taken her back again to be smogged and still she failed. It wasn’t going to be. We sat in Taco bell chatting turned out Eric was an Evolutionary Astrologer. We sat and chatted Eric read a little of my chart from which was a wonderful treat and completely unexpected. I genuinely liked Eric we’d wanted it to happen but it just wasn’t meant to be. We promised we’d be in touch before I left, seemed we had a lot in common.

Next day Jean and I had breakfast at a place called the buttery. The knot in my belly now was getting uncomfortable, as I walked quietly down town that morning wide streams of water flowed down each side of the street.. Last night there had been warnings all across the airwaves and mobile networks about flash foods in the area

Jean arrived a little later, we talked for some time we had a lot to catch up on. Then looked at craigslist one more time and decided to give it one more try. We went across to see a white Subaru, which looked fantastic. We were met by a couple of shy young Mexican guys one spoke English one didn’t. They let us out for a drive, and we drove straight to Willy’s who immediately pointed out the engine light was on and we all said in chorus

“It wont pass smog” So although it drove and handled really well we reluctantly took her back and said to the Mexican guys if you smog her and she passes I’ll come straight back and take her off you.

Then we set off to see a Volvo. I’d called earlier and asked what “Needs a little tinkering” meant in the add.

The guy said “oh my wife was charging up her mobile phone with the engine off and it seemed to drain the battery and she ain’t be right since. But we put a new battery and alternator in and she runs fine now”

As we were driving over the wife me called back and said they would be about 35 minutes as they had to go over there as it was parked on the street near their bosses house. We’d said ok we’ll see you there, It only took us about 10 minutes to get across, we pulled around the corner and were looking left and right for the car. We were early.

There was a big converted school bus with jump leads to a Volvo in the middle of the side street. Jean, said after a moment of disbelief

“That’s the Volvo?”

There were two hillbilly type guys check shirts and trucker caps on. One was sat on the radiator with his feet in the engine of the Volvo. I got out and waked up to them,

Jean called me back “Is it even worth it ?“

I just wanted to see, it was such a comical situation. They had so been taken off guard

“Not looking too good guys” I said, they never even looked up. The long lank haired one who had his feet in the engine and seemed to own the car said.

“I don’t understand, I bought this battery the other day brand new and I think they sold me a dud”

He had the red puffy hands of a hard drinker, the other guy with the short hair was trying to start her gave me a sly side look. It was actually funny and yet quite serious, the lengths people go to, to pass on problem. In some form or another a problem knowingly passed on will come right back around to you.

I was certain that they didn’t have a boss, it was parked there because it was free parking on a hidden side street. A big black dog snapped and snarled at me out of the bus window. The Volvo wheezed and churned. The Volvo was junk.

That night I had been really deflated. Orsi had called with concerns about the festivals and getting organized, things here were taking time and my eye was off the ball with thinks in the UK.

I decided that night to call back Coyote. I’d called him the day before. We’d had a bit of an argument on the phone. I know he is hiding something. He wouldn’t let me take it across to Willy’s. Coyote was really quite unpleasant. But I just knew somehow it was the car for me, the drive in the Audi in the rain I had the Chrysler in my mind and in my belly all the way along. I didn’t really understand.

I felt my options were getting smaller and smaller. So I’d called this morning and said we‘d be over for the car. He felt the surprise in his voice.

It took us a little while to find the house again. I told him I wanted to take the car out for a drive again. Coyote kicked up dirt again. He was reluctant to let it out again, such a big awkward kid.

I said, “Hey man, stop giving me a hard time and lets just get this done, ok”

Maybe Jean was right he was hiding something, we’ll see along the way I just had to trust what I felt, I’d had the cards but not seen any sign of the family in my dreams, in fact I hadn’t had any dreams, it was a leap of faith. I took her out for one last spin, she handled great, but there is something not quite right. But I’d decided that I would go for it. We settled on $950 did all the paper work there and then sat in the front of the car. I suspect Jose coyote was a deeply unhappy man who didn’t see people as people, just things to push around or things that had pushed him around. I considered I was a lucky person to have my view of the world to his. No matter what happened I would be happy, if she blew up on me I would bounce back.

I followed Jean back to Santa Cruz circling her and grinning at her through the windows on the freeway. Driving level, overtaking dropping back, Really happy I was right there I was right then.Chrysler Humming Bird Santa Cruz 07.03.1620160307_124837.jpg


Back at the house, I am trying my very best to encourage Michael to have a few Hypnotherapy sessions , but it just doesn’t seem to be happening and you can’t push these things too hard. I had arrived with all good intentions and sometimes you come up against it and you just have to let it be. It is his journey.

I took off into town Jean had called her insurance company and a charming Girl called Marley sorted the Insurance with State Farm, $38 a month. Then to the DMV and got the car registered $217 dollars from a guy who professed to be a historian and interested in American & English history. Then across to the AAA where a chap called Edgar sorted me 3 months cover for $46. I was buoyant peaceful and happy My accent seemed to startle which I was enjoying very much, I think am more English here than in England, I can hear my voice, it’s a happy one and quite possibly infectious.

I’d remembered about the maps the AAA give you when you join. So I’d asked for some and said I didn’t want to take liberties but the girl said I could have as many as I liked. My direction and a possible route was now becoming clear.AAA Maps rto USA Santa Cruz 07.03.1620160308_072442.jpg


Then over to Willy’s, he gave it the once over, pointed out the rubber connections would need to be changed. Also new spark plugs, leads, windscreen wipers, air filter and a tune up before you go and she should be fine.

“Mick” he said “You may very well have done real good here. I wasn’t sure whether he was just trying to give me hope or genuine reassurance as the deal was now done, the dye cast, but it felt good.keys to the road 08.03.16.jpg

I called in at O’Reilys auto parts down on Ocean street got the parts that I needed, a Hispanic guy who was absolutely speeding his tits off, after visiting the parking lot about 10 times to check on what model it was eventually got what I needed. I just caught the odd word, and the gist was I had to wait for parts to arrive on Wednesday, but I am looking forward to working on a Chrysler again. A whole new set of spark plugs and wires are in the post.

So that’s that, just about ready, strong wheels but long teeth, She is big and beautiful with plenty of room for the gods in there, I hope that they’ll come for the ride again.

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