Sunday, August 20, 2006

Lounging at Central Garage

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This was written about a week and a half ago. I was prepping my car for sale and the heat was sweltering in Central Garage on MLK.

I was unable to swap out my stoplight switch on the Bill Blass. I sometimes think I am incompetent when it comes to repair, and more often than I would like this is true. I am not a mechanic, and my tools are haphazard at best. However after jerking around underneath the dash for 45 minutes, I realized I needed to take it to a professional, so I took it to Jack, my mechanic. He owns Central Garage on MLK. He is a great guy and knows what he is doing.

I decided to wait for him to do the work. While I hung out at the garage, I sat next to his regular car repair watching cohort, Lesley Shelton. Lesley is an older fella. He has a special chair with a foam cushion on it so he can sit properly because he busted his hip. Lesley worked for the Post Office as a truck operator for 31 years. We chatted for a while. He has been hanging out at Central Garage for a long time, many years. His son Tracy runs the Palimino Lounge with his mother, Lesley's Ex. I discussed with Lesley his children and such. After some more conversation, I figured out that I know his brother. He said his brother was "a pistol". I thought the last name sounded familiar. What was his brother's name? O.L. As in O.L. Shelton. As in "Club O.L." in Jeff City. Hilarious. I met O.L. about six or seven years ago over at J's Hideout around the corner, and I lounged in OL's clubhouse campaign HQ next door a couple of times. That was a fun/ny scene. Small city sometimes.

My mechanic Jack had to call in another mechanic friend to help him pull the switch out. I felt a bit better about myself after that. If it would have taken him five minutes I would have felt bad about bringing it in, but sometimes that is for the best. And it took every bit of an hour for two pros to do it. I got to have a car to drive. The fleet needs a lot of attention.

I am going to roll north again soon. This city feels far more open to criss crossing about than ever. It feels so comfortable and hospitable. Like family.

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