My 29-year-old daughter, Sarah, is a serial graduator. Today, my wife and I venture north to join Sarah in her graduation from her Doctoral Internship. This is about the third or fourth ceremony we've attended in the past year. But that's fine. And we couldn't be more proud.
My wife had the car out yesterday. Commuting to New Jersey on assignment for her agency.
On her way home, as I was getting ready to leave, she called me, somewhat frantic.
"The car is shaking," she tremolo'd.
I tried to calm her down as husbands do so effectively by yelling.
As she further described the problem, I grew more and more concerned. We were planning to leave for New Hampshire first thing in the morning.
"Should I take it to the Shell station on 117th?" she asked.
"No. I'll call up Lothar." Lothar is our Croatian mechanic, and probably the #1 Simca repairman in the northeast.
He's probably the only Simca repairman in the northeast.
And the northwest.
And the country, continent, hemisphere. Perhaps the world.
I ran to Port Authority and took the long bus ride to Toms River, New Jersey to meet Lothar and my wife.
I was there already when my wife drove our 1966 Simca 1500 into Lothar's garage.
He listened as she drove in.
"A spark plug and coil in the third and fourth cylinders," he said. He had his tools out before my wife had stopped the car.
In short order, Lothar had the Simca running like a top. Or at least as much like a top as you can expect from 1966 Simca 1500.
My wife and I drove home without incident. And now, fewer than 12 hours later, we are on our way to New Hamphire.
Wish us luck.
More important, wish the Simca luck.