Posted by: Jim E | August 20, 2010

Gettin’ Ready For A Road Trip…

We are about to be travelin’…but I have been completely taken-up with the Matt Green final days of walking across  America…he is now in Portland, Oregon…taking a few days for visiting people who have offered him a good meal, fellowship (long time since you heard that word???…oh, it’s real- companionship, company of friends), a shower, a bed for the night…it has been fun…

Today though, I took the Yukon to the hospital for a physical…I’ve heard some noises in the rear end of the vehicle…strange noises…kind of a bump in the night…a knock…a shifting of something…I suppose you are saying to yourself…”This guy knows his car stuff, what precise pinpointing of the trouble. Any auto mechanic guy could know exactly what he is talking about and will have it fixed in a jiffy!!!”…now you would be off by a mile or two in that assessment…

With head held low, for fear someone would overhear my explanation…I approached the service manager…trying to talk in my lowest tones…Sidebar…my voice is sort of loud…and I don’t hear very well…in fact I don’t hear at all in my right ear…my pesky brain tumor killed the nerve there…so my whisper I was using to talk to the service manager…well, my whisper has been described as me trying to “whisper in a sawmill”…End Sidbar…but no matter how hard I tried…everyone seemed to be hearing my explanation…of course there were 5 or 6 people around waiting…I did notice some of them smirking at my assessment of the situation…but I trudged on…”Yes, in the rear of the vehicle…a kind of a clunk…a knock…like something is loose…am I crazy??? or can you check it out???”….

I left in a hurry…they said with that description they would be able to get it fixed…they must have pity on old, deaf, dummies like me…but I left it in their hands…they said they would call when it was finished…I figured with enough money and enough time they could make me happy…in the meantime we ran some errands…

About 6 hours later, my cell phone rang…yes, I heard it…it was on my left side…the service manager said the vehicle was done…I could pick it up…they said something about body mounts…that sounded…well, strange…since, I didn’t know it had body mounts but it did make sense…I didn’t know what a body mount was…except I assumed that the body mounted onto something…off we went…

Now we have a thousand mile trip ahead of us…I didn’t want an axle coming out of the car and bounding on down the road…or some other horrible thing…so I was happy about the body mounts…whatever they were…they didn’t tell me if they had to replace them or what…all I could see were dollar signs…

We arrived…they couldn’t find the keys…(I thought that would be important to have)…they found them…I asked what they did…the work order said this, “CUST STATES WHEN GOING AROUND CORNER – ABOUT 30 MPH – CAN HEAR CLUNKING NOISE IN REAR END – MORE PRONOUNCED TO THE LEFT “…Well, for heaven’s sake…they heard my “whispering in the sawmill” after all…and that, well that said it all…I felt like a auto mechanic for sure…I was greatly impressed…now on to what they did…

They said it was probably a body mount that was making that sound…”Do I have to worry…will I or my family die tomorrow???…or something???”…no they said…should I have it replaced???, I asked…they said that they wouldn’t…so what did they do then???…let’s go back to the work order….“TEST DROVE. TIGHTENED REAR CROSSMEMBER AND REPOSITIONED REAR BODY MOUNTS”…that’s it???…how much, was the question…they said, “No charge”…I said, “No charge???”…yup, that’s it…I walked out…and drove the “Tightened rear crossmember and repositioned rear body mounted” Yukon home…WOW, what a difference…no noise, no bump, no clunking noise…quiet…and no charge…

As Judie and I sat contemplating the day…I said as quietly as I could…”Do you think if I went in and had my rear crossmember tightened and my rear body mounts repositioned, it would help at all???”…she pretended she didn’t hear the “whisper in the sawmill”…



  1. You are TOO funny, Jim! I hope Judie went in another room, buried her head in a towel and roared with laughter!!!!!

    I’m amazed that the mechanics did what they did for no charge….some pretty nice people/companies out there. Is it a garage you use a lot? Because if not, I bet you will go again. Well, let’s hope not too soon. But a move definitely good for future business.

    Have fun on your trip! If you had said more than 1,00 miles I might have been suspicious that you were going to go to Rockaway and give Matt a big hug! I would be SO jealous!

    Being here in Greece, seems so far from Oregon. And guess it is. However, this fall at Thanksgiving we will be there to visit my daughter and family. My son and his family just moved from Portland to Harrisburg, PA. He had been out of work for a year and decided to take a job out of Portland, if necessary. It won’t be the same, as the Shepherd family have a long history of living in Portland.

    Have a safe trip.


  2. OOPS, meant 1,000 miles.

  3. Glad to know you drive a Yukon. We have a 2005 Chevy Suburban. I love that car. I play several musical instruments which take a lot of room and we have a lot of grandchildren to “haul” around. We just bought it last year and I love the “creature” comforts.

    Have a great vacation. I am a retired teacher also, so these little trips are a wonderful vacation for the soul.

    I, too, am waiting for the end of Matt’s trip. How are you getting pictures of him? through email?

    Wouldn’t it great to someday have a reunion of Hobo Planet with Matt? The people we’ve met here are varied in their interests and are all acutely aware of the difference his journey has made in their lives. I think it would make for a grand old time.

    You and Judie be safe. We celebrated our 49th yesterday. My husband gave me a garden tub with wheels. Since my birthday is next week, he also surprised me with an iPad. What a man! I’m like you, I’d do it all over again!

    Take care.

  4. Jim,
    Your too funny. By the way how did a Minnesotian
    end up in Arkansas????

  5. Oh my gosh Jim! You are too funny. I’ve been missing Matt posts so figured I’d come over here and read a bit. This is too funny. You certainly are a good story teller. I love your sense of humor and descriptions in this one. Thanks for your witt you made me laugh. Glad to hear your rear end is tightened and not squeaking now. : )

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