18. Week Five

Monday, October 21.

Heading from Arizona into New Mexico, you pass through Texas Canyon.  Quite a mixture of colorful rock formations and arid vegetation.

IMG_0263You begin to appreciate the hardships of the first peoples in this area, scratching their lives from a landscape barren of what today we term necessities.

TexasCanyonAZ1Driving farther east, you notice the appearance of tall grasses, which continue into the Llano Estacado of West Texas.

I was born in Fort Worth, Texas in 1948.  Attended the public schools, and eventually received my  bachelor’s degree from Texas Christian University.  Undoubtedly the best teacher I had at TCU was Harriet W.  We’ve kept up our friendship since I left TCU for my first teaching job, in 1970.  Here we are together again:


A teacher in every sense of the word, supportive of, and counselor to, her students’ needs.  Did I mention she likes donuts?

I began my teaching career in the Rio Grande Valley of south Texas,  Edinburg Consolidated Independent School District.  One of the best students I had was Nick P;  he taught me more about teaching than I ever taught him.  He and his wife Lydia now live in Carrollton Texas, where he’s a teacher at Greenhill School:


Nick is also music director at St Seraphim Orthodox Cathedral of Dallas.


 I’m very proud of you Nick.  As your dad used to say, Bless your heart.

October 25.  Leaving Fort Worth, which has tripled in size since I lived there in the 1960s, I followed I-30 up to Little Rock AR, then I-40 and US 70 to Memphis.  As I drove through western Tennessee, I noticed a slight loss of engine power, and increasing difficulty in starting the engine.  Fortunately, my next stop was Clarksville TN, home of a fellow British Car Forum member, Mickey R and his wife Janet.  And just as I drove into Clarksville, the engine got very rough, and died at a stop sign.  Wow, talk about good timing (no pun intended).

Enter Master Mechanic Mickey.  He quickly diagnosed the problem:  the points were no longer opening.  Over the last month, the set screw had slightly loosened and the cam follower had worn.   In less than ten minutes, he had the engine running smoothly again.  Here’s a photo of Mickey and Janet, with a familiar old Mercedes-Benz in their garage:


You remember I said he’s also a member of the British Car Forum?  Here’s proof – his two great looking (and running) MGs:



As I left Tennessee and entered the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, I snapped a quick view through the windscreen:


The daytime temps were in the 50s, with frequent showers and 20-30 mph winds.  But as I neared Roanoke, the skies cleared and I followed a bit of the Blue Ridge Parkway to visit the National D-Day Memorial in Bedford.  The city of Bedford suffered the highest per-capita losses in the landings which led to the liberation of Europe during World War Two.  This is *quite* a memorial.

I’ve learned a new culinary term:  when ordering ham and eggs for breakfast here, the waitress may ask “sweet or salty”?  She means the ham.  Southern country cured ham isn’t honey coated – and it is excellent!  Ham, eggs, stewed apples, biscuits, gravy, and grits.  Manna from heaven.

Time is running short, so I’ve again had to trim my itinerary a bit; I’ll likely be back in Connecticut by the weekend.  Wonder what thoughts I’ll have for my “final post”?


5 Responses to 18. Week Five

  1. reesed says:

    Thanks for introducing us to some of the great people who helped “produce” such a wonderful person as you…
    Let us know when you are ready for bread pudding.

  2. Carl Stidsen says:

    A nice trip down memory’s road , before all the folks are gone …………………….

  3. Pingback: Coast to coast in a 1960 190b - Page 2 - PeachParts Mercedes ShopForum

  4. Doris Rook says:

    It has been great to follow your trip across the states. My grandchildren are studying the states this year, so we have been following your trip. I’m so happy to see you have made it across and back to the east coast.

  5. Lou says:

    Tom, Your Benz chose a very conveneint place to get tempermental. Mickey to the rescue. I liked seeing his MGB’s….Been an owner and fan of the marque for years…….Well done !!

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