The Plan is to depart on the first for the Windscape Kite Festival at Swift Current, Saskatchewan. In the meantime, I went to the U-Pull-It junkyard where I got lucky.
The tale starts at 3:00 p.m. (gettin' hot) at the entrance to the yard. The young woman who takes yer money and stamps yer hand (like at a bar) directed me to the self-serve kiosk to find the location of desired vehicles. I'd gone online a few days earlier and , but according to *this* unit they didn't have any. I went to ask for a refund and instead she handed me a list; they were in the next-to-last row, a quarter of a mile away. (Mind you, 1/4 mile isn't that intimidating, but at 32 degrees celsius with armloads of junk it's a bit of a trek.)
An hour and a half later, sweating to rival Niagara, I'd morphed into a hording dragon. I had a radio, a practically-new driver's seat, window cranks WITH KNOBS and a variety of plastic thingies. Looping the hatch gasket (4m of rubber tubing) over my shoulder like a bandolier, I tucked stuff under my arms and clutching the rest, slogged to the front. They close at 4:30 and it was 4:20 when I presented myself to the cashier. She'd tabulated $75.00 when I realized I'd left the seat next to the car. She said they'd wait while I retrieved it. The line behind grew unruly as I inquired about where to leave my stuff. She warned that people might bother it if I left it there. Since I was now in physical danger, I stepped out of line and watched the toothless, howling horde surge forward. Eager to be home with their TeeVee(s), they practically threw the money at the cashier.
|Roberta, Stan and Tasha|
It was then I spied the young woman who'd stamped my hand two hours earlier. She was stocking the coke machine and with a quick shuffle I was at her side. In my best beseeching whine, a remnant from my panhandling days, I begged her assistance. Her gimlet eye prompted a self-assessment -- olde, unattractive and at her mercy. But she agreed, although I could tell it was "irregular" and an imposition. (I know this is tedious, but bear with me.)
I grabbed a wheelbarrow (courtesy conveyance) and blearing (sweat coursing off my brow) through the heat waves made the trudge forth & back. It was well past 4:30 when I returned but the pushers and shovers were gone. A quick inventory reassured me my stuff was still there. I pulled a $5.00 from my wallet and turned to begin my hunt for the coke-stocker when suddenly, she magically appeared.
She wanted to know what it was for.
I reminded her of my request to keep vigil.
She feigned disdain.
I demanded to know if she'd done the job.
She admitted she had.
After vociferously advising she "Just say thank you!!" she acquiesced.
I then turned to the cashier, a different one than The Tabulator (see para above photo). Once again presenting my gleanings, she informed me she'd added them up while I was gone. And after deftly inserting the seat into her calculations, she announced the total: "$59.48."
As I scrambled to clear out, the parts did their damnedest to escape from under my elbows and fall from my arms, the coke-stocker enthusiastically wished me "Havva good day!" Her accompanying smile was worth countless five-dollar priceless treasure.
It's a fur piece from the junkyard to the residential area and the route passes by the University north golf course, a favorite walking place. As I approached a stop sign Roberta, Stan and Tasha rounded the corner. Hand-in-hand, obviously enamored of each other's company, their smiles glowing brighter than the day, I couldn't pass them up. They kindly agreed to be photographed.
You'd have to have been there to appreciate the cumulative effect: the spring in their step, the afternoon light, the satin highlights in her skirt, Stan's t-shirt and the incredible New Mexico sky. A splendid topping to a fine afternoon! Every once in a while "the city" manages to produce.