In front of me stands an elderly woman. We will refer to her as Mary. She is driving what I would approximate to be a 1978 Buick LeSabre. I’m not a super huge car guy, but I have driven a 1973 Impala and am fairly well versed in driving of older model cars. I worked for Enterprise Rent-a-Car in a prior life and am extremely comfortable parking cars.
But let me back up a moment. Our esteemed President (Barry Fulfer KF5JPE) asked for some volunteers to help out the Windsor Park Baptist Church put on their Easter production. I am a big believer in volunteer work and thought I could double dip ham radio and volunteering. As I have mentioned many times in this publication, I do not own a V/UHF radio. Fortunately a friend was willing to loan me an HT and ultimately Jerry convinced me to use one of his Chinese beauties!
When I arrived at the church Jerry was very clear, our job is to fill the lot as orderly as possible. On the Southwest side of the lot is the area where eventually Jesus is hung on the cross. (A pretty powerful moment, even if you’re on parking lot duty.) Jerry was very clear, this is an area they really try to be discreet about people parking, headlights and noise can be very distracting. The GroundWire Lester Wong K5ITO Jerry Keltner KB6OJE 2 As fate would have it, I am now standing in a quickly filling parking lot in the Southwest corner with an irritated woman staring at me. I jumped straight into the car.
I look at the steering wheel. I don’t believe I have touched anything.
“HOOOOONK” “You’re honking the horn!” Mary shouts.
The thoughts that went through my head were not particularly honoring to the cause that we were supporting at that exact moment. I knew I was honking the horn, but couldn’t figure out how. I’m pretty sure Mary had a custom extension placed under the driver’s seat so that it could be further forward than stock. Being six feet 230 pounds, I am most assuredly filling the entirety of the cockpit. But I’m not touching the steering wheel.
“Its under the dash” Mary shouts.
There directly in front of my knee is a small round thumb knob. If you push it, it will recess and sound the horn. Let this be a lesson should you meet Mary or anyone else who refuses to park a car.
Once I figured out how to contort my leg in such a way that I was not sounding the horn and scaring everyone, I was able to put the car in the parking spot first try. I peeled myself out of the driver’s seat. I’m confident it looked about like a sea lion rolling up onto an iceberg. On second thought it was nowhere near that majestic.
I hand Mary her keys. “Thanks” she says.
“You are most welcome, I hope you enjoy the show. Let me know if you need help getting out.” I look down the hill and Jerry is staring at me. I’m pretty sure he was smiling, but it was a very puzzled smile.
All in a day’s work I guess.