Escaping the Vortex

We spent five days in a vortex. First I thought it was the pattern of visiting my home town. Then I blamed Mercury retrograde. Finally I realized that it was simple: too much to do in order to prepare for the next leg of our trip—more than we had time for.

When explaining to my dad all of the delays from parts not being in stock, paperwork not clearing in time for registrations, etc. his response: “Do you know when the best time to plant a tree is? Twenty years ago.” I swear I could write the sequel to “Shit My Dad Says.” He is famous in my family for some real doozies. His commentary assumes failure to plan on my part. I’m not sure how the operational speed of others and automated systems are my fault. This was my opportunity to practice patience.

No sense wasting time reliving the vortex by listing everything that kept us from moving forward. My friend Diane Bleck once advised me, “Don’t speak when your bleeding, only when your healing.” So instead, we will celebrate all that we have accomplished in the last few days before taking to the road with Flo.

Do you have a spare?

I will share that after a dozen phone calls and six visits to tire stores in two cities, we found the part we were looking for: the size equivalent to a Coker American Classic spare for Flo. While the part number is important, the critical piece was getting the right width so that the tire doesn’t rub against the wheel well while driving down the road. Tire dealers told me they stopped making that size and one even laughed at me. After asking me what I was putting the tire on and me saying, “a rebuilt 1947 Tourette teardrop,” he said, “I don’t think my inventory goes back that far, haha!” Soon we were digging through piles of tires and walking through dark, musty warehouses.

It wasn’t until I changed my approach from focusing on logic to relying on intuition that opened up and delivered us from the vortex. Why focus on an obsolete part number? So instead I got to know the shape of the tire and it’s relationship with the wheel well. By doing so, I trained my reticular activator to manifest the tire we needed. When I walked around the garage at Falco’s Service on Truman Rd in Kansas City, it was if the clouds parted and I could hear angels singing. I could tell from a distance that it was a fit. And it was!

Mom and Dad working together on the trailer.

Upon returning to my dad’s shop, together we continued to check off tasks from the punchlist. Mom and Dad added seals to the doors and galley, screws and plugs to cover holes and caulking anywhere we see daylight coming into the cabin to prevent leaks. Together Dad and I installed the light fixtures, fixed key locks, popped on the half moon hubcaps, and added a flexible rubber/aluminum fix to cover the piano hinge. It seems like every time you walk around the trailer you find something else to fix. Flo is 70 years old so she needs a lot of TLC…and she deserves it!

Amazing how a 5′ x 9′ sheet of plywood can look so good and serve as the foundation of this tiny teardrop. Dad sprayed it with bedliner underneath to protect from moisture (left) and Mom bent the aluminum cover to finish the edge in the galley (right). Look at the beautiful leaf springs and inside of the wheel well. She may never look this good again! Road ready for another 70 years.

It has certainly taken a team and a lot of preparation to get Flo road ready. Mom and Dad have been working on her for months. Clint and Larry have added a golden glow to her interior. Here’s Clint’s account of the build and some additional photos from his recent Facebook post. Special thanks to these two for working so diligently this week and for your patience over the next 4 months until you can begin phase two: the galley.

Clint and Larry bring life to Flo by building her a birch interior. That bendy Birch is gorgeous!

I can’t help but wonder if the original builder and owners—who purchased Flo 70 years ago—had any idea the adventures she would see. Mom picked her up in Sedalia, Missouri the day after Thanksgiving in 2014. We have no idea if she has ever left these two Midwest states, but she’s about to see the Westcoast.

She’s ready. And so are we.


2 thoughts on “Escaping the Vortex

  1. Your dad left out the second half of the quote, which is: “The second best time is now.” Puts a whole different perspective on things, no? 🙂


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