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Brakes Are Important

by bill - 2023-11-09 08:32:56 ( in culture, writing, blog) [php version] rebuild

[Updated: 2023-11-09 12:40:54]

I emailed this to my siblings, and the following conversation ensued...

On Tuesday, November 7, 2023 at 03:22:31 PM PST:

Stumbled across this great old photo of our dog Stein "attacking" a strange man in the back yard of the Edison house

Sent: Tuesday, November 7, 2023 3:33 PM

yes, my attempt to make my '39 Chevy look more interesting by being like a Cab

On Tuesday, November 7, 2023 at 05:03:17 PM PST:

I'd love to have that 39 Chevy now. You were driving it to [school], right?

On Tue, Nov 7, 2023 at 5:06 PM:

Yeah, Don and I went the MILE to [school] in it and when I started going the FOUR miles to [college], I rode my bike, even to my night volleyball class. It was dangerous with the brakes losing brake fluid. Even when I put in a rebuild kit, it didn't help.

On Tuesday, November 7, 2023 at 05:09:11 PM PST,:

I remember Don commenting on the brakes being scary.

Sent: Tuesday, November 7, 2023 6:00 PM

One time I was driving westward on Greenback Lane, approaching Hazel Avenue where there was a light. I was trying to time it right to not need to stop. Well, that didn't work out. I had to quickly make a right turn onto Hazel and I was worried that the car would roll over. That car was kind of tall. I've always wondered whether a car is likely to roll over like that or just screech around the corner.

On Tue, Nov 7, 2023 at 6:25 PM:

Wow, yeah, brakes are pretty important. :)

On Tuesday, November 7, 2023 at 06:26:14 PM PST:

Scary indeed.

On Tue, Nov 7, 2023 at 10:14 PM:

Yeah, I had an instance of no brakes on my bike, too. I hit a car and dented it. Luckily, the driver blamed himself. Maybe because of those incidents, now and then I have dreams where my car doesn't have brakes.

Sent: Wednesday, November 8, 2023 12:49 AM

I dream of no brakes too and I never lost my brakes before.

Sent: Wednesday, November 8, 2023 6:45 AM

My brakes went out once in the early '80s in Hollywood in my 1964 Ford Falcon (like one of these, but two-tone green and white, and much crappier). I had just "fixed" the brakes myself and took it for a test drive. When I came to a stop sign and hit the brakes, something snapped and I just coasted right through the intersection. Luckily, it was the middle of a weekday and there were no other cars. I kept turning right through intersections, still no cars, until I got back to where I'd been parked. The space was still open and I coasted into the spot, purposely bouncing off the curb to help stop. Still, I bumped the parked car in front of me, but there was no damage, and I was safely parked. There were a bunch of Mexicans hanging out on the steps in front of that building, and it was their car I'd bumped, but they just laughed and helped me straighten my car out.

Another time in Hollywood, I was riding my Honda Goldwing motorcycle on Sunset Blvd. It was raining for the first time in weeks, just sprinkling, but the roads were extra slick. I came to a stop light and applied the brakes. They worked just fine, but the bike kept right on sliding... into the stopped car in front of me. My front tire hit its bumper, and the bike fell out from under me, but I straddled it and remained upright. The woman in the car got out and asked if I was all right. I said I was fine, just mad at myself.

As we stood in the middle of the street, my bike still on the ground, I took off my helmet and tossed my hair. I still had hair back then. There was a spark between us as we gazed into each other's eyes. I climbed back on my bike and she followed in her car back to my apartment on Poinsettia, just up the street from Ralph's grocery store. We made love until she remembered she had to get home to cook dinner for her husband, but not before stopping at Ralph's for celery and tomatoes for the salad.

Okay, that last paragraph was fiction, but the rest was true.

And, seriously, if your brakes ever go out and it looks like you might not survive, just put it in Park. Better to ruin the transmission than to die.

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