Sunday, August 8, 2010

The Tale of The Engine Light, Granny's Hot Dogs and the Endless Mountain....

Alright...still a day behind on this...on Friday we woke up in Gadsden, Georgia, and hit the start of the whole thing, again, since we got a later start the day before. The skies were a bit threatening on and off, and there was some brief but brutal storms the day before...many tents went-a-flyin'...huge trees uprooted, etc...but we did  good, and were crusing along nicely! We are still overwhelmed by the whole SIZE of this sale...i had NO idea it was SO non-stop....I can't believe how many people came from all over to sell and attend this. Every body is so damn nice, too. REALLY nice. I think about fifty people have offered to adopt mom...I'm still holding out, though, for a better offer.  Bought mom some BOILED peanuts, an apparent southern delicasy.  It's kinda like peanut mashed potatoes in the shell. It's good...for about five minutes...the squirrels and whatever other critters got the rest. As we cruised into Tennessee, trying to outrun the storm..a strange and unwelcome thing happened in our sweet little rental car...the engine light went on.  Not what you wanna see when you're heading into the mountains...windy, scary, twisty, turny mountains.  After many phone calls, texts and googling of manuals (yes, we didn't get a manual with the car!...and it was amazing that we got reception at the moment we needed it...didn't have ANY phone reception in the mountains of Georgia...and SOMEHOW got a wi-fi signal outside a dumpy gas station on the hill!!) We were informed it was probably cheap gas, a wet computer thingy in the car or a loose gas cap. It made for a stressful continuation of the trip, that yellow engine shaped eye staring at me...Oh, on this day i DID find a guitar...a literally busted up '30's or 40's cheapo with a GREAT huge decal on it that says "El Torreadoro"....bullfighters and bulls ..very cool, but needs a lot of work to just become a less crappy guitar!

 We were gettin' kinda hungry and pulled over for something to eat on our way to somewhere else to eat....we saw a hot dog cart run by a cantankerous, foul-mouthed, story-telling lady known simply...and 'Granny'.  For some reason, as they all seem to do, she loved my mom. In about 8 minutes, mom got her whole life story. She was married at 13...moved to Chicago with her husband...eventually called daddy and said she wanted to come home, daddy came while the perv...i mean husband...was at work...and dragged her home. Down the line...she still managed to have four sons...(um....see photo...I...uh....nevermind...i just can' i siad..nevermind) She had the shirt she was wearing made custom, i'm guessing...she was VERY proud of it.  So...when we were able to pry ourselves away from granny's grubby grasp, we made our way up Lookout Mountain...engine light on....when the day was winding down..we looked at out last buncha dusty diamonds...we saw an old converted gas station-into-diner that JUST re-opened under 'new management'...which to me says "Hey, been-a managin' fer two months...i think it's my turn".."whatever, Cletus"....(puts sign in window "Under New Management"....It was called 'Pat's Diner"..and the food was actually very, very good. We had two REAL cheeseburgers, curly fries (peeled from a whole was almost one looong peel!) drinks....and it came to 9 dollars and some change. For the both of us!! I took a pic of the menu..i'll try and post it. It said they had "balONGA ALMOST got it right, Junior! I asked how to get back to where we were going...and got a "follow the yard sale signs"...oh, ok...will do! So, we started following the red signs at the crossroad....and followed....and followed ...have you ever been on Lookout Mountain? If you have, you know what i mean. It's freakin DANGEROUS! When we left Pat's i said "Ma, i've been on this mountain, and i wanna get us off while it's still light outside...GPS lady was sleeping, but hey, we could follow those signs...we drove, and drove, white-knuckled..through twist and never-ending got dark. I guess I had lied to Mom. We were still on that freakin' Mountain. The fog was rolling in, it was dark, and the headlights were like lasers in my eyes...the local yokels who knew the mountain like the back of their own cousins hand, were flying by and threatening to scare me off the unprotected, no guard-rail cliffs..."soon, ma...soon...hey, that looks familiar...."...we drove...and hour and a half since we left Pat's Diner...we round the bend, pull up the road...and there it is...Pat's Diner. You couldn't make this stuff up. We were EXACTLY where we started. I said the F word sooooo many times in front of my dear mother...i'm SURE I'm going to hell now. Devastated, embarrassed and pissed off, I called my friend Elaine in Chattanooga..our destination city for the night...and once she FINALLY stopped laughing (like I didn't feel dumb enough) she set us went like this.....Mom: "What's she saying?" Me: "Nothing, she's still laughing"...She said "Put this in your GPS"...I typed it into the GPS said "calculating route...."....Oh, fourteen, another 20 minutes of teeth-clenching driving down that friggin mountain, we were in downtown Chattanooga.  I hate that Mountain now. It is NOT getting a Christmas card from me.


  1. I, along with others, will be so sad when this adventure is over. It is so very special to see the two of you enjoying this time together. Perhaps a book is in the making also. At least a song~ right Tom?? Looking forward to seeing the pics and hearing stories first hand. Put the mountain behind you and enjoy the day-here's hoping for beautiful sunshine! xoxo

  2. "Everybody here has a message on their shirt." Awesome. I am so glad I could help rescue you from Lookout you mentioned southerners love to help. My favorite part was when I started laughing Tom said, "It really isn't funny." But it was....

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