Monday, December 2, 2019

Hit the brakes

Hope you had a great Thanksgiving. I know I did. 

In fact the grateful spirit that was enhanced last week with bourbon, turkey, stuffing and cranberry, not to mention enough dessert pies to open my own Marie Calendars, continues to brighten my day.

Let me back the truck up. 
Or more accurately the 2012 Acura MDX with 104, 983 miles on it. 

Two weeks ago I brought the car in for a safety check, as I was about to deliver the car to my daughter who now lives in Denver. With the abundant snows in the Mile High city, we wanted to give Abby every automotive advantage at our disposal, meaning a vehicle with all wheel drive.

Upon the advice of several neighbors, I decided to try my luck with Ed Little's Garage, a trusted Culver City staple for close to 50 years. Ed is no longer with us, and his son Bob runs the place. I got the feeling that Bob is just like his father. He's distinctively old timey in his demeanor. I'm sure the boots he was wearing are older than me.

In fact when I introduced myself to him, he scribbled my name, phone number and email in a black ledger book that seemed to predate the arrival of Columbia Studios in our fair city. Pretty sure there was a tattered stickie on the outside of the book that read: I Like Ike.

A day later Bob assured me the car was in great shape and only needed new rotors on the front brakes.

I had my fingers crossed that the two day, 1000 mile drive piloted by my wife and daughter would be uneventful. It was not. 

Apparently, one of the bolts on the brake assembly had not been tightened. It popped off, bounced off the road and tore through the grease boot and hit the axle assembly somewhere outside Cedar City, Utah.

Fortunately, the repair got made and it only set me back $360. And the next day, my wife and arrived arrived at Abby's overpriced downtown apartment. 

But here's where I caught a break.

The following week, I called Bob and told him what had transpired. Indeed I was ready for bear and prepared to read him the riot act. But before my veins could start constricting and before my normally low heart rate started to hit triple digits, Bob interjected...

"Come on down, I'll write you out a check."


"I'm not about to argue with you. We screwed up and I'm gonna give you your money back."

As if all that was not enough, Bob added the personal touch that explains the stellar reputation of Ed Little's legendary neighborhood garage.

"I'm sorry for all this. I'm just glad nobody was hurt."

Thankfully, nobody was. Which I found to be a great relief. But I also found that rarest of rarities -- a car mechanic I can trust. 

And that's not so Little.

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