The Last Ride,
The last time I dragged Douglas in my Coupe was the summer of 1986. I was cruising Douglas on a warm summer evening
dressed in my usual attire of tshirt and jeans. I was headed west just past Broadway in the inside lane when a heater
hose inside under the dash let go, spraying me over my legs and abdomen up onto my chest with scalding hot water.
At that time I had a combo heat and A/C underdash unit that I had routed heater hoses inside the car and apparently one of
them cracked open due to age. I immediately came to a halt and jumped out of the car as steam was rising up and out the
windows on both sides. The pain was immediate and excruciating. While I was standing there in a daze trying to get my wits
about me a couple guys came up and asked if they could help. It was decided to push the Coupe off Douglas across the street
and onto Market Street. There I sized up the situation and decided to disconnect the heater hose at the block outlets and
double it over into the inlet bypassing the heater. I really couldn't think straight as to what to do. I didn't know if I
had any water left in the engine, but late at night downtown I couldn't think of any places to get a water refill.
I suddenly realized my lifelong friend Keith Meikle lived a few streets over just a couple blocks up from Douglas on Dodge street.
I fired up the Coupe and managed to drive over Keiths house still in intense pain. Don't think I've ever been accused of
thinking real straight normally and at this time I had even less coherence. Anyhow it was now close to midnight and Keith
and Pam were fast asleep, but it was a warm evening and as luck would have it they were sleeping with windows open. I went around
to their bedroom window where I tried to holler for Keith to wake up, by now I think I was just mewing like an injured kitten.
I was hurting so bad I never considered that Keith being a Nam Vet who slept with 'protection' near his bedside, could
easily have jumped up and started blasting an intruder without asking questions first. Fortunately Keith woke up and recognized
me and got up and came out to help. I asked him for water for the radiator and if he had anything to put on my burns.
He got the water, but we had to run over to a local Quick Trip to get some Vasoline to put on my burns, which helped a bit
and allowed me to fire up the Coupe and drive it home, where I parked it until I realized in 2003 I would never drive it
again and decided to make my nephew Troy Pate an offer he couldn't refuse to buy the Coupe. Troy still has the Coupe and
I hope he continues to enjoy it.