Parked (free)in the Paradise Casino parking lot---Yuma, Az.--Hardly a care in the world--Living the good life.
Glancing to my left, I see the world famous Yuma Crossing---high bluffs of granite on opposite sides of the Colorado river--the perfect place for bridges--railroad and auto---built there in 1930.
And glancing just left to see the guard tower for the Yuma territorial prison. (remember the movie: "3:10 to Yuma)
My mornings are filled with beauty as balloons drift over my rig.
AND THEN---AND THEN---That very night a drunk smashes into my truck.
Two doors and this bed damage.
The cops come---test him with a field sobriety test---handcuff him and take him to jail.
I'm able to get "home" but barely able to drive around. Next day I get an estimate: $4,866.00.
While I'm waiting, I read this magazine and learn that automobile crashes, insurance, fault-finding, and repair shops, police reports are a vast web of money-making enterprises---with policy buyers footing the needlessly high bill. I also learned that I'm not likely to be reimbursed for my damages. And that begins to upset me and mobilize my thoughts.
My friends are waiting for me in Borrego Springs, Ca--for our annual Thanksgiving gathering. Quickly, I gather facts---learn about the wrecking business and the nationwide linkup for used parts---order two doors (my truck is the 3 door model) for $500.00 and go looking for a reliable body shop. 5 shops later, I found my guy. 2 shops refused the job--at any price--replacing doors is highly tedious--I learned. This one said yes when I sweetened the offer. It took most of the day to accomplish this much. I hung around out of curiosity.
And then things got very difficult--trying to fit the auxillary door into a damaged post.---THEN I saw why other shops refused the job. They gave up for the night---tuesday night---the clock is ticking--my friends are 152 miles away. In the night--believe it or not---I saw in my mind how to fit the door in place---I called the guy--Jacob Garcia--and told him---he said ok---and guess what--It worked---the door fit and the truck was drivable by Wed night. (not painted or undented--but drivable---good enough to travel)
I was proud of my unconventional idea and surprised that the expert was open minded enough try it. He bit off a very difficult job for not a lot of money---I recommend him. (G-Styles Auto Body and Welding 928-726-6889----2766 Ave 3E---Yuma, Az, 85365)
I MADE IT--- by the hair of my chin chin chin---10 minutes before dinner was served.
My friends heard of my difficulties and saved a choice seat for me. Our group ( www.rvsingles.org ) gathers at this spot every year for a week of desert adventure.
This little triangle of land is famous in RVin circles---It is called PEG LEG SMITH'S in honor of an old prospector in this region. One may camp free here indefinitely and many do. Orange groves green the environment to the right and the resort town of Anza Borrego, Ca lies against the distant mountains---2,500 desert loving citizens---completely surrounded by California's largest park.
RANDY PHILOSOPHIZES: I give myself decent marks for dealing rationally with this unpleasant episode. I noted how vulnerable my whole lifestyle is---a simple crash could clip my high flying wings for some time as I carry most all my possessions with me.(yes my trailer was attached--but not damaged) More importantly, I noticed my runaway feelings---I felt powerless in the face of an injustice (the drunk lied about the accident---it may go down as a "he said/he said" in the report and I may have to fix my vehicle.) A sad, numbing, depression settled on me for a few hours. My mind replayed the facts over and over. By morning, my WATCHER had kicked in:
"I am not contained between my hat and boots----apart from the pulling and hauling stands what I am----stands amused, complacent, compassionating, idle, unitary---looks down with sidecurved head---curious what will come next---both in and out of the game---watching and wondering at it---I WITNESS---AND WAIT---(Whitman---Song of myself)
And I saw that it wasn't that big of a deal---a few thousand dollars at worst. All over the world countless millions suffer real and enduring injustice. And No doubt I have imposed much wrong on others. It's part of the cosmic drama. So--slowly I came to acceptance--got cracking--gathering info--locating doors--ordering them, finding a body shop, etc. In less than a week my joy returned -- I'm mobile again--and willing for the matter to take whatever course it takes.