Courtesy car #2
One Saturday afternoon sometime during the late 80s or early 90s bride and I decided to go to Lancaster, Pa for a family style dinner at a place called Good and Plenty. (G&P) We landed at an airport called Smoketown, a small airport which just happened to be close to the restaurant in Pennslyvania Amish country. I remember seeing Amish farmers working the fields with work horses around the parking lot of the place.
Anyway this is the very short story about the courtesy car. We landed and had the plane topped off with gas. Then when I went in to pay I asked about getting a cab to G&P. This is a good way to find out about the courtesy car without actually asking to borrow one! As is usually the case a man there said take the car that’s here for that. Here are the keys, it’s that blue Oldsmobile out back, then he gave us directions to G&P. It just so happened that it was only about ½ mile from there.
The 20 yr old car started right up and off we started for G&P. It was a hundred or so yards to the first stop sign. Approaching the stop I applied the brakes and the car seemed to accelerate as we sailed right through the intersection. Bride had tried to push her feet through the firewall of the old car as if she could stop us from that side. If you’re anywhere near my age you probably remember dealing with vehicles like that. I pumped the brake pedal and got some back pressure and just like in the old days with my first cars if you plan your stops and pump the brakes as you approach them you can handle this. NO such thing as hitting the binders and locking her up in a panic stop. You always leave a ridiculous amount of space between you and the car in front of you in case their brakes work better than yours. You treat all traffic lights as if they are turning red until you’re into the intersection because you've got to keep pumping in case it turns red and you have to stop. Those behind you think you’re an idiot with your brake light flashing but you don’t care! We saw the entrance to the parking lot and started to plan our entrance from way back and we were successful parking the car. We had a belly busting meal, paid the bill and headed for the Oldsmobile. There she was waiting out there in the parking lot just weeping brake fluid on the ground. The big V8 started right up so I pumped the brake till I got some pressure and headed out of the parking lot, the challenge was to get her back to Smoketown Airport without hitting something. It was tense but we made it and managed to park her right over the wet spot where we found her. We went in to give the keys back and before I could say anything about the brakes the guy slapped himself on the forehead and said, “oh, I meant to tell you that you have to pump the brakes.” I asked him not to forget tell the next person.
Flew back to Blue Knob Valley Airport, Duncansville, Pa……. Life is good!