Sunday, May 17, 2015

pass it on

we drove up the coast from santa cruz to san francisco on our way home to arcata. it has been several years since we took that route. the trip reminded me of many interesting times on the coast when i was much younger. i went there a lot in high school. beach parties and fishing. swimming at pillar point, where that maverick’s surf contest is held now.

the beach north of pillar point. nice tidepools at low tide


i told robin about an interesting incident when i was beyond school but still… well, i’ll tell the story and you can add your adverb or adjective after “still”.

i bought a 1952 mgtd in london in 1971 and shipped it to california. right hand drive. crash box. no synchromesh. tricky to shift. fold down windshield. i loved it. back in california, living temporarily at our family house in capitola, i connected with an old friend in sausalito. he told me that he had a nice pound of weed. i had met a fine fellow in capitola who made a sketchy living strolling on the beach in santa cruz mumbling “lids, acid.” he said he could sell anything i got. so off i went in my sporty car with british plates.
not my car. but just like it.

it was a beautiful ride up the coast, over the bridge, and into sausalito. met my friend. scored my weed and headed back. right by big tree lumber, 18 miles from santa cruz, i ran out of gas. fortunately for me there was a place to pull over safely.

the wide spot

i had taken about three steps walking south to find gas when a car whizzed by going north. it stopped quickly, spun around and parked right by me. fellow jumps out and asks if i need gas. i answer yes. he opens his trunk and takes out a gallon can of gas. as i thank him and tell him i’ll pour it right in he says “keep it. pass it on,” spins around and continues north.

i arrived safely and kept the empty can for a while. i failed to pass it on.

robin’s response was “let’s get a gas can to carry. you can pay it forward."



33 comments:

  1. You guys have the best stories. I especially liked this one.

    the blogger formerly known as zilla

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    1. you have few good stories too.

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  2. I want to live some of your past life. Can you arrange that for me? I'll be most grateful forever, y'know!

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    1. hmmm. past life. let's see. i was pochahontas. would that work?

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  3. There was more than one orange one? Zounds!
    Jolly good tale.

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    1. well. the photo is a standin. i only had the one. i picked one with the closest color robin could find.

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  4. it's never too late. miss those days and the genuine sense of comradeship they fostered. now if someone jumped out of a car (to help) I would probably initially think they were about to murder or abduct me. :(

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    1. it was a more innocent time.

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  5. It's never too late to pass it on. A good story that brings me back to my memories of that very spot north of Pillar Point and also of walking around on the bluff in Davenport in the 1970s. What a fine car. What a beautiful drive that still is.

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    1. back then there were no radio things on pillar point. just some ww2 gun bunkers.

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  6. Great story but the sad bit is you had one of OUR class cars and an MGTD to boot. no wnder they are like hens teeth over here. Shame the factory that made them is no more, it was olny a few miles away from where I live. What a cool guy to keep a can of gas in his boot to give to you.

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    1. it was even an mg upgrade. 2 electric fuel pumps. 2 bigger carbs. i miss it.

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  7. yep-I really can relate to memories of pillar point and the whole coastal area-spent many years there

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  8. Yes a good story, but a gallon of gas in the trunk is a bomb dude. Better to pay it forward with a little weed.

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    1. have done that paying forward. and we don't even have a separate trunk in our prius.

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  9. My boyfriend had a white one just like that.
    What a great guy you met and I am glad you are now going to pass it on. Never too late.

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    1. was his offhand drive? my first outing was awkward. i was ok with a crash box, but the left hand shifting took a while to master.

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  10. Roger, has anyone ever told you to write a book of your adventures? Great stories, and I expect the one of your Swinging London trip when you got the MG is worthy of blog time as well. (And your family beach house --if those walls could talk!!)

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    1. "England swings like a pendulum do
      Bobbies on bicycles, two by two."
      not sure i want the walls talking yet.

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  11. That's a good idea but how was the weed?

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  12. ahh. the relevant question. decent mexican. as good as was available back then. probably some seeds.

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  13. My family's first VW Beetle did not have a gas gauge; instead, it had a separate 1-gallon tank that you opened when the main tank ran out of gas and the one gallon would get you to the next filling station. One Sunday night, when Kali and I were dating in high school, we took out the car for a long drive. Sure enough, we ran out of gas, but the spare tank was empty! Dammit! I walked about a mile to an open gas station. (I was really lucky to find this place, since it was late on a Sunday in the country.) Henceforth, we always carried an extra gallon of gas in the car--a bomb waiting to cause havoc, as Def59485 mentioned.

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  14. I have to comment on the car. It's really cool. I drove a 1959 Triumph TR-3 in high school and some of the time when I was in college. I miss that one, too.

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    1. i'm almost embarrassed to tel you that i also owned, serially, a triumph spitfire and a tr4. i miss them all. oh to still have just one.

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  15. Marijuana acquisition has certainly evolved since then, eh? Love that stretch from Pescadero to Santa Cruz... older daughter is moving to Whitehouse Canyon Rd. on June 1, where I once lived with her dad more than 30 years ago. Have you guys ever been up there? It's where Skylark Ranch Girl Scout camp is, between Pescadero and Davenport.

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    1. have not been there. i look longingly at almost every canyon along the coast.

      i paid for my first legal purchase with a credit card

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  16. I also had a 69 Spitfire. I loved that car but it was like a bad boyfriend (Fun, good looking, terribly unreliable).
    My sisters also liked those British roadsters, they bought a Spitfire and TR4a before I got mine. Eventually we all ended up with Datsuns. (Not the Zs, either)

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