It always amazes me how often I used to find tools, like wrenches, hammers, screw drivers and the like laying on the road when I was traveling so much. I always accused my careless mechanic Paul of being the one that lost most of them. Almost any day I could drive out of the yard and find something Paul had left laying under the hood or on the bumper that would fall off. Of course he wasn’t too worried about it as long as I had charge accounts at all the parts houses in Austin.
Perhaps Paul’s carelessness fed my quest for finding tools wherever I traveled. Madeline always questioned me taking time to stop and get a screw driver when I had boxes full of them. But that was never enough to dissuade me.
One day I left our office with my accountant Woody riding along. It was raining like the “flat rock and cow” reference. I turn on to Ben White Boulevard off of Montopolis Drive and right up ahead I could see a shiny ratchet and socket in the middle of the road. Cars were stopped for the red light behind me, so I knew I had time to grab it. To keep from getting out and being soaked I did the fast open the door and grab it maneuver. I was driving a 4 wheel drive pickup that was fairly high off the ground. I leaned out while holding on to the steering wheel with my right hand.
The next thing I knew my hand slipped from the steering wheel, pile driving my head into to wet pavement and there I lay. The pickup rolled on off, slowly. The light changed and the cars were bearing down on me. As much as I wanted to lay there, I had no choice but get my poor hurting butt up and dash for the pickup that Woody had somehow had managed to a bring to a halt.
When I got in with the ratchet in hand, Woody said “why did you do that” ? I couldn’t even come up with a response.
Later upon examining the tool, I found my initials on it. Shortly before that I had a full set of Craftsman Tools that I’d etched RGL on each piece. (The largest set Sears made) Paul’s tools had become so depleted that I had given him my personal tool set to keep him going.
Yes, Paul had left out right in front of us that morning.
For all of Paul’s faults, he could fix just about anything.