My First Day Away

I remember the first day away from my parents after graduating and getting a job.

You might too.

It is a traumatic day… you're nervous, you're moving out, things are about to change radically for you!

In my case, I had been away at college for 3 years and had graduated with a degree in Computer Science.

It was 1979 and pretty easy to find a programming job so that wasn't hard.

But I had grown up in Gainesville Florida and the new job was in St. Louis Missouri… that's a LONG drive.

I had purchased a new car (a Honda Civic and it was small and cute).

It was packed with everything I needed.

Mom and Dad said their good-byes.

We took the traditional photo of my standing by the car with all my belongings inside.

There was the usual nervous/awkward good bye gut wrenching stuff…

And then I was off!

Highway 75 wasn't far from our house… and within 10 minutes I was on the highway that was going to take me to St. Louis and a new life.

Within 10 minutes driving down the highway, the car suddenly shut off!

I had to pull over.

Picture 1979… no cell phones, no iPhone, no internet…

Stuck on the side of the highway with no car maintenance skills!


And a Honda!

They were known for their reliability dammit. That's why I bought it.

Like less than 100 miles on it new.

And there I was stuck on the side of the highway with the world passing by.

Some great start!

In fact, it was 40 years ago! I had forgotten about that until just now… it was January, 1979.

Of course I looked under the hood… it was all so pretty and clean… and not working!

But I didn't know the foggiest thing about why it wasn't working.

But I looked good looking under the hood LOL!

I frankly don't remember how I got to a phone… I kinda think a Highway Patrol officer came by but I don't remember… I don't remember walking to the next exit to find a phone so someone must have stopped — and there weren't cell phones so someone didn't just call for help.

But it was also a SUNDAY!

Nobody was working… the car dealer wasn't open.

So even if I could get it towed, nobody would work on it until Monday.

Somehow, we connected to a tow truck and it took a while but he showed up and towed my car to the car dealer.

And somehow I called my parents to shock the bejeebers out of them and to beg them to come get me at the dealer.

So I spent another day and night at home (and most of my stuff was in the car so I didn't have comfort things and stuff)… and I recon my parents were happy, but man, I wasn't!

So Monday morning the car dealer called.

I was dreading to find out how much it was going to cost to fix — and remember way back then, there weren't these crazy ‘three year everything's covered warrantees'

But the service guy said “the wire on the distributor cap came off… you're ready to go!”

And I said “WHAT!???”

All that was a problem was a loose wire?


But thankful none the less.

So my trip for my new life began with a loose wire and an extra day… but I was happy and on my way!

Ever have a loose wire slow you down?

Shoot for the moon!