Yeah, That Was My Ford Galaxie You Saw in a Ditch
It was supposed to roll to a show in Greeley, but instead, rolled into a drainage ditch. They say the silver lining is having a great story to tell, and this is mine.
Katherine is my 1967 Ford Galaxie 500, and she is my everything, including a huge pain in my ass last week . It was a day I had been looking forward to for months. I was so, so excited to do a 'Stars in the Galaxie' interview with a Grammy-nominated band.
But, that never happened. This did.
While I asked you guys what you thought happened (and there were some great guesses, including a thief's joyride, getting carried away with a song on the radio, and some cheap shots at my driving ability), here is what really happened.
She leaks a lot of oil, and she was low, so before heading out to Union Colony Civic Center, I thought it would be wise to go replenish my Valvoline stash. I then went to the auto parts store down the street from our studio on Main in Windsor.
When I pulled into the lot, I put the car in park, and set the parking brake, which did absolutely nothing as Katherine shot into reverse, and started rolling out of the parking space.
Obviously, I panicked. I was frantically pressing the brake, but I was no match for that boat of a car sliding in reverse, as it jumped the curb, went over a sidewalk, down the grass and into a drainage ditch.
There was nothing I could do at that point but brace myself for what was about to happen next, and that was a good, loud slam into a concrete drain, which dented the body a little bit, and prevented my car from moving at all.
Dashboard Jesus take the wheel. (Some think my '60s dash Jesus is a mockery, or a reference to the song 'Spacegrass' by the band Clutch, but it's actually not. It's a reminder that Katherine is my church and sanctuary; a lot of long drives and talking happen in there.)
Anyway, I about peed my pants. I have never lost control of a car before, and while it was awful and scary, I realize how much worse that could have been. I was lucky there was nothing behind me to hit; lucky that there was a ditch to stop my car from careening out into traffic on 392, causing a wreck or even hitting a building. Who knows when that thing would have stopped?
I was also lucky my dad was nearby. I didn't call 911 because I wasn't hurt and my car wasn't on fire or anything, but Windsor-Severance Fire Rescue did spot me in the ditch.
The thing about Windsor is, it's a small town so I, of course, knew the firefighter who responded, which just made the situation that much more embarrassing for me, and admittedly comical. They called Windsor Police, who said, 'Wasn't this car just at the radio station like, ten minutes ago?'
Sigh. They then got me a tow out.
So, what happened? Likely a 50-year-old transmission issue. Thankfully, I have been working with Bullhide 4X4 in Fort Collins about repairs that will be done on this car.
They have not started them yet, but have me scheduled for the car's first round of repairs next week, so I was able to get it towed there, only because I was too afraid to drive it after that. I think I'll be adding transmission work to my list.
I was incredibly disappointed that I didn't get to take the car out to Habajeeba like planned, but glad it was kind of a minor laugh-at-it-later incident, and not something bad.
Here's an update on the car courtesy of Bullhide 4X4: