Janie & I could tell you about the many nights I’ve spent in a GMC, the places we’ve been and the things we’ve seen but I feel this, to date, has been the most relaxing, most meaningful nights we’ve spent in these special vehicles. Your first book, the first time you balanced yourself on a bicycle, how bout your first date or where you were the morning of the Challenger disaster — all of these have taken over a special place in your mind and in your heart. Well, this first night sleeping in Jay Gee easily qualifies as a member of that memorable group of events.
You see, Jay Gee and I have been brought together in a way that we may never part. Jim G. had been taking loving care of this 73 Canyon Land, improving on the coach, adding his special touch and through his abilities and creativity made the perfect home away from home for his family. Now, with this part of anothers family now brought into ours, there needed to be the formal introduction of these 2 beings in “The First Night Out”.
Jay Gee had been in our fold now for several weeks, I saw it as giving him a rest after the traumatic relocation and changing hands. He fell across the gate line giving his all getting me here. The bolts in the fan had come loose and as I turned into the shop, the fan gave up such a clatter that there was little doubt there was a problem. I had piloted the coach some 500 miles without much more than a squint of brakes, coming through downtown Orlando traffic on a Saturday night was interesting but Jay Gee brought me on in and other than the shorts gathered up in the driver seat, no one else knew a thing. An air line had popped off and the next morning the left side of the coach was o the ground– but it got me home and for that I say this coach was meant for me.
We have totally rehabbed the brakes, new everything, replaced the missing fan bolt and tightened the rest. I’ve been getting my thoughts together in attacking the motor, it was missing a bit coming in the gate. Fouled plug, bad wire, maybe a loose carb, there was something going on and a full tune up is at hand but the first thing at hand was this meeting we have with the coach.
My son, Ray, came up to the shop to help with the festivities. The plan was simple “You can travel on ten thousand miles and still stay where you are” were the words from a Harry Chapin song where he freely admits that years of looking around the country for whatever his life was put here to do ended up finding that purpose in the same place where he had left. Jay Gee was not yet ready for a meaningful road trip but in reality we did not need to go anywhere to experience what is the beginning of a wonderful relationship. We would camp out in our parking lot like so many visitors to our shop had done and nestled in with the rest of the herd we would get to know Jay Gee right here were it all is. I drug the 30 amp cord out just I had done for many people choosing to camp out here in the lot but this time it was for Janie & me. Next to Larry, squatted to where his back door was ground bound, we transferred over blankets, pillows and various other personal things. I flipped on the brand new Norcold Frig., the hall light and the radio. As the sun was setting, Ray came back with the party feast— Pizza and beer was on tap for this celebration , we don’t need no stinkin table cloth! We have a wood picnic table, some paper plates and a box full of cheese and sauce– the party was complete .
Jay Gee did his job well, the beer stayed cold in the frig while he kept us warm as the night brought the cold and we went in for the night. The party continued though, the recliners were just the thing after a long days work. Jim G. had paid attention to detail when he worked with his coach. Woodworking must have been a passion because there was much of it inside. , can’t tell if the roadrunner was hand carved by him but it was painstakingly sculped and placed in a position of prominence by him. The floors were of the same detail that set the tone of the interior of relaxation. At the door above the original systems monitor that by the way still worked was a picture of what I would guess must have been their creedo while traveling — love of the road doesn’t get much stronger than this . It was a perfect night in a perfect place.
Our son left to meet some friends– wonder if he told them his parents were camping the night in the parking lot at their shop? Hey, it didn’t seem unusual to him!
The night had made us tired so it was time to sleep and with a cup of water, I dropped on the mattress like a bag of rocks. Didn’t see or hear a thing till the morning– a restful night to be sure.
The next morning started off with some mellow music and Cheerios from a cup (no bowls). And as soon as Janie & I finish the morning wake up with Charles Osgood, hey– I’m already at work! A great quiet day to work, not too hot, not cold and no rain– it’s why we live here in Florida. A couple of pieces of leftover pizza and I’m off to work.
The first night in Jay Gee is done, we’re close personal friends now, everything worked and I appreciate the great night he gave us. Like I said, this is the start of a beautiful relationship. OK, the relationship is with a man and a machine but hey, its still important! If you own a GMC, go on out there and give it a hug, if you don’t yet count a GMC as your friend— keep your eyes open, there’s one out there for you.