Sunday, December 19, 2010


Yesterday, a nice day for a drive, I took the Lake Rd. from Webster, intending to travel to Pultneyville, to visit a friend. After driving a short distance in Webster, through a beautiful winding, woodsy area, I noticed each time the car encountered a knoll to climb, it began to cough and choke. After about a mile of that, it lost all power. I scanned the road for a safe shoulder to pull off; nothing. As I began to slow down to a slow coast, I had to make a judgement call and bail into a nearby driveway. I was now off the road. Trying the starter, I could tell it was not getting gas. The stiff-headed Sicilian in me, counseled that one of the two fuel pumps had quit. I reached for the cell phone and called AAA. I advised my situation and position, adding that there was a freak chance I had run out of fuel. As I was blocking some one's driveway, they put a priority on the call. The sun was shinning, and I stepped out of the car to enjoy the woods across the road. Both sides of the road where lined with heavy barked trees, climbing 75 to 100 feet. I was entranced by the song of the tree limbs, squeaking against each other and swaying to and fro. Once in a while, one of the trees would raise it's voice above the rest with a loud snap. It had been quite a while since I had the chance to be in the woods, quiet, alone, serenaded by the trees. Nice! Within 15 minutes, a guy from the Webster Fire Dept. pulled up to make sure I was off the narrow road in a safe spot. He advised me the tow truck would be along in a couple minutes. The tow gut arrived, I advised him of the possible out of gas scenario. He dispensed a couple gallons in the tank. I hit the starter a few turns, but nothing. As the car was parked on the steep incline of the driveway, he thought maybe by lifting the back end up level, it would move the fuel forward. Up went the rear of the Volvo, round went the starter, and no response from poor ole Gustoff. He continued to hitch it up to the tow truck and we headed off back to the city, Volvo, following behind. He backed it into my driveway, unhooked it, I thanked him and away he went. I was about to go in the house to warm up a bit when I decided to try the starter once again. After a couple turns, the car responded with a quick sputter. I cycled the starter again and this time it fired and started with a powerless idle. I stepped on the gas pedal and it stalled. I counted to 10, hit the ignition switch again, and it started up like nothing was ever wrong! I stepped on the gas once more and it roared into action. The last time I ran out of gas was about 28 years ago. I reckoned I was about due again. I thanked God that it was a nice day, I was not on some goat path of the Finger Lakes in the dead of night, and that I did not have to plan on a repair bill one week before Christmas! Long live AAA!

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