The kids were excited as they ran over to meet Sam. “This is so cool”, my son Bob said. “This flooring has to go” – from Allie. We were all pumped up and ready to drive him off to the repair shop to get some new tires. I pulled up on the choke, put it in neutral, and turned the key. It sounded like it was going to start and then nothing. And more nothing. Allie turned on Start me up from her iPhone and that did nothing. Over and over we tried but nothing. I called the guy that sold me Sam and he said just keep pumping the gas as you try to start it. I tried that and still nothing. Our excitement was fading and it was starting to get dark. Finally, I said we’ll give it 3 more tries and then we’ll have to come back next weekend when the guy who sold me Sam is around. Final try number 1 – no success. Final try number 2 – no success. Final try number 3 – Allie turn on Won’t get fooled again by The Who and Sam started sputtering. I couldn’t believe it (The Who is my favorite band). We couldn’t quit now. A couple more tries and he was started. I let him warm up and then shifted him into first gear. Now, this is a 4 speed on a column that I have no experience with. I’m used to on the floor shifting. My heart was pumping! I didn’t even drive Sam before I bought it.
We had to exit on a hill and head down a dirt road. I didn’t think we’d make it up the hill, but Sam just putted up. We got out on the dirt road and we were off. It was like trying to steer a boat and when it came to stopping it was omg. No power steering or power brakes. I had chosen to drive Sam to Big o tire which was 8 miles away. The owner had suggested having it towed because the tires were so old and dry rotted. It would of cost me $350 to have it towed, so I opted to take my chances and use that money for part of the money for the tires. The only bad part of this plan was I had no experience driving a 4 speed on the column and no practicing in a parking lot. It was all or nothing. Showtime and I was on. First gear was a real trip..very close to reverse. I had a heck of a time getting a feel for that. Sam’s headlights didn’t help matters with just covering a small amount of space in front. As I said my heart was pumping and I hadn’t felt so alive in a long time. We discovered the blinkers and brake lights also didn’t function correctly. Bob was behind me in his vehicle and I was afraid at traffic stops I’d accidentally slam into him thinking I was in first gear. To top it off things were flying out of the cupboards and right behind my ear all I could hear was a lot of squeaking. Somehow I managed to get Sam to Big O and with that, I took a big breath and said to myself – what a first Adventure!!
Okay, so who is Sam? Sam is a 1968 Chevy van (307 engine) that has been converted to a motorhome that has what I believe is a lazy daze on it. The only thing I could find that is comparable on the internet is a Dodge lazy daze. I’ve been reading all about van life and watching YouTube. Every once in a while I would view craigslist just to get an idea of how much they would cost. I kept coming across Sam and finally, I decided to go check him out. When I got out of my car and saw him in person, I almost got back in and said see you later. He was showing his age and that intimated me. I know nothing really about vehicles. I decided to stay though and check him out. I still didn’t think I’d pull the trigger, but the longer I stayed the more I started bonding with Sam. Like I said I was scared to death of getting him, and then it clicked. All I’ve been reading about lately is to push through your fears. The little Dwight inside said fuck ya get it. The big rational Dwight said run..run fast. I decided for once to listen to the little voice inside!! Here he is and I hope you enjoy me blogging about our adventures together.