Monday, September 13, 2010

The Good Dutchman

Cedar Springs, Michigan

Monday, September 13, 2010

I've enjoyed reading your comments on the last blog posting, and it's good to know the peanut gallery is warming, as I am, to the resumption of the walk.

I wish I could say the starting problem with the motor home is behind me, but it isn't, quite. On Saturday I drove it down to Byron Center to buy a new towing dolly, from the same place where I bought the last one (which went with the other motor home when I sold it). The guy sells motor homes and dollies and other such things from a barn behind his farm house. Born in the Netherlands, he came over here as a boy of seven in the early 50s.

As I mentioned in a posting last year, the majority of the Dutch in western Michigan came earlier, and were mostly right-wing evangelical farmers from Friesland and elsewhere in the north of the country. The Netherlands was no doubt happy to be rid of them. I can only imagine wistfully such an emigration from this country, perhaps to an archipelago in the far Pacific, or in an expedition to enslave and exploit the natives of New Guinea and build the New Jerusalem. Unfortunately, they seem instead to be headed for Washington DC.

Politically, the towing dolly man was no exception to the rule hereabouts. He said his father left their little town in Groningen because he was tired of the government telling him how much he could make and what he could do. "That's not freedom," his father had said. An early refugee from postwar European social democracy. Well, no worries here on that head. The Birchers who seem to control our national dialogue would condemn the very idea of stop signs as a socialist plot if it were proposed today, and if there were any socialists around here to do the plotting.

Meanwhile, back in the driveway of this "good Dutchman," as my father no doubt would have called him (the adjective "good" being by him indiscriminately applied whenever the word following had anything to do with the Netherlands), the damned motor home once again refused to start. This time, however, it wasn't the battery hookup--at least not entirely--but the starter. It made a sort of vrooooming sound nine times out of ten, but finally did start. The good Dutchman opined that it sounded like the bendix gear in the starter wasn't working. He suggested I replace the bendix. I thought, maybe you could do that, but I think I'll splurge and get a whole new (or rebuilt) starter. I can just see me taking the starter apart and ending up with a bunch of extra parts when it's all together again. (Come to think of it, that happened to me one time when I replaced a carburetor. I had a handful of cotter pins and widgets left over, but the car ran. Not well, of course.)

So today it's off to the auto parts store again, where they're starting to recognize me when I come in. Nice bunch of guys, too.

Fix Or Repair Daily.


Billie Bob said...

Let's hope it's not any missing teeth on the flywheel.

Anonymous said...

I am ever amazed at your patience with machinery!I would have stroked out long before now. As Mario would say "You are a good man Mr. Teeuwissen". Anguish

Peter Teeuwissen said...

Mario! Haven't thought of him in years.

To Billie Bob: I think it's a bendix problem, because it either starts just fine or goes vroooooooom, as if the motor is racing but the gears aren't even touching. But thanks for the extra thing to worry about. And when all is said and done it could still be an electrical problem, too.