Jack McCollom's XKE
10 December 2004 - Friday ~
eds. note: received the following e-mail from Jack. Poor guy, he never realized I can’t
be trusted with privvy information...
I see you put my email to you on your site. This is embarrassing. It was meant to a "tongue in cheek" to you. Now people
are coming up to me on the street, asking for my autograph, taking pictures, etc. Better take it off, there is talk of running
me for public office. That's no good 'cause strange dogs scare me.
09 December 2004 - Thursday ~
Update on Jack’s Texas trip...
background: Jack left here two days before Thanksgiving to be with family in California. At his sister’s - Suzie in
Los Osos - he rebuilt the water pump on the Jag before heading out to Texas. I received this msg from him the morning 7th
As I was leaving Commerce (east of Dallas) yesterday, "smoke" started bellowing out of the hood. I thought no problem, I'll
just pull over to the side, and rebuild the engine. It seems that the pulley came off of the alternator, throwing the belt
(thus no water pump), and causing the coolant to boil out of the radiator. Why would the coolant boil out? Well it seems
that the operating engineer didn't put the cap on tight when adding coolant last, a few miles before. Hard to get good help.
Anyway, a blessing in disguise, as they say, for the "smoke" alerted me to the rising temp. as the gage might not have.
The needle didn't hit the max, so no damage. More later....
Then an update around midnight -
The saga continues:
So there I was broke down and alone in the wasteland northwest of Dallas. I was towed to a garage what does Chevys an such.
All six mechanics, the forman, the parts man, and two customers, gathered around the Jag like it was fresh off the planet
Mongo. But they got no pulley to fit, and they had a box a pulleys. So I suggested a wrecking yard to pull one off an old
Jag. Seemed a capital idea to me. The forman looked at me real hard and said: "Son, your in Commerce, Texas now. Folks
around here have never heard a this car, let alone seen one. You won't find that part in these parts."
But as I've come to know, a Texan is nothing if not persistent. So one good ol’ boy (I don't know why people say that,
so I guess I shouldn't say it, as he didn't seem particularly good nor that old; so I will rephrase and call him "a fellow"),
so... one somewhat decent middle aged fellow commenced to grind, drill, file, an pound of a pulley to fit, an by gum, he
got it on. But it was wobbly. I looked so down in the mouth (another saying I don't understand) that he started over on
it, and by cracky, he done got it to fit jess right. But now the pulley was too large for the Jag belt to fit over it. But
there was no stoppen him now, with a large pry bar..... that belt was so tight you could here it hum "the stars are bright..."
Well they wouldn't take a cent, an all six of em lined up to wave me off, with a lot of laughter. Hmmm....
I got about eight miles before the belt shredded six ways from Sunday.
A more narrow, deserted, forlorn stretch a road, right smack dab in the middle a nowhere (which in Texas is between Commerce
and Cooper) I have not seen, but at least it was dark. I'm talkin' ace-a-spades, guy in the coal bin dark.
When I bought my new cell phone I ask for one without a camera. I just can't stand faddy, techie, follow the trendy mob
over the cliff scene. So the Verizon guy sold me a camera phone with road service. So I call Verizon in Santa Clara
and explained everything. They connected me to customer service in Pittsburgh and I explained everything, they route me to
road service in Illinois and I explained everything, they checked their client database in Colorado and informed me that in
order to serve me better I should tell him what the nearest cross street is. So I carefully explained everything for the
fifth time where I am, that there are not any land marks or other distinguishing characteristics on this highway, it just
goes along from Commerce to Cooper and there aren’t any, no not any, as in no cross streets in this part of
hell!!! So then he asks me what state I'm in. I couldn't speak. I was in the state of extreme anxiety swiftly
rising to focused violence, and if could have managed to penetrate, with my focused power, through the phone lines, I do believe
I would have throttled him.
But now it was raining, now a thunderstorm, now a torrential downpour. I am the sort of person that prefers for catastrophes
to plod along at a reasonable pace so one has the opportunity to define the first one before the next one strikes. As I waxed
philosophical while musing with the digital moron from Verizon, I glanced in the rear mirror in time to notice the flare I
had placed in the road sputter out. It was lit in the vain hope of dissuading the maniacal truck drivers from striking the
little sports car at the narrow side of the road. The speed limit is 60 mph, and since it's raining they try to keep a steady
85 mph in their heroic effort to keep Paris in supplies. So I leave the moron to talk to himself, fully suspecting by this
time it's just a recording, grab a flare, pry open the door, and launch out into the deluge.
Placing a flare is not science, but does take some consideration. How far from the road, how far from the car, and other
things that I don't know about. So I light it, throw it over my shoulder and get back in the car. He's still on the phone.
I'm wet to the bone, windows fogged to white slime, truck blasts by at 87 mph rocking the car with it's wet roar, moron says
he can't find any tow truck in my area. I ask for his home address, he doesn't answer. I give him the number for the guy
who towed me last time. He says he'll call me back. I think of the Godfather, should I ask him for one favor. I call Linda.
She wants to help, but she doesn't know the Godfather's number. I hang up. Moron calls back, says the truck will be there
in forty-five minutes. He asks me if I need anything else. I don't answer him. I hang up.
Now I realize it's time to talk to my imaginary friend. Why am I the only one without an imaginary friend? Everyone says
"oh when I was a kid and feeling down, I would talk to my imaginary friend Binky and everything would be all right". So I
just sat there and pretended to talk to the Godfather. You see Godfather I need one favor, there is this moron......
Oh well, the truck came, towed me to a parts store, I got a new belt, blah, blah, blah, it's a day later and I'm in Paris...
20 November 2004 - Thursday ~
My cousin, Jack McCollom, out of Sedona, Arizona, arrived on Tuesday, the 2nd of November. He’s on the way to Texas
and stopped over here to work on his 1966 Jaguar XKE which has been in storage for sometime. He hauled it over from California
on a trailer towed by his van. At this writing, he’s done a major cleanup on the car, installed an electronic ignition
mod, polished the bright stuff under the bonnet-valve covers, etc-and various other items to get it ready for the run to Texas.
Today he’s working on the coolant system, and then he’s off to Texas in a couple of days. Should be a fun drive.