Once again I found myself sitting bolt upright behind the wheel of a ’61 Lincoln, watching the tension on the tow strap as we made our slow way up back roads to the repair shop. There were a couple of differences this time: The horn would sound when I tried to start the car, the windows were up and staying that way, and the tow strap was attached to a different part of Rudy’s truck. The last became significant as we turned onto Central and I watched Rudy’s bumper bend. Bummer.
The car had been released by the shop, not with a clean bill of health but with the assertion that it would run OK. Bzzzt. Incorrect response. It almost made it back to Rudy’s house before conking out. Back we went. The car ran fine off the gas in a plastic gas can, and the mechanic offered to rig that up under the hood so we could shoot with the car. I vetoed that on safety grounds. Things will be getting hot in that engine compartment. I cringed and authorized further mechanic’s time to go over the fuel system from the tank forward. If it was bad gas rotting in an old tank, things could get expensive, and there was no guarantee that we would have a useable Crusader when it was done. Yikes.
While this was going on, I was aware that fuego was in the air, heading this way. I was looking forward to someone who knew how to make a movie arriving on the scene. As a bonus, fuego is the owner of the backup Crusader, and it is he who could best call the shots when it came to cutting up the Hotelsmobile.
Late that night I made my way to the airport and met the arrival of our director. Rudy was there as well, to say a brief hello. fuego, tired from travel, aborted our green chile finding mission. We retired to our country estate were we sipped suds and discussed movie issues for a while until fuego could stay awake no longer. I lay awake for a while, anticipating my slow fade into irrelevance on this production. I will still have things to do, but already most of the tricky stuff has been assigned to people more qualified to do it. I feel better already.