I just realized that I didn’t finish outlining the van drama.
So Daddy gets it “fixed” in Orangeburg the day of the funeral and we start our journey back. It starts acting strange in Fountain Inn, so we stop to get someone to charge it up. Find a nice lady who lets us plug in for 15 minutes. As soon as Tom unplugs it, the lights gets dim, the sound of the engine changes – the problem obviously hasn’t been resolved.
So Tom, at Mama’s urging, takes off out of the parking lot, driving like a bat out of hell with headlights that are becoming dimmer by the second… Jennifer, Susanna and I struggle to get our seatbelts on as quickly as possible, while Mama laughs manically and Susanna says “we’re gonna die, we’re gonna die, we’re gonna die.” We make it about 2 miles when the van quits again – Tom manages to coast into a dark gravel parking lot.
And for the next 2 hours – until 11:30, that’s where we proceed to sit. We pee behind the dark building, I called Triple A repeatedly and showed my ass to no avail – and Daddy, who left Bowman after us, and Bobby, who had gone back several hours ahead of us – beat Triple A to us… Oh, it was one for the Weathers family memory book, let me tell you.