Miracles Do Exist!

At least I consider this to be a miracle, even if it is a small one.

Pull up a chair and I’ll tell you the story behind it. It starts in 1984 or ’85.

Back when I was living in San Jose, pretty much fucked up out of my gourd most days, I had a brand new Honda 450 street bike.

One hot Summer day I was tooling down one of the old main drags near downtown called West San Carlos.

This was the old part of town and most people avoided it except, you know, me.

As I was tooling down the street I see this ancient looking Cantina with a lone Harley sitting out front.

Having more balls than brains at the time, I decided to whip in and have a beer.

When I opened the door and stepped in, unbeknownst to me at the time, I had just brazenly walked into The Twighlight Zone.

It was an old bar. The kind that had the giant mirror that went all the way across the bar in the back.

There was a WWII Japanese Machine Gun hanging off of one of the support beams and it was so quiet all you could hear was the occasional car going by and the flies buzzing around.

There was one old Biker dude sitting at the bar with a Crown Royal on the rocks in front of him and an ancient old fucker sitting propped up in the corner behind the bar staring at me like he had just stepped in a warm pile of fresh cat shit, barefooted.

The biker dude was obviously in his mid 50’s and had long brown hair and a huge beard like ZZ Top.

There was a trough on the floor in front of the old wood bar for spitting in. That’s how old this place was. I was 24 or 25, skinny as a fucking rail, had long hair and a beard and pretty much figured I had just made a wrong move.

Never the less, I looked the old fucker giving me the stink eye behind the bar in the eyes and ordered a bottle of Budweiser.

It took him a bit but he finally staggered to his feet and bounced between the bar and the counter down to a cooler and brought me the beer. Fucking guy had to be in his 70’s at least and probably didn’t move too quick on one of his best days.

Other than that not a word had been said. I laid some money down, he went and made change, set it down and then went right back to his little stool and commenced to scowling again.

I sat down, looked straight ahead and started sipping on my beer.

As you can imagine, all I could see was myself and the back wall of the bar in the reflection of the mirror.

The old biker dude hadn’t moved a muscle and was doing the same thing, staring at himself in the mirror.

This went on for at least five minutes. Nothing but the occasional car going by and the flies buzzing all over the place.

All of a sudden the biker dude pipes up in this deep, gravely voice that was just as much of a growl as it was conversation.

Without looking away from the mirror, he says, “You ever been in the joint?”

It took me by surprise and after a second I simply said no.

“Well, ya just kinda got that look about ya.”

Then more dead silence. I finished my beer and left.

Unbeknownst to me, I had just met Ted and Phil.

Phil was the old dude who owned the bar and lived right behind it.

He was also Ted’s Uncle.

Ted and his kid owned an auto glass repair shop, among other things and were also the leaders of an unofficial biker gang.

The Cantina I had stumbled in was their fucking Headquarters.

Anyways, I found all this out later as of course I started going in there  as it was only about a mile and a half from where I lived. I wound up being kind of adopted by all these Biker dudes and had all kinds of fun.

All of this is back ground to the point of this miracle I mentioned earlier.

One of the people I met that was on the fringe of this group was an old half Mexican/ half Indian guy named Sam.

He actually looked more like an Eskimo but swore up and down he wasn’t.

Old Sam was cool.

He didn’t give a fuck about nothing.

To this day I’m not completely sure how he was mixed in with that group, he must have worked for Ted.

Like everyone else in that circle, Ol’ Sam liked to drink and get all fucked up.

One day Ol’ Sam must have been a little hard up for drinking money and he offered to sell me an almost brand new Sun Tune Up and Testing kit for $50.

As far as I knew, Sam didn’t turn wrenches so I had no idea why he had it or where it came from but I didn’t ask any questions and bought it off of him.

The plastic latches shit the bed back when I was wrenching at the Lincoln/ Mercury dealer so I had to come up with something to hold it closed.


It’s ugly but it works.

So I have had this almost forty years now.

It had a Dwell meter, Timing light, Vacuum gauge and a compression tester in this case.

Somewhere in the Mid 90’s, I loaned the Timing light to someone and never got the fucking thing back.

I replaced it with a Craftsman light and figured that was that, I’d never see that Timing Light again.


Four days ago, I found an original Sun Timing light for this kit on Craigslist and the guy only wanted $25 for it.

I wasted no time calling the number but all I got was an answering machine and never heard anything back.

Until today.

I got a call from the guy asking if I still wanted it. He had given his cell phone to his wife because she had left hers on top of the car then took off and drove over it. The number he had left on the Ad was his house phone and he never checked it for messages.

So I hauled ass over there, tested it and was amazed to see it still worked and handed him the money.

Twenty five years after losing that Timing light because some asshole never brought it back, I finally got the correct timing light for this kit that I bought way back in 1985.

If that ain’t a small miracle, I don’t know what one is.




23 thoughts on “Miracles Do Exist!

  1. So what do ya want for the Craftsman Timing light? Also, good score on that Sun Timing light! That is the main damn reason I never loan my tools unless I am standing right next to it and you abuse or misuse it one tiny, little iota bit ya never/ever get to use another… I am an asshole like that.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have a bud that lives in South Freakin’ Dakota that had a full Sun Diagnostic center with the manuals and he sold it for $50 bucks…


    • Crazy.
      Then again, I scored an old complete diagnostic center from the dealership that they were going to junk and wound up just giving it to my cousin because I wound up having to move and didn’t have a garage.
      The thing was huge and weighed half a ton.
      There’s been a lot of shit like that over the years I kick myself for getting rid of but when ya got no place to put it, ya have to do something with it. At least it didn’t get tossed out. There wasn’t a damn thing wrong with it, Ford made them buy the latest and greatest.


  3. After 46 years of wrenching. I told my Son when I die don’t sell my tools. I fed, clothe and put braces on you and your sisters teeth with them. I touched those tools more than I touched your Momma…..

    Liked by 3 people

  4. And I picked up that 1962 f100 yesterday. looks like I have almost enough parts for two trucks! two 312 y blocks , a 239 y block and a 233 six. three cabs and two sets of fenders.All I need is another frame.

    Liked by 1 person

    • And here I was thinking maybe you paid a little too much!
      You made out like a bandit. All that will bolt right on any frame up to ’66 but you probably already know that. Those 223 six cylinders were a damn good engine, I had one in one of mine for a while. Lots of torque and they don’t suck as much gas as the Y blocks.
      Keep me updated on your progress!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. The other day I managed buying something extra cool I only knew theoretically it existed: an optical range finder!
    It’s somewhat bulky but it works just fine, doesn’t need any batteries and is sturdy as hell.
    Having found that is also a small miracle to me.


  6. I was expecting that the dude trying to sell the timing light was the guy who originally borrowed yours.

    BTW: What are you asking for the Craftsman Timing light, shipped?


      • Phil, if Tsquare has a need You can give it to him. I don’t have anything yet that I can time or set a dwell. I am looking for a small, older truck preferably a 4 banger with a 4 or 5 speed in it.


        • Crap, damn fat fingers… it posted before I finished. I can wait to get a timing light and dwell meter and compression checker. Napa sells them, I have already checked here in Grangeville.


  7. Excellent closure to the tale. Like me, you are OC about tools being “right”.

    Currently I am searching for a very specific flat double box wrench with 16 and 18 MM ends of the Companion brand for the set I have – don’t know how, but that particular sucker vanished. The slot for it was on the tray but no wrench to be found, even got down on the floor searching under the toolbox and various vehicles Mind I have plenty of other wrenches, but not THAT ONE. Grrr!


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