1967, I’m going to say, though it might have been 1968, my somewhat newlywed wife and I headed from Houston to my home town of Portales, NM, for reasons I no longer fathom. Driving a 10 year-old Fairlane 500. Crossed the easy Texas parts without incident, but around midnight pulled over 12 miles outside Big Spring, TX to piss and kiss, most likely.
Shut down the engine and when I went to start it again the battery was dead. Soooo, we bundled up and tried to sleep, but pre-dawn I was on the shoulder of the road trying to flag down someone with booster cables. Watching the light emerge and a mesa-like hill across the highway a few miles.
Nice guy in a pickup stopped and boosted us off. When I thanked him he commented he just couldn’t leave anyone stranded 12 miles outside Big Spring, Texas. Fixed that hill to the west and the distance in my mind forever.
So last week when I was headed here, saw the sign south of Big Spring, BIG SPRING 13 miles and remembered, began watching for that hill. There it was, just as obvious as that morning so long ago.
BOOM WHACK CLUNKCLUNKCLUNKBANGCLUNK!
Blew out the inside rear tire on the driver side.
But no way I was pulling over and shutting down my engine. So I drove on into Big Spring, eased west toward Andrews. Didn’t blow the second tire until 15 miles from here.
Some things in this life a person doesn’t need to learn twice. Even if he’s me. That place 12 miles south of Big Springs is one of them.