My first wife Gail became a player on a softball team shortly after we moved to Oklahoma. Oklahoma is a hotbed for women’s softball. The kind usually seen on ESPN is fast pitch. Gail played third base on a slow pitch team.
Gail’s new friend Vickie, who played second base, and her husband John, soon became our best friends. Not realizing that Gail and Vickie were already friends, I had met John when we inadvertently sat together at a game. Our wives were losing badly to a much better team. Some of the opposition’s husbands and boy friends began expressing their distain by braying like deranged jackasses whenever our team committed an error, or someone on their team hit a homerun.
John and Vickie liked doing many of the same things as Gail and I. Like us, they were both avid campers, but that was just one of the many things we did together. John, it seemed, liked everything that I liked – motorcycles, fast cars and strong beer. He also had a strong attraction for British sports cars.
When I met him, he had two Triumphs, a TR3 and a TR4 that he was restoring. I badgered him so much that he finally sold me the TR4, and along the way, I sold him my Triumph Bonneville 750 motorcycle that I had grown tired of riding only during the day. In those days British cars, and motorcycles, had electronics by Lucas.
For those aficionados out there, you already know that many called Lucas the “Prince of Darkness.” This is because of the propensity of the lights and wiring of cars and motorcycles using Lucas Electronics to fail at the most inopportune times. When the headlights would abruptly go out while driving the TR4 at night, I was deft at restoring power by manipulating the wiring behind the dash, all the while never removing my foot from the gas pedal.
Our marriages to Gail and Vickie are both defunct but John and I are still friends, even after several decades. I also still have the TR4, now parked in my garage, desperately in need of a new restoration. After all these years, I sometimes have to restrain myself from braying like a deranged jackass when I see someone performing at less than one hundred percent.