Sunday, May 11, 2008

All Points Bulletin: Missing Jails Van!

Imagine having to go on safari to find a 1995 Chevy Safari! That's just what happened at our County Repair facilities the other day. No one could find our broken-down van.

Returning from a day at the Jail, our trusty vehicle broke down on a busy section of the highway. We were instantly whisked to safety by the CHP Towing Service. Then the fun began. The County contracts out its towing service to a trustworthy company, with agents in many states. Press 6 for our county in California, Press 7 for Iowa.

In time, a truck showed up to tow the van to a County Repair shop. After the driver attached the wheels and hopped in the cab with me, we started toward the Library--where I was to be dropped off.

An incident from my father's life popped into mind. Never one to sit silent in a cab with a total stranger, I related the story. During WW2, dad was a flight instructor in the Army Air Corps. He was dispatched from Mississippi to Kentucky with a glider in tow. At some point over Kentucky the glider floated free from the plane and they arrived at the airfield without it. With a chuckle, I recounted this incident to the tow-truck driver. I was sure all his tow-ees had arrived safely at their repair stations.

Little did I know how prophetic my anecdote would be. The tow truck arrived at one of the three repair facilities at 6:00, several hours after closing. (So the driver had no place to leave the van.) Did he take it to another yard with a later quittin' time? That was a possibility. But no one knew. No one knew where the van was for days. Posses were sent out scouting neighborhoods around the yards to find a lonely Jails Van. No luck!

Two days later, the van was located. The driver had squirreled the 16-foot vehicle away at his facility, presumably where no one could SEE it. Now it's sittin' pretty on it's hydraulic lift, gettin' a new fuel pump or alternator. We HOPE!

Did I mention the County Neurosurgeon had contracted out it's future appointments for Brain Surgery? Call 1-800-where's my head!