One of Agnes’ most treasured possessions is probably her ’91 or ’94 (seems there’s a conspiracy afoot) Toyota Celica affectionately named Hammerhead. Together they’ve covered roughly 217,000 miles. The paint has dulled to a grey-ish hue. The seats have ripped. The A/C ducts are all willy nilly. The carpeting lifts at the edges. The dashboard says “poop” in faded white out. The trunk is held open by a monopod, 2X4, or most times…Leonard. Still, Agnes loves this little 2 door and Hammerhead most certainly loves Agnes! The two share a special bond. Aggy’s grandma was the original owner. She was full of moxy in her hip hatchback and promised the Toyota to Aggy. Aggy, in turn, vowed to keep that thing running come hell or high water…no seriously! Since then Ag and Hammah (to her homies) have been inseparable. There have been countless trips to Orlando and Tampa and all over. Hammerhead has been a storage unit. She’s been a closet. She’s been a moving truck. She’s been a recording studio. You get the drift! Well, this week Hammerhead got sick. Over the years there’s been this and that but never like this. She was spewing oil and and lost power steering…all on I275 in Tampa. Aggie was distraught! She pulled off the highway to their destination in Ybor. Leonard hopped out to look under the hood. He’s not a mechanic, but this night he played one to the best of his ability. Upon first sight it was clear that the power steering belt was shredded, taking another belt or two with it. There was oil all over poor Hammerhead’s engine and she smelled of coolant. There wasn’t much Leonard could do beyond his initial and obvious diagnosis, “Dag nab it Agnes. This thing is all gummed up!” The duo weighed their options and decided it best not to try to drive much further that night. They sought refuge in South Tampa with the intention of visiting Tampa’s best mechanic, Bill of Bill’s Family Auto, in the morning. When they arrived at their accommodations (thanks again Kaeleen) Hammerhead was burning up. They bid her goodnight, hoping she’d cool off. The next morning they woke with the sun and wrestled the powerless steering 3 miles to Bill’s. There was a line of worried car parents in the waiting room. The man in front of L+A was told his car couldn’t be seen for a couple days. When it was her turn, Agnes batted her eyelashes (frustratingly irresistible), and had Bill was under the hood within 10 minutes. The two looked on as Dr. Bill and his greasy nurses tended to the patient. They sat outside and inside. They walked to the corner store for drinks and gum. They played basketball with their gum wrappers. Two hours later the surgical team emerged, exhausted and shopworn. Leo and Aggy held hands, bracing for the worst. The worst was only 168 bucks!! Hammerhead needed a little tightening here and there and 3 new belts. Other than that A+L were told to make sure she had plenty of fluids, an annual check up and all the premium gas she desired. Hammah was processed and released that day to Aggy’s watchful care. What a relief! Girl and car reunited, with Leonard in tow. Here’s to another 217,000 miles of memories!
Agnes and Hammerhead…a tribute.