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A Serpentine Story

Activities and Exhibits

Doris and I were west-bound on I-40 in North Carolina, headed for home on Saturday afternoon when we heard a very high pitched "siren-like" sound. The steering became very heavy and I thought we'd had a flat tire. I turned to the emergency lane just as smoke began billowing from under the hood of our car.

We bailed out as quickly as possible and after making sure that Doris was safely away from the car, I lifted the hood. A small amount of smoke was still coming from what used to be a pulley and from the serpentine belt that had become wedged into a crevice on the engine.

A call to GM roadside assistance, produced wrecker driver Travis with a flatbed hauler in just over 30 minutes. Very impressive!

On the way to "Rooster Bush Cadillac - GMC - Buick - Chevrolet" in Morganton, NC, Travis, after expressing his genuine sorrow at our mishap, told me that the dealership would be closed until Monday morning. He asked me, with a smile, if, " I'd ever seen the episode from the Andy Griffith Show where the stranger's car breaks down in Mayberry on a Saturday and he has to spend the weekend?"

When I told him that I actually had, he said, "That's where you are, Mayberry. Not much will happen here until Monday morning." (I should say that our second son, Eric, went to college at Lenoir Rhyne in Hickory, NC, so we were familiar with with the area and with Morganton. It may be like Mayberry in that folks are down to earth and friendly but it's one of the larger cities in that part of NC.)

There was an auto parts store open, so on the way to the dealership, he stopped to see if they had the parts needed. My hopes were up but when the man behind the counter said they would not be available until Monday...we both knew that we should go to Rooster's.

We took the car to a motel that was within walking distance of the dealership, unloaded the "important" items, Travis helped, Doris checked us in and I went with Travis and the car to Rooster Bush Cadillac - GMC - Buick - Chevrolet.

I left a note in the drop box along with the keys and went to the motel for the weekend.

Let me say a word here about the folks at the motel, the Hampton Inn at exit 105. If you ever need a place to stay in that area, please give them a try. It's a beautiful place, with great rooms and an excellent staff.

Fast forward to Monday morning at 8:00:
I called and spoke with Kristine, the service writer, at Rooster's, my new best friend. She already had my car inside and the mechanics were looking at it. She told me she'd call as soon as she knew something.

In about an hour Kristine called to let me know they'd have the necessary parts in about 30 minutes and should have it repaired and ready to roll in an hour after that.

True to her word, Kristine called me to tell me that my car was ready but that when they got the car running, they discovered that the air conditioning unit had been damaged by the serpentine belt and needed to be replaced.

Kristine told me that they could have the AC unit on Tuesday. She also said that she understood that we needed to get back to Illinois as soon as possible and that that the car was "road worthy".

Since we should have been home on Saturday or Sunday at the latest. we elected to drive the 9 hours home with no A.C. After all, it was only in the high 90s.

The return trip was not really all that unpleasant but that's not the point of this story at all. My point and hopefully I've conveyed it, is the absolute goodness and helpfulness of the people we encountered.

Travis the wrecker driver was prompt in his arrival, very friendly, helpful and told us several times how sorry he was that we'd had this misfortune.

Kristine the service writer, how can I possibly say enough good things about her? She was really on the ball and did all that she could to get us back on the road quickly and safely.

She expressed her regrets for our problems, was very sincere, prompt and efficient. She also provided us with a dry place to load our vehicle and get ready for our journey home. She's first class in every respect!

Rooster Bush's Cadillac - GMC - Buick - Chevrolet - GMC dealership was quite impressive and obviously an emphasis has been placed on customer service.

If I lived in NC I'd certainly consider that dealership for my next GM vehicle.

As a matter of fact, I may consider them anyway! Our son travels the whole state of SC and part of NC. He took us to pick up our car on Monday and was really impressed with their service.

If they show a complete stranger that kind of consideration, I can just imagine how well they'd treat a regular customer.

We're also very thankful that we made it home safely. We traveled over 2000 miles and other than this "blip" had no problems whatsoever.

It was a good trip, we shot well, saw some old friends, had a good time and our home was waiting for us upon our return.

Now it's back to work, cleaning guns, testing new products and getting ready for the next road trip.



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