My 2019 Great Lakes Road Trip Part 14B

5 Feb

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

Day 14 – Monday August 5 (Continued)

To continue this day’s activities, and as I mentioned last week, at the Chicago Maritime Museum, I was interested to read, as part of the museum’s information, the story of the two 1900s paddle-wheel passenger steamers that the U.S. Navy converted to the aircraft carriers “USS Sable” and “USS Wolverine” during WWII.  These two carriers were stationed in Lake Michigan and Chicago was their home port.  The two aircraft carriers were used to train U.S. Navy carrier pilots.  Navy records indicate that many aircraft were lost in the lake, due to multiple causes, and the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum in Florida, where I now volunteer as a tour guide, has one of the restored F4F Wildcat airplanes that was recovered from the lake 1993.  However, that fascinating story is for another time and another blog.  Look for that blog coming soon.

As I was leaving the maritime museum, I ran over something and damaged a tire on my rental car.  I had made plans to have dinner with my niece, Karen, and her husband, Brian, that evening, so I called to tell them I might be late.  Brian is a great communicator, and he set about to locate the closest Avis agency for me.  He found one within 3-miles of where I was stranded.  This car did not have a spare tire (only an Emergency Repair Kit), so we called the Avis Roadside Assistance people for a tow.

The Avis Roadside Assistance wanted to tow my car 20+ miles to trade cars with me.  Brian said, “In Chicago’s rush-hour traffic that will take hours!”  So, we ended up using my personal Roadside Assistance people, who said they would take me to the closest Avis agency.  They said they could have a tow-truck to my location within one hour.  That was great.  But then about 45 minutes later, they called to tell me that the driver had been given the wrong address, and it would be another hour before he could get to my location.  It was a total of three hours before the tow-truck finally dropped me off at the local Avis lot.   The agent said they didn’t have another car of the type I was driving, or even a tire to exchange, and anyway they were getting ready to close.  Did all this upset me?  Nahh!  

Just to show you how good God is.  There just happened to be a Goodyear Tire shop right next door to Avis.  Now is that a coincidence or what?  So I thanked Him for the tire shop, bit the bullet and took the car to Goodyear for a new tire.  They were swamped with work, but were kind enough to work me into their schedule before quitting time.  I considered myself lucky that it only took them another hour to get the tire replaced.

I chalked up the flat tire fiasco and missing the other Chicago area museums on my list today to some kind of Divine Intervention that I would never figure out.  I  headed north about 60 miles on I-90/I-94 to Lake Villa, IL where I hoped my relatives had not gone to bed.  As luck would have it, they were still up and even had some left-over dinner that they warmed-up for me.  After a short visit, I was more than ready to take a relaxing shower and sleep easy tonight in their guest room.

—–To Be Continued—–

Bill is a retired Mechanical engineer living with his wonderful artist/writer wife, DiVoran, of 61 years in Titusville, Florida. He was born and raised in the Southwest, did a tour of duty with the U.S. Navy, attended Northrop University in Southern California and ended up working on America’s Manned Space Program for 35 years. He currently is retired and spends most of his time building and flying R/C model airplanes, traveling, writing blogs about his travels for Word Press and supporting his wife’s hobbies with framing, editing and marketing.  He also volunteers with a local church Car Care Ministry and as a tour guide at the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum there in Titusville.  Bill has two wonderful children, two outstanding grandchildren, and a loving sister and her husband, all of whom also live in Central Florida, so he and DiVoran are rewarded by having family close to spend lots of quality time with.




One of Bill’s favorite Scriptures is:  John 10:10

5 Responses to “My 2019 Great Lakes Road Trip Part 14B”

  1. Onisha Ellis February 6, 2020 at 1:16 pm #

    On the plus side, Bill it’s the trip challenges that make the best stories.

    Liked by 1 person

    • meghanewhite February 6, 2020 at 7:45 pm #

      That’s true. I think most trips have some issue to deal with.


  2. meghanewhite February 5, 2020 at 8:04 pm #

    We got a flat tire on our rental car while we were staying at Grand Canyon National Park in November. When my husband went to change the tire there was no spare tire, only a repair kit, like what you experienced. When we spoke with the rental company they informed us many car makers have stopped providing spare tires. Thank God my husband was able to inflate the tire enough to get us to Flagstaff to swap out rental cars. I feel your pain.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Onisha Ellis February 6, 2020 at 1:15 pm #

      I had no idea that spare tires are no longer common. Glad your husband was able to get you back on the road.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. divoran09 February 5, 2020 at 11:36 am #

    A well-written tale.


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