Monday, November 28, 2011



Parked (free)in the Paradise Casino parking lot---Yuma, Az.--Hardly a care in the world--Living the good life.

Glancing to my left, I see the world famous Yuma Crossing---high bluffs of granite on opposite sides of the Colorado river--the perfect place for bridges--railroad and auto---built there in 1930.

And glancing just left to see the guard tower for the Yuma territorial prison. (remember the movie: "3:10 to Yuma)

My mornings are filled with beauty as balloons drift over my rig.

AND THEN---AND THEN---That very night a drunk smashes into my truck.

Two doors and this bed damage. 

The cops come---test him with a field sobriety test---handcuff him and take him to jail.

I'm able to get "home" but barely able to drive around.  Next day I get an estimate: $4,866.00.

While I'm waiting, I read this magazine and learn that automobile crashes, insurance, fault-finding, and repair shops, police reports are a vast web of money-making enterprises---with policy buyers footing the needlessly high bill. I also learned that I'm not likely to be reimbursed for my damages.  And that begins to upset me and mobilize my thoughts.

My friends are waiting for me in Borrego Springs, Ca--for our annual Thanksgiving gathering. Quickly, I gather facts---learn about the wrecking business and the nationwide linkup for used parts---order two doors (my truck is the 3 door model) for $500.00 and go looking for a reliable body shop. 5 shops later, I found my guy.  2 shops refused the job--at any price--replacing doors is highly tedious--I learned.  This one said yes when I sweetened the offer.  It took most of the day to accomplish this much.  I hung around out of curiosity.

And then things got very difficult--trying to fit the auxillary door into a damaged post.---THEN I saw why other shops refused the job.  They gave up for the night---tuesday night---the clock is ticking--my friends are 152 miles away.  In the night--believe it or not---I saw in my mind how to fit the door in place---I called the guy--Jacob Garcia--and told him---he said ok---and guess what--It worked---the door fit and the truck was drivable by Wed night. (not painted or undented--but drivable---good enough to travel) 

I was proud of my unconventional idea and surprised that the expert was open minded enough try it. He bit off a very difficult job for not a lot of money---I recommend him. (G-Styles Auto Body and Welding 928-726-6889----2766 Ave 3E---Yuma, Az, 85365)
I MADE IT--- by the hair of my chin chin chin---10 minutes before dinner was served.

My friends heard of my difficulties and saved a choice seat for me.  Our group ( ) gathers at this spot every year for a week of desert adventure.

This little triangle of land is famous in RVin circles---It is called PEG LEG SMITH'S in honor of an old prospector in this region.  One may camp free here indefinitely and many do. Orange groves green the environment to the right and the resort town of Anza Borrego, Ca lies against the distant mountains---2,500 desert loving citizens---completely surrounded by California's largest park.
RANDY PHILOSOPHIZES:  I give myself decent marks for dealing rationally with this unpleasant episode.  I noted how vulnerable my whole lifestyle is---a simple crash could clip my high flying wings for some time as I carry most all my possessions with me.(yes my trailer was attached--but not damaged)  More importantly, I noticed my runaway feelings---I felt powerless in the face of an injustice (the drunk lied about the accident---it may go down as a "he said/he said" in the report and I may have to fix my vehicle.) A sad, numbing, depression settled on me for a few hours.   My mind replayed the facts over and over.  By morning, my WATCHER had kicked in:

 "I am not contained between my hat and boots----apart from the pulling and hauling stands what I am----stands amused, complacent, compassionating, idle, unitary---looks down with sidecurved head---curious what will come next---both in and out of the game---watching and wondering at it---I WITNESS---AND WAIT---(Whitman---Song of myself)

And I saw that it wasn't that big of a deal---a few thousand dollars at worst.  All over the world countless millions suffer real and enduring injustice.  And No doubt I have imposed much wrong on others. It's part of the cosmic drama.  So--slowly I came to acceptance--got cracking--gathering info--locating doors--ordering them, finding a body shop, etc.  In less than a week my joy returned -- I'm mobile again--and willing for the matter to take whatever course it takes.


Steve said...

Sorry to read about the crash. I'm glad you weren't in the truck when it happened, that it wasn't worse, and that you made your dinner in time!


Sondra said...

You handled it very well of luck.

Wayne (Wirs) said...

As I've often said, "The difference between a smart man and a wise man is the wise man has scars."

Wisdom hurts, but (in getting in touch with you-as-the-Watcher) you are definitely getting wiser my friend.

Looking forward to our next "salon".

Maria said...


Interesting name and how cool that you're acquainted with yours... so few are.

Mine helps me out all the time, and I wouldn't want to go without.

Glad your truck is usable again - and custom to boot :)

Michael said...

I'm going to send that guy 20 bucks. Just so he knows when the internet and philosophy collides, it pays.

heyduke50 said...

in a world so filled with injustices it is good to see that yours didn't derail you... here is hoping that the big bad wolf of the insurance industry comes through for you later on...

Michael said...

"learn about the wrecking business and the nationwide linkup for used parts."

Where's this linkup?

Ash said...

Oh no! But you're still smiling:)

The Tuckerbag

Anonymous said...

Do you not have Insurance to cover the damage? I have total replacement insurance on all my vehicles. Uninsured motorist protection.

TravelingFirefighter said...


Wish you would have posted sooner. I live in Yuma and could have helped. Are you headed this way anytime soon? If not, see you in Quartzsite in January.

Randy said...

Thanks all for the suport and suggestions---I will certainly act on some of them.
Anonymous: I only have liability insurance--not collision---an extra $500 or so a year when my truck is only worth about $5000 doesn't make sense to me.
I'll update as this drama plays out.

katrina said...

i was waiting to hear what the solution to fixing the door post was that you envisioned in the night...

Randy said...

Katrina: What I realized in the night was that I never open that 3rd door and therefore it could just be positioned correctly and bolted or welded permanently into position. Bingo! All was instantly well and functional.

Anonymous said...

Good going...I sound like an echo, but good job.

Anita said...

Randy, I'm glad that you weren't hurt, but I don't understand why you don't trust your insurance. My car was badly damaged during the night while it was just sitting outside my house in Key West. The police checked it early in the morning, wrote a report, the insurance adjuster was there within an hour, the body shop contacted, and a check written to cover ALL the damage, and it was extensive. They even paid for me to have a rental car until mine was repaired.

Pleinguy said...

What a bummer! Sorry to hear about the collision. You are correct of course to only carry liability on an old truck. Glad to hear you weren't injured, and were able to get mobile again. Take care.

Matt in HK said...

You should call your insurance company to ask/confirm, just in case. You never know.

Elaine said...

I don't understand this, surely his insurance should have paid, after all he hit you or is insurance different in the States than in Canada.

Elaine in Canada

Anonymous said...

Its the "what if" factor that keeps me paying my insurance premiums. For me I cant imagine not having full coverage on my vehicles, and R.V. I pay $216 per year for my Arctic Fox 22-h, covers everything and anything. $1000 per year for my Suburban, also covers everything and anything accident related. If it can happen It usually will happen to me. Im just glad you were not hurt.

Jim said...

I hate insurance companies. The law requires a minimum of liability only and that's the ONLY reason I pay for it. But uninsured motorists is only another three bucks a month so I pay for that too.
If sanity were permitted to reign supreme, all vehicle insurance would be no-fault: take the total bill & split it 50/50 -- both companies take an equal hit with zero dollars going for lawyers and feeding the blame game. Experts have estimated that no-fault would cost us maybe a third of what we pay now, but the attorneys fight it tooth & nail every time the issue comes up.
The system is rigged -- from the cradle to the grave -- to make sure we all die the same way we came into the world = penniless and crying. Glad you weren't hurt but I sure could use a beer now (smiles).

Randy said...

Jim: That's a brilliant suggestion.
Anonymous: I do have uninsured motorist coverage----Ironic isn't it that it's useless in this case because the drunk had insurance which would cover me ONLY IF FAULT CAN BE ESTABLISHED. His iunsurance company told me that drunkenness does not automatically establish fault.

Ed said...

sail4free said:
"The system is rigged -- from the cradle to the grave -- to make sure we all die the same way we came into the world = penniless and crying."

That is the way it going to be rigged or not. Accept it!

Anita said...

Randy, I would protest that finding with some of your powerful prose. Drunkenness denotes lack of full control of a vehicle. Do you have a good lawyer among your WIN friends? That company should not be able to get away with that judgment which sounds like fraud.

Randy said...

Anita: Thanks-- good advice and I do have a lawyer friend who offered some options---that I will investigate. I certainly will not go down without a fight.

Dan Arnold said...

Great job in adjusting your attitude about the loss. That's a demonstration of true wisdom.

BTW, I will have to do a better job keeping up with you. I had no idea you'd moved on to a new trailer. As you know, you were my inspiration for my own 'Stealth RV.'

Glenn Dixon said...

So what do you think your break-even amount is for insurance? Obviously, if your truck was totaled it would be nice to have a check for $5000 to go by your next truck. $500/year is cheap from that perspective. For your current crash, if you get the new doors painted your costs will approach about $1000 I'm guessing? As long as you rarely have wrecks then you're still ahead, but the vulnerability does give one pause for thought, no?

Glad to see that you were unhurt and didn't miss your rendezvous!

Anonymous said...

Randy. I have been following Glenn's TO SIMPLIFY blog and looked in on yours through his comments. ..think I'll follow along. Glad you got out of your mess so quickly.

Smoothe sailing....

GL in Houston

Anonymous said...

I moved to Michigan and went to get my car insurance transferred. The lady at the office asked me what I wanted, she then explained that Michigan was a no fault state, if I wanted insurance I could buy it, if I didn't I didn't have to.

If I hit someone and they bought insurance they would be covered, if they didn't they would not. The same for me.
My insurance was to protect MY car & ME from the other guy OR me. If the other guy wanted protection from me he'd have to buy it.

When we moved to Minnesota we had to show proof of insurance before we could register the car or get new tabs.

The insurance in Michigan made a lot more sense.

Randy said...

Welcome aboard anonymous 1 and thank you anonymous 2 for that report on Michigan's system. BINGO! that is my idea of the perfect solution. No fault---does away with all that legalistic faultfinding---if you want insurance---BUY IT---and if you don't----DON'T. I dont think I would buy it if I didn't have to. I can get my truck fixed for much less than the $5000 estimate. and in the long run I would come out better. I believe America is needlessly supporting a giant and wasteful industry.

Anonymous said...

Question about Slabs: has anybody ever tried to lower a small pump and hose down the bank of that channel? That seems simple from the distance of (google) satellite imagery. Then maybe another pump and hose to shove it over to some central tank.

Is that water good enough for wash water? Seems like a plentiful supply and it's quite close. And plenty of creative people to cobble together a system.

Randy said...

Anonymous: Re: getting water from the canal: Good observation---and yes---many do just what you've suggested----after all--it is almost drinkable --- since it is snowmelt from Colorado. I once expored the innards of a hermit's lair just beside the canal and found a small SWIMMING POOL ---along with pumping paraphanalia.