Road Trips: Breakdowns Come And Breakdowns Go

(PORT ORFORD, OR) — I’m typing this in the parking lot of J&D Auto in Port Orford, where I was towed after my van’s serpentine belt went on a winding mountain road. Given last week’s topic (car crashes), I have to say I had a first-hand look at what it feels like to lose most of your steering in the mountains in the rain and I didn’t like it. So I’m here for a few days until the mechanic can fix the belt. And yes, I know it’s an easy fix, but I’ve never done it and I want a professional to do it this time so I can watch.

Being stuck here put a couple songs in my head immediately. The first is this one by Drive favorite Paul Simon, from his recent (in Drive years) but still classic album Graceland.

“Gumboots” is an absolute gem of a song from an absolute gem of an album. It contains the line “breakdowns come and breakdowns go,” which is why I thought of it.

After that my mind turned to a song by another great American lyricist. And even though I’m not near either of the cities mentioned in the song, I totally get the feeling:

“Stuck inside of Mobile with the Memphis blues again.” I hear ya, Bob.

A third Drive artist with something to say on this topic is the great Jimmy Cliff. This song is on one of the greatest reggae albums of all time, the soundtrack for The Harder They Come.

Yes, I’m sitting here in Limbo till the nice mechanic can fix my van. Then, in the words of another legend, I’ll be “on the road again.”