Does “The Prince” find the New Wayne?

While we were living in New Hampshire (the ‘Shire’ as our son got us to call when he was a member of SCA, which if you have never heard of it go Google it and have a good laugh) our next door neighbors were a wonderful couple – Wayne and MaryAnne.  All I can say of Wayne is he is the Mr. Wilson (or simply Wilson) character to the Tim, the Tool-man Carver of the TV show on in the nineties (?).  Whenever I would stymied in doing a mechanical, electrical, wood working, etc project Wayne could help my figure it out and get it done.  My wife kept telling me I was going to far by asking his help so often, to which I would reply, “He’ll tell me when I have asked for help once to often”.

When we were getting ready to move down here I tried a way to convince them they wanted to retire to MS, but to no avail.

As it turns out, my friend Hugh Leigh (aka Rusty for long-term followers) is good for a lot of advice but in terms of my MG -B he is not quite as much help as I need on certain projects.  However, I had an epiphany the other day when I realized my new acquaintance Bob Summerlin, one of the original founders of the English Motoring Club of Mississippi, might be a great resource in help with thorny electrical and other situations.

I had ordered parts for replacing the worn out liner, called a plinth, for the front turn signal assemblies.  After a quiet struggle in taking the assembly apart, I ended up with the situation of needing to put it back together.


After calling him up asking what he was doing that afternoon to see if I could entice him to come for a half hour drive to ‘supervise’ me and he gently declining, I asked him if I could send him a photo of the parts and get his take on what my next steps were to be.  When he said yes, I breathed a sigh of relief.  When what we discussed was tried and even though I tried hard not to use too much BFBI, a term I have adopted from a British murder mystery from 30 years ago meaning Brute Force and Bloody Ignorance, I mangled an electrical connection or two, I called Bob back up and asked if I could drive over to his place for consultation, to which he acquiesced.

The good news is that the right front signal light on practically any vehicle is not really important in the sale operation of a moving vehicle, so I put the assembly back together and motored over this morning. It was a beautiful drive as it is 70° and blue skies.  I found him out in a back field using his bush hog clearing the field.  He came down off a ‘classic’ John Deere tractor and we ambled over to my B. You may recall in his field are sportscars in all states of benign neglect which will come into our story shortly.

He concurred that I would probably have to order some of electrical connections before moving forward with the light assembly and then pointed out some things I should attend to about an oil leak, fixing a wiper motor, etc.  Then he motioned for me to follow him back out to the barn in field. We were looking for cars that had the same turn signals as mine but he would keep saying,”But this one is good whole” (meaning one of these days he was going to refurbish it and sell it) when he bumped into his box of spare parts. Voila, or as Tommy Smothers used to say Viola, and in his hand as he pulled it out of the box was an assembly like mine really to simply swap out with the one in my B.

When we got back to the car, I could sense my time was running out with him and I said my thanks and good-byes to his wife and him and I motored on home feeling maybe I had found my new Wayne.


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