THE REST OF THE STORY
The nearest exit was Ocean Springs. We were now in Mississippi, near Biloxi. Again, God allowed us to
break down near an exit. Almost immediately I spied an Auto garage where someone was working. (You
should be reminded that this was at 11 a.m. on Saturday, labor day weekend). I asked the man could he
look at the car. He told me that he was working on his own car and that there was a shop down the way
that might look at it. As I arrived with all of the noise I quickly realized that the owner was Vietnamese and
could barely speak English. There were three and one spoke fairly good English. When they looked at it
they said that it was the differential. My heart sank. There was no way that we could find a part. All I
could see was $ signs and could I trust these guys? They called a junk yard and said that they had a
differential that would fit. Unbelievable! But what was even more unbelievable was that they would do it
for $300 and do it today! I tried to think of the alternatives. I even tried to sell them the car. They said
thanks but no thanks. I had a deadline to be back in Spring. Blake had a deadline to get to school. Both
cars were loaded to the hilt with Blake's stuff! What to do, what to do? We all three did a lot of praying.
We even thought about renting a U Haul and abandoning the car. We thought about trying to tow the
car. Could they really fix it? At approximately 11:45 a.m. we gave them the go ahead. I was scared to
death. Here we were, trusting three guys that we had never seen before in our lives and and knew
nothing about. They could barely speak English. The only thing we had going for us was the fact that the
guy at the U-haul had said that he had hear that hey were terrific mechanics. As I watched these guys
work I began to appreciated them and their ability to work as a team. They had my differential out in
nothing flat. In the mean-time someone delivered the old junk part. The three of them went to work on
that thing with the precision of skilled surgeons. One on this end with an air hammer, one on the other.
Rust and WD-40 was flying everywhere. I am still to this day amazed at their precision. The guy at the
U-Haul must have been right. He said they would under cut everyone in town and do it faster. He said
that they could rebuild and entire engine in one day. I believe him now. I had my doubts at the time they
were working. As we set in the waiting room, their story began to unfold. They fled Vietnam and searched
for a fishing village similar to their home. Ocean Springs was the place. The one who spoke the best
English was also the best educated. We were surrounded by books about engines and computer
analysis. He had taught himself English and how to work on modern computer systems in cars. I was
impressed, but still I was reserving my judgment, waiting until we had the car running again.
We visited in Biloxi while we waited. Ocean Springs and Biloxi are joined by a bridge over water. The last
time that I was in Biloxi was the summer of 1963. About the only thing I remember about Biloxi then was
the Beach and a few clubs, now gambling establishments were everywhere! Quite a change. Not
something that I have ever been interested in. We were involved in our own form of gambling. We were
all praying that this was going to work. We were back again, anxiously awaiting the result. By 3:00 p.m.
they said it was ready. I test drove it. My worst fears were realized. I heard a really bad noise again.
When I brought the car back, the one mechanic must have thought that I was questioning his integrity
when I told him something wasn't right. He screamed, "%@**X% !!?" Which is the same in any language.
After much hand signaling and other methods of explaining the one that spoke the English explained to
his partner. They all, as Siamese triplets, began taking stuff apart and reputing back. They informed me
that it was ready. They had to change the gear ratio. I wasn't thinking.... "What have I gotten us into?
Lord, please get us home safely." Again I test drove it. No noise! It worked fine! We happily paid our
$300 dollars and were again on our way, thanking God for his Oriental Angels that he sent to us.
Three years later, Blake graduated and the Ford had been stored in a parking garage, not having run in
several months. Pat and her sister, using a U-haul, moved Blake's stuff back to Houston with our '97