A fine fellow from the Mercedes list recently shared this terrific
story. I asked if I could post it here on the Triumph list and he
graciously agreed. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. BTW he could
use a decent set of used seats for the '59 TR-3A resto project he'll get
back to any day now. For that, Cheap Charley's email is Zypher@aol.com.
-- Steven Newell, Littleton, CO USA
Cheap Charley's story...
When my Mother was in her early 50s, my Stepfather died, and she decided
to join the Peace Corps. This was the summer of 1969 when I was
traveling the country on my 59 Triumph motorcycle, and I met up with her
in Frogmore (near Beaufort) South Carolina, where she was doing her
training. After 1969, the Peace Corps started doing the training in the
country where the volunteers were assigned, and that is how she ended up
in the Gambia long past her volunteer time.
She went to the Gambia in West Africa, and was based in Bathurst. She
spent her volunteer time there, was hired to train the new incoming
volunteers, and then returned later as an administrative employee for
the Peace Corps.
At some point while she was there, she did a favor for a young Gambian
man. He wanted to return the favor, and explained that his Grandfather
was the Maribu (the main religious leader) in a village up river from
Bathurst. By way of repayment for the favor, he promised that his
Grandfather would make Ju Jus (I guess that is the plural of Ju Ju) for
her if she would come to the village. So, you can't turn down an offer
like that, and my mother borrowed a friend's TR-3 for the trip.
She wasn't far out of town when the brakes failed, but as luck would
have it, there were plenty of taxi drivers around to help. They
explained that they all used strawberry mineral (a non-carbonated soft
drink) for brake fluid, and they topped her up, and away she went.
Farther out of town, she found out that the main road was closed for
construction, and the only option was the back road, which of course,
she took. I don't know exactly how far the whole trip was, but it would
have been less than 200 miles since the Gambia is not very large.
(part II next)
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