Car Doctor

Photo of Roger Browning in his 1968 Galaxy 500, courtesy of MJ

When I met my husband, Rog, six years ago, he told me he had gasoline running through his veins. The phrase was new to me, but it didn't take me long to realize he was talking about his passion for cars.

On one of our first dates, he gave me a tour of his garage. I still remember the glint in his eyes and the excitement in his voice as he showed me the blue 1968 Galaxy 500 he was working on.

"I need to replace a few parts on this baby," he said. "Then she'll be good as new." The way he ran his hand gently down the chrome fender reminded me of a mother lovingly caressing her child's hair.

I asked what was wrong with the car (I figured I'd get some brownie points for showing interest in something he was obviously crazy about, even though I knew nothing about cars or the dozens of greasy tools that peppered the garage floor). He told me him and "the boys" had recently gone on a road trip to North Carolina. Gem hunting was the main purpose, although two of his buddies had also found welding jobs while they were there.

On the way back to the Mountain State, shortly after they crossed the Virginia border, the engine made a sudden scraping sound, forcing them to pull over. Rog, being the most knowledgeable in auto repair, quickly determined the timing belt was worn out and needed to be replaced. He then thumbed a ride to the nearest car parts store, bought a timing belt, thumbed another ride back to the Galaxy and was able to replace the belt in an hour. Then back on the road they went.

Unfortunately, about an hour from home, the engine started overheating. The three friends got out of the car, Rog popped the hood and everyone could see the water pump had busted. The head gaskets were also in bad shape. By this time, it was quite late at night. All the car parts stores in the area had closed for the day and they had to phone a towing service.

"But she'll be good as new in no time," Rog said confidently, as he drummed his fingers enthusiastically on the Galaxy's shiny hood. I remember standing beside him in that garage that smelled of gas and paint fumes and rubber tires, and slowly realizing what he meant about "gasoline running through his veins."

A few months ago, four of our friends were driving through Phoenix, Arizona, in a rented 2001 Ford Escort  en route to a wedding. It was very dry and hot that day. About 110 degrees. They cranked the A/C up full blast for hours, which most likely wore the car's cooling system out, which led to the water pump failing. The reason they knew all these was because they called Rog up and described the car's symptoms while waiting for a tow truck to get them to a Phoenix Auto Repair shop . Even though they were hundreds of miles away, and without seeing the car, Rog was able to diagnose the problem based on their description of the symptoms.

They've been calling him the "car doctor" ever since.

- By MJ


  1. He had gasoline running through his veins, that's great.

    How to describe mine?

  2. Your car doctor is not just handsome but great too, MJ!

    Phoenix Auto Repair shop reminds me of Tes' sister Ima who lives in Arizona. I will definitely recommend it to her. :)

    @ Rainfield, you have rain of funny thoughts running in your veins. lol!

  3. nice to know something more about your love story MJ, I am glad you are able to earn good brownie points from Rog, now you have a handsome car doctor :)

  4. Awesome. Good job MJ! Glad that you have time to write again because I know you love writing.

  5. Cute love story, MJ! And it's always good to have a grease monkey (heard the term from the movie Transformers) around. Teehee on the brownie points. Such a sweet and good-looking car doctor. :)

  6. Beautiful car. My father always worked on cars. He let my sister and I take a few apart. He set us loose with screw drivers. :-) Can you imagine?