The Heritage     Chapter Four  Patty Girl – La Gavacha

      Johnny listened carefully thinking he had heard a car drive up, he
reached up and turned down the volume of the radio that he had been
listening to still nothing.  He was about to turn the volume back up when
he heard the voice of a girl asking, is anybody here?  Setting down the
carburetor, Johnny cleaned the grease from his hands and walked
toward the front of his uncles’ garage.  He reached the front of the
garage when he heard the sound of the horn and the voice again asking.  
Hi, is anybody here?

There parked halfway into the driveway of the garage, car lot and gas
station was a late model car.  Johnny could see by the new paint it was
relatively new, a nice looking blue and white Ford.  Coming from under
the hood and out the front was a large cloud of steam.  As he walked
toward the vehicle, from around the cloud of steam he could now see
standing by the drivers' door a girl with noticeable reddish hair, because
of the steam he could not see much more.  Could you help me, the girl
asked, the car started to make this weird noise and steam started coming
out from under the hood, she further informed Johnny.

Johnny reaches down and trips the latch holding down the hood, as soon
as he lifted it a vast cloud of steam rushed toward him, and he quickly
backed off.  He walked over to the spigot and opened it up as he dragged
the hose the water now pour out behind him.  Returning back to the car
he carefully started to pour water over the radiator, thinking it may have
sprung a leak.  As the steam began to settle down and the water was
starting cooling down the radiator, Johnny could see that the leak was
coming from the radiator hose and things were not quite as severe as
they first appeared.

      It looks like your radiator hose is split, he informed the girl standing
by the driver side of the car.  He then also noticed another girl sitting in
the car, looking a bit pale and her face shows a determined expression
that she was not comfortable being in their present situation and not
willing to leave the safety of the passenger seat.

Oh great the redhead responded, I was sure it was going to be something
awful, do you think you can fix it she replied all in one breath.

Well, Johnny answered, we only have used parts here and mostly for
older cars, maybe you can call your own garage, and they can tow you to
their place, he suggested.

      You mean there’s nothing you can do to get me going again?  
Replied the red-haired girl.

If you can't call anyone Johnny continues, my uncle can probably tow
you when he gets back with his tow truck.

Maybe you can find something you can fix it temporarily, was the girls
next suggestion, I sure you have something here you can use to get me
running again, please can you check came a pleading tone.

Okay, I'll look Johnny response I'll have to go in the back where we have
all the junk cars.  Maybe Johnny thought if it seems like I made an
effort, she would decide to call her garage and they can tow her vehicle
and her away.  Johnny, for some reason, did not feel too comfortable
with this patty girl in his uncle’s garage.  In fact, as he thought quickly,
he could never be seeing an Anglo girl in their part of town.

Walking to the back of the yard, the girl began to follow him.  She then
called to her passenger to come along.  Come on Susan lets go see what
we find as if she would be doing the looking.

No answered the girl in the car, just wait here with me. I don't want to
be left alone.

Well then come along replied the redhead.

      Reluctantly the girl in the car, got out and began to follow.  Johnny
stopped and suggested they wait at their vehicle, informing it was really
greasy and dirty in the back area.  Noticing her white dress, he indicated
he would hate to see her soil it.

Oh, don't worry, if it gets dirty it can be cleaned, then she asked, Aren't
you Johnny Morales?

Yes, I am he replied, do I know you from somewhere?

No, not really, but I'm sure you know my brother, Wayne, Wayne Cassidy
from the football team.

      Oh yes, I didn't know he had a sister, I always thought he was an
only child.

Wayne always tried to ignore me, like I didn't exist, by the way, my name
is Mary-Ann, and this is my friend Susan, she informed Johnny.  You
probably don't remember me, but I was a freshman cheerleader the year
the team took state.

I sorry, I don't remember seeing you, and Wayne never introduced us, I
guess I was too busy with football to have noticed letting his voice trail
off as he tried to bring the conversation to an end.

After checking several of the junk vehicles, he found a hose with about
the same configuration but slightly more substantial, he quickly removed
it from the junk car and saw he could slip the torn hose somewhat into
the tube had just removed.  The girl, the one called Mary-Ann, continues
to talk, but Johnny ignored her, concentrating on the way to repair the
torn hose.

They went back to the front of the garage, and with a bit of effort,
Johnny was able to replace the torn hose after using the old hose as an
inner sleeve for the tube he had found.  He quickly filled the radiator,
and after making a quick check for leaks, he asks the girl to start the
car.  The car started, and he suggested they let it heat up a bit to see if
the replacement hose would work.

      I think you better replace that hose a soon as possible and make sure
you put in some fresh anti-freeze in your radiator, Johnny informed the

Thank you, Johnny, she said, how much do I owe you?

Nothing he replied, noting she had called by his name as if they were old
friends, this was on the house, besides it’s only a temporary repair job.