I had a flat tire Sunday, soon after leaving a yard sale in Springs. I’d been at an unveiling earlier that day at Cedar Lawn Cemetery in East Hampton, and cemeteries were on my mind, I guess. Anyway, I swerved onto Accabonac Highway thinking to spend half an hour wandering around Green River, the Who Was Who graveyard of writers and painters with headstones that are artworks in themselves.
Heading back to Amagansett, there came that unnerving rattly noise that sounds like you’re on a bad stretch of road; at least you think that at first, and then you hope it, and then it gets worse and it can’t be the road, which is perfectly smooth, and all hope is abandoned. I don’t have Triple-A, and my usual rescuers at T&B auto service are closed on Sundays. What to do?
I am thinking about it as I keep driving west. That stretch of Accabonac is empty of almost everything, certainly no businesses, not even very many houses. I have an idea now, but around every curve in the road is another endless curve and another. If I can only get to Abraham’s Path, and make it across the railroad tracks without the tire rim shattering, I will be okay.
I do! I pull in, heart pounding, to my destination, the Lester scallop and fish house, where everything is right off the boat and you’re on a first-name basis after your first purchase. Three big guys spring into action. I’ve got no jack; they have two. No lug wrench either? No problem.
The flat is not just flat, it’s in shreds. They can’t believe the rim didn’t crack. “You are one lucky lady.” You got that right.
The spare has been sitting on the back of the car for maybe five years and it takes a lot of work to get it off. The tire doesn’t want to give way either. I lose track of the number of F-bombs exploding while they labor, but an hour after limping in, I’m good to go.
Saved! And on Monday morning, Billy Vorpahl shakes his head, marvels that the rim held, checks all the tires and orders two new ones. They should be in by the time you read this. Bonac to the rescue.
Irene Silverman is The Star’s editor at large.