May 2003

Trips to Aurora, Indiana

I have been recalling all the different items people use to bring good luck their way. I have seen everything from rabbit’s feet to good luck charms to bring good luck, and everything from black cats to walking under ladders to bring bad luck.I have always been of the belief that we make our own luck by the daily decisions we are forced to make, and have discarded the good and bad luck theory except for one item.

Over the years, I have wondered if there might just be a remote chance of having a bad luck city. I will give my experiences and let you readers be the judge on this one. Many years ago, I was called to do some repair work on a fairly large Artizan organ belonging to a traveling carnival company, which at the time was set up in an Ohio river town outside Cincinnati, Ohio, just a few miles across the Indiana state line. The city was Aurora, Indiana. On my first visit, I locked my truck doors with the keys inside and no spare in my pocket or toolbox. After an hour I was finally able to get back in the truck and retrieve the ignition keys and proceed with the repairs on the organ. When the repairs were finished, I stepped off the curb and received the worst ankle sprain I have ever had. I also had to hobble all over town to find the bar where the owner was in to collect my pay for the job. This one kept me on crutches for almost two weeks.

My second time in that city was during a pleasure trip with my wife. I was driving a big Buick, which we had recently purchased, and just as I entered Aurora my car's universal joints started making noise. It was a Sunday afternoon with repair shops hard to find so we turned the car around to head back to our hometown of Bellefontaine, Ohio. The joints were making a lot of noise, so I used an old mechanics trick and kept hitting the gas pedal until the joints found a fairly quiet place to come to rest, then drove the car all the way home with my foot on the gas. When we had to stop for traffic lights I just rode the brakes and we made it home and had the universal joints replaced on Monday.

My third time through Aurora was once again on a service call. I was just passing through when my truck exhaust pipe came loose and started dragging the road. I had just replaced the muffler, but it seems they did not replace the exhaust pipe clamp. A hardware store was in sight, and I bought some wire and made temporary repairs.

Last week, I had to once again go through Aurora and told my wife to keep her fingers crossed. This time we made it through both going and coming with no problems and even made a stop for fuel there. Could it be that we have broken the spell cast by our bad luck city?

And, so it goes at the old organ shop.

Next: Band Organ Note No. 46, June 2003
Previous: Band Organ Note No. 44, April 2003

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