Sunday, January 17, 2010


So, there we were, David Jackson (Hudson-Chatham Winery), Lenn Thompson (New York Cork Report), and myself, sitting in the parking lot at Stoutridge Winery in Malboro, New York. We'd hoped to find winemaker and owners Steve and Kim Osborn there early, but unfortunately, they were not there. It was the beginning of a whirlwind tour of a few Hudson Valley wineries. A small glitch. No biggie. So we decided to go back into town for some rest rooms and something to drink.

David volunteered to drive, so we all piled into his car, and drove down to a small shopping center for 20-25 minutes. Then we headed back to meet at Stoutridge. Half way there the road at first seemed a little bumpy - then it hit us - it's not the road. David's passenger side back tire was flat!

So, between we three grown men, we decided to fix the flat ourselves. I alone with my son had recently fixed a lat on 87 in the freezing cold, so this would only be a small hindrance.

David quickly pulled out the spare, and repairs were shortly coming. No biggie. And that's where everything stopped.

We had all the parts to jack the car up ready in seconds. And then David searched and searched, and Lenn and I looked at each other and shook our heads.
"I can't find the tire iron," said David.
Sure David was obviously missing something, I went to the trunk instead. How could his miss something as obvious as a tire iron? I searched the entire bottom half of the trunk. The wheel well, the side panels, nothing. I searched bags he had in his trunk, jumper cables, and tire iron. How could that be?

Lenn was initially amused, taking pictures, just like me. However, he then thought to himself, "Obviously, I am with two imbeciles. Let me set this straight," and decided to search the trunk himself. Like me, he began, with an authoritative air, searching all the places in the trunk, sure that he would be the one to find the tire iron to loosen the lugs on the tire. Not so, Lenn. He searched and searched, looking as confounded and confused as myself. There was no tire iron. This event was now going from a friendly tasting to a small disaster.
By this time we were now 25 minutes late getting back to the winery, and our loosely defined schedule was about to spin out of control. What the hell had happened to the tire iron? Anyway, David called AAA, and Lenn and I went into a real estate agency on the side of the road to ask for a local cab company. He and I would taxi ahead, and David would join us up. The real estate agent was lovely, and offered to drive us down the problem.
Lenn and I felt bad leaving David on the side of the road in January, as he waited for AAA. And David, of course, was embarrassed. But he would have the last laugh. Lenn and I got to Stoutridge, and proceeded to take the first of many tours that day. And David joined us up twenty minutes later.
The kicker? Three grown men, and we couldn't find the tire iron. Of course, you knew it had to be there....and so it was. David found it minutes before the tow truck showed up. On the underside of the trunk hood was a whole tool chest....including the tire iron.
You couldn't make it up.