Thursday, May 3, 2012

M.D. Doctor of Mercedes

Most everyone has a favorite MD. My mother often references the wonders of a local physician Dr. Brad Bale, heart attack prevention specialist and Kentucky Derby fanatic. Or parents who gush over their child's pediatrician. Or the women who rave about their OBGYNs. I've never been much of a doctor name-dropper. Until now.

The story goes back to when Ruth was reaching the outer limits of her lifespan. Though her odometer quit counting long ago, I'd guess she's pushing 350,000 miles by now. A while back my mechanic of 10 years told me she was beyond repair; best just to bag the old beauty and move on. Under normal circumstances this might be considered the most logical option but having received this amazing piece of German engineering from my great aunt Ruth in 2000 I had (admittedly) an unhealthy attachment to this car. My great Aunt bought the Benz brand new in Manhattan in 1980 and gave it to me when she retired from the wheel. I made countless road trips with the car, including a complete circle around the United States. So the thought of "offing" her was something I took very seriously. I was faced with difficult decision. Like anyone in this situation. Ruth and I needed a second opinion.

As luck would have it a perfect stranger referred me to a specialist in Coeur D Alene Idaho. His name. Fernando Ormos, owner of Motortech. From what I have gathered Fernando is half Chilean half German. He speaks Spanish and vacations down in Chile any chance he can get. His blue eyes would make Sinatra blush. A weathered face, and fine white hair trimmed short gives off an aged Steve McQueen kinda cool. He works wonders on Ruth. At times I'll take the passenger seat and he'll take her out on the highway to determine the problem. What must be similar to the Horse Whisper, I watch as Fernando's senses become one with the car, within minutes he makes his diagnoses and we return to the shop.

I have come to appreciate his quiet charisma and friendly demeanor. Nowadays we poke around the underbelly of Ruth while trading stories about our latest adventures. I find great joy in hearing the solution to a loose muffler and the best flight connections to Santiago Chile in the same sentence.

Doctors and mechanics are more similar than they are different. They both poke and prod. They both have waiting rooms. They both deliver bad news. They both get their hands dirty. And in the end, they both have the same goal of keeping us moving.

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