Times in Motor City hadn’t been good for a while: the economy had tanked, jobs were being moved overseas by the thousands as cheaper labor costs were found, putting more and more people out of work, and plants seemed to be shutting down daily. Competition with foreign auto manufacturers had made the phrase “Buy American” an outdated philosophy.I lived in Flint, Michigan at the time and worked at one of the major car company plants there. I was one of those caught up with, and adversely affected by, the current wave of shutdowns and cutbacks. We all saw it coming… we weren’t the first group to be laid off and we knew that it was only a matter of time. So at least I was able to prepare a bit. I had some money saved up over the years, not enough to retire by any stretch of the imagination, but at least I wouldn’t be homeless and destitute the first month.I had a friend down in Atlanta that said if I could get down there, he could put me to work and, with no other offers on the table, I told him I would take him up on his job. I told my landlord what had happened and he was very understanding and let me out of the lease with no problems. My folks, who lived Lansing about an hour away from my home had a storage unit so, with a borrowed flatbed trailer, I packed up what few belongings I had that I wouldn’t immediately need and took them to put them in storage. I figured once I got to Atlanta, secured the job, and got myself someplace to call home, I would come back for them while visiting my folks.I had always been close to my parents and moving this far away from them would be hard on all of us, but there was just no work anywhere in the area for an auto factory worker. And too many of us had been laid off already and scooped up any other decent jobs to be found there.I’d taken one load to the storage already and on the second, I was officially moved. I had squared up with my landlord for the rent and he graciously gave me back my security deposit so I had a little extra cash in pocket. I closed my bank account and got my savings out. Then I headed to my parents with the last Anadolu yakası escort of my things.When I got to Lansing and to my parents’ place, I got the key to the storage from them and stowed the last of my belongings in their storage unit. Then I went back to their place for the goodbye scene. This was the part of the trip I wasn’t looking forward to. But Dad and Mom had prepared themselves for it and knew I didn’t have much choice.”Son, your mother and I have been talking, and we want you to take the Winnebago on your trip. You are going to need someplace to call home on the trip and once you get there. And your old truck is not a suitable place to sleep. “Mom and I don’t do a lot of traveling anymore, and you’ll get more use out of it than we ever will. So leave us the truck and you take the Winnebago,” Dad said.”Are you sure?” I asked. This was quite an honor–growing up I had always wanted to get behind the wheel of the family Winnebago, but Dad said it was his job to drive and mine to “watch the countryside and learn about our nation” as he would put it. Now he was not only letting me drive but handing down the keys to the family fun machine to me.”Yes, I’m sure. Now give me a dollar,” he said. Puzzled at the request, I handed him a dollar. “Congratulations, you just bought yourself a fully equipped Winnebago motorhome!” he said. He showed me the title and registration and signed over the Winnebago to me. It was now mine officially and I could take it to Atlanta without any problems with license plates or anything.After many tears and kisses, I left Lansing headed for a new life and a new future in Atlanta. I had never been there before, most of our families trips had been spent in and around Lansing with one memorable trip to the Upper Peninsula. And while I was looking forward to warmer weather down south, I was nervous about the whole uncertainty of this move. I didn’t have a job secured, although I had a possible offer. And I didn’t have a place to live, although I did have the Winnebago now. But most of all, I Kurtköy escort bayan didn’t have a whole lot of options. So, pointing the nose of my new home southward, I was off.This was going to be a trip on the cheap. I had to watch every penny I spent very carefully and scrimp and save everywhere I could. I had gotten a huge break when I got the Winnebago–that alone would save me hundreds of dollars in expenses not to mention giving me someplace I knew I could count on to lay my head. Plus, I wouldn’t have to push myself to make the next town and then try to find someplace to park; I could just pull over when I needed to, and sleep or whatever. Dad had always been borderline obsessive-compulsive with his meticulous care when it came to maintaining the Winnebago, so I knew I didn’t need to worry about that. And it had been garaged all it’s life when not being used.One other thing that would pay big dividends on this trip was Dad’s wisdom in installing an electric overdrive unit right behind the transmission. When out on the highway, I simply put the unit’s factory cruise control on and flipped a switch on the dashboard and the thing would kick in and give me much better mileage. I didn’t understand all the technical details of how it worked and what it did, but I know my highway mileage went from around fifteen mpg up to twenty-two mpg; a big difference that would save me a lot of money.The first leg of my trip would take me on the 496E southward to merge with the 96E and then I headed towards Detroit. I had gotten kind of a late start what with all the goodbyes and promises to call as I made my way down there and when I got to Atlanta. I was the only child and Mom was having a case of “empty nest syndrome” I guess.I stopped in Brighton for a bite to eat since it was about lunchtime when I left Lansing. I found this little roadside diner that looked fairly inexpensive and pulled in. I had just ordered a grilled ham and cheese sandwich and a bag of potato chips with a soda when it happened.I heard a man and a woman having a heated Escort Maltepe and rather vocal argument behind me. I turned around just in time to see this scruffy, ill-tempered, and obviously drunk guy screaming at the woman who was, even from my quick first glance, just trying to get out of there without causing too much commotion or spectacle.”Can’t we just go home and talk about this?” she implored him.”No! We are going to hash this out right here and now and fuck everyone who hears it!” he yelled.”Please, Tommy! You’re embarrassing me!” she said, starting to get up.And then Tommy, for whatever reason in his drunken stupor, backhanded the girl so hard he knocked her to the floor. She landed with a thump, bumping into the table on the way down so hard it knocked over his precious drink and spilled it. This pissed him off even more. “Now look at what you did, dammit! You spilled my drink!” he screamed. He reached down to pick her up and drew back to smack her again. That’s when I stepped up.”Hey! That’s about enough… unless you care to try that with something that hits back!” I said.”Mind your own fucking business,” he looked at me angrily.”No problem, mister. But if you raise a hand to this woman again we are gonna have a real problem. Now I suggest you go find a rock to crawl under till you sleep it off and come back more civil-like,” I said.Well, with all the liquid courage he had downed already, he wasn’t about to leave peacefully at my suggestion. He came at me and after a good right cross to his jaw that staggered him, he was even more pissed off. Grabbing up a steak knife off the table, he came at me again. So I grabbed my chair and as he lunged, I caught his knife arm in the chair’s legs and spindles and twisted it trapping his arm and bending it back at the elbow. He screamed and I rolled to one side, sending him crashing into a table and knocking it over. But he was so liquored up it didn’t register with him to stop the fight. He came at me a third time and this time, moving to his injured side, I gave him a good hard shove into the wall. He couldn’t stay on his feet, and crashed headfirst into the wall, falling like a sack of potatoes as he lay out cold on the floor.About the time Tommy’s skull found the wall, the waitress came around and with a couple more big guys who were regulars there and they carried Tommy out into the parking lot and put him in his car to sleep it off.