Sunday, February 26, 2006

Ed's Brush with Don Knotts

Mr. Knotts

When I heard about Don Knotts dying, I actually thought this story, that my friend Ed told me, once upon a time:

I worked with Ed during my time with Goodwill. Ed was a good fellow, an older guy. He read a lot, and was always recommending books to read. His favorite subjects were history and astronomy, but he also enjoyed a good mystery.

He worked in the Murfreesboro store, and he worked ten or fifteen hours a week tinkering with and fixing up the electronics that had been donated, seeing what he could get working. I talked to Ed quite a bit.

Ed joined the Army just after the second World War, and worked as a mechanic for a good long while. Served in Germany, did work in Korea and Japan, and ended up his time in the service in California. He left the Army in 1958, and settled near Los Angeles. He did several odd jobs for the next few months....he sold kitchen supplies door-to-door for a few months, he worked in a TV repair shop for a little while, but found steady work at a mechanic's shop in Los Angeles (which he eventually came to own half of).

One particularly busy day, Ed found himself not knowing whether he was coming or going, and he got called out to look at a customer's car, to see if it could be fixed quickly, or whether the customer would have to leave it.

Ed went to the car, and apparently didn't get a good look at the small man behind the wheel. Ed got up under the hood, had the fellow gun the engine a couple times. Ed couldn't immediately find what was wrong, so he told the fellow that he'd have to leave his car.

The fellow said alright, and asked if they had a phone he could use to call for a ride.

It wasn't until he went to answer that he realized who he was talking to. It was Don Knotts who had driven his car into the repair shop.

Ed worked on the car later that day, and Knotts came in to pick it up. It turns out that whatever had been wrong was something fairly simple and easy to fix. Ed apologized for keeping the car longer than he felt had been fair, but Don was cool with it. Even left Ed a good tip.

I always enjoyed that story.


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