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Thank You, Skinner

I had very little prospect for a Mohawk Valley adventure today, but I did need to put air in the tires of my vehicle. I thought I could probably make something of that, maybe call it “Adventures with Air” or “Tired of Not Having Adventures.” Well, things got a little more interesting than that.

I started out with high hopes, getting right to the air pump at the FasTrac in Ilion. Ah, the sun was pretty. This would be fine. It was not fine. The wind was cold, oh it was cold. And on the first tire I tried, the pressure when down instead of up, then it beeped that it was malfunctioning. I got back into the vehicle and drove to Herkimer.

No chance of getting to the pump at Stewart’s, but I had better luck at FasTrac. The wind was less, too, so that helped. Everything was going great, till the third tire started hissing. Hissing? Maybe it wasn’t the tire, maybe it was the pump. I filled the fourth tire, put the pump away and checked again.

Yes, hissing. That couldn’t be good. I must have hit something on the stem. I fiddled with it. Still hissing. I got the pump, to replace the air that had already hissed out. Perhaps in filling it again I could somehow fix whatever was wrong. Instead, something flew off the stem and the hissing got really loud.

A nice man who had just finished pumping gas saw my distress and came over to see if he could help. Of course there was nothing he could do, but I appreciated that he checked. The only thing to be done was to let it keep hissing and call AAA. I tried to explain the situation to the AAA operator. I said I thought I had a donut. He said that was important to know, because if I did not, he would need to send a tow truck.

Of course I could not open my back hatch due to ice on the bumper. Still talking to the nice young man, I went to the back door and pulled the back seat forward. Then went to the other back door when I realized that one would be easier to get through. Then realized what a true pain in the butt it is when your back seat doesn’t go all the way flat. Eventually I discovered that my vehicle does NOT have a donut; I would need a tow. Actually, a flat bed, because I have 4-wheel drive.

Sooner than I would have expected, a big truck from Skinner Service Station was with me. The driver thought I would only need a new stem, not a whole new tire. I was concerned that it be fixed today. If I was going to have to leave my vehicle there and pick it up tomorrow, I figured I could walk home. He thought they could fix it today and if not, they would give me a ride home.

I was happy to get in the tow truck. I love to ride in a big tall truck. While they looked at my tire, they offered me a cup of hot coffee. A nice lady had to show me how to work the Keurig. After a few sips, I felt much better about everything.

I learned that the broken stem was fancy, to light up the uneven pressure light on my dashboard. They replaced it with a regular stem. I could order the fancy, more expensive one if I wanted, but the regular one will work perfectly well. The only thing is, the uneven pressure light will still be on.

“So I’ll have to periodically check my tire pressure with the doodah,” I said. I meant the tire pressure guage. I have a tendency to say “doodah” instead of things’ regular names.

“That’s right. The old-fashioned way,” he said.

I was extremely pleased with my experience at Skinner Service Station. I said perhaps I would start going there for all my service needs, and the lady who had helped me with the coffee immediately handed me a business card. I added that I would definitely write a blog post about it. So I did.

Skinner Service Station is located at 5637 State Route 5, East Herkimer, NY 13350, phone number 315-866-3530. For 24/7 towing call 315-866-3360.

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