The plan for today is to eat half an omelet at First Watch, go to the Kirkwood Farmer's Market, and then go somewhere I have never been: The Magic House. It wasn't around when I was a child, and I wasn't with Gary when he took our niece and nephew. Will there soon be a photo of Gary touching the Tesla coil? I think there will.
When I last visited the in-laws, they shared with us a story of taking their kids to the Magic House. (Disclaimer: the Magic House wasn't open until 1979, when Gary was 25 and his sisters were 23 and 21. But that's okay. Just go with it. They did get the street right, so that suggests it was the Magic House.)
Gary, if I recall, started the conversation by asking why his parents never took him to the Magic House. I started to mention I didn't know it was THAT old, when Wilma insisted that OF COURSE they took him and his sisters to the Magic House, don't you remember, they had that awful parking and it was almost impossible to get out? You had to turn on to Lindbergh Boulevard, and they had such trouble? And then the car caught fire?
Wilma laughed and said she hadn't thought about that in so long, "Ken, remember when the car caught fire when we took the kids to the Magic House?" Ken nodded yes. I assumed it was because his hearing aid was off, but then he said, "It was so hard to get out of there, and then we saw the smoke coming under the hood."
I asked, "White smoke or black smoke?" because I vaguely remember one just means you have an heater coil problem.
"There were FLAMES on the WINDSHIELD." Wilma said, so insistently I believed her. "Remember, Ken, we just drove straight across Lindbergh to that gas station, and they were there with buckets of water, like they were expecting us? They saw us coming!"
I laughed, "You drove a flaming car to a gas station?"
"It was right across the street!"
"A gas station? I bet they had buckets of water ready!"
"Oh! We never thought of that!" Ken added. "I just wanted to get the car fixed."
I can imagine if, my car were on fire, I also would be the type of person determined to drive it across Lindbergh, so it wouldn't tie up the exit AND so the mechanics at the gas station across the street could explain why it was in fire. The giant tanks of gas below the asphalt gas station parking lot would be my last concern.