Work Blues On An Accessible Van
So, I’ve told you all about my handicapped
accessible van, right? In case you’ve forgotten, it’s
a Town and Country Mini-van, which we bought used. It has
a drop floor and a ramp for easy access for me and my wheelchair.
Well, Herman noticed a bunch of rust and
decided it was time to get it fixed. So off to Phil Terranova’s
Body Shop on South Main Street in Gloversville the van went.
Phil had the van for a good week and a half. I’ve
never felt so stuck at home without it. This is especially
ironic because when Herman first told me about the van and
eventually showed it to me I was dead set against it.
Herman had been lifting me into his Ford
Explorer, and he said to me, “Please, consider this
van. My back can’t take it anymore.” To make
a long story short, I have since fallen in love with this
van. What I like about it the most is that it doesn’t
look like a handicapped equipped van. The side panels that
cover the drop floor actually look like sporty ground effect
The reason Phil had the van so long was
that the more layers he peeled back on the undercarriage,
the more problems he found. He basically had to construct
a new frame for supporting the flooring over top of the
old one. He said the problem with even trying to weld the
metal was that it wouldn’t hold where there was rust,
so he had to use heavy duty rivets to hold the metal in
Cosmetically, we also needed a new floor
rug, and it had to be a tight, commercial type heavy duty
rug to take the wear and tear of my snow or rain soaked
wheels when I drive my power chair in and out of the van.
This is my new favorite part of the van. Because it even
smells new now, besides looking new. Whatever was wrong
with the frame, I couldn’t see it with the plastic
panels covering it up, but I’m glad it’s all
Herman’s Explorer is the next car
going to Phil’s. He last had a go at it when we took
out six guard rails on our way to California with Hermanette
back in 1998. At the time, Phil said not to expect the body
work to last over two years in this north east, winter climate.
Since that was six years ago, and it lasted three times
as long as he predicted, we’re hoping that his estimate
of two years time on his current repair of the van is overly
conservative as well.
So if you have any body work that needs
to be done on any of your cars, I highly recommend Phil
Terranova. He is quick and does great work. And if we can
afford it, so can you.
"Kathryn Spira, a native of Cleveland who pursued an
acting career in NYC and Los Angeles, now pursues free lance
writing from Caroga Lake here in Fulton County. Previous
columns may be accessed at her web site www.kathrynskorner.com"