Gypsy got a booboo, I tried to temporarily fix Gypsy’s booboo, I got a booboo.

As I was rolling for the U.S. border through the monsoon that hit Ontario, I noticed the glass in Gypsy’s driver’s side wing mirror suddenly flapping like it was swinging from the top of the glass. I reached out the window to see if it just needed a good press or something to put it back in place. The glass came off in my hand. Now, she was built in July of 2000, so she’s no spring chicken, and things like that are minor and expected. No worries.

I crossed the border in Detroit, and hit the first AutoZone south of the city. They didn’t have the glass in stock, and they wanted $80 for just the glass anyway. I could get a new glass kit from Amazon for like $15 and have it sent ahead to Indiana, to my friend Undescriptionated, so that’s what I intended to do. But meanwhile, I needed to be able to see out that mirror to get to Indiana. I got some epoxy and put the glass I had back in. I bought a couple of clamps at the local hardware store to hold it in place while the epoxy set. 

I set the clamps too tight.

About a minute later, the glass shattered. Now I was fucked. Did I mention it was the 13th? Now, I’m not superstitious, but… y’know. If you’re going to test a hypothesis, really put it through the wringer, right? Go big or go home.

I cut the shit out of my finger pulling the broken glass off before the epoxy fully set. 

Autozone had some aftermarket mirrors for other vehicles in stock, and I found one for the passenger’s side of a Toyota Camry that was just a tiny bit too big on one corner if I turned the glass upside down to install it. It was the best I could do under the circumstances, so I bought it for like ten bucks and took it with me to my campsite in Perrysburg, Ohio. Remember the leatherman’s tool that didn’t get confiscated at the border crossing into Quebec? It came in handy. It has a file in it, and I used it to file off the one corner that wasn’t quite shaped right to fit in the mirror housing. I was just about done shaping the glass when it, too, broke. Fortunately, it only broke a chunk off, and it’ll hold me over ’til I get back to someplace where I can get the proper one.

Gypsy’s a little wounded, I’m a little wounded, but we’re still having a blast!

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Louis Shackleton is a boudoir, portrait, art, event, and wildlife photographer formerly based in Wilmington, NC and now traveling the continent in his 2001 VW Passat named Gypsy.

Head on over to the About page to read more about him and his work.

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