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Day 17: Ol’ Red Breaks Down

by Diane Wilson

Follow Diane’s day-by-day account of the latest Global Hunger Strike against Formosa Plastics. You can join her by signing up here.

Well, my old red protest truck broke down on a lonely Texas highway today. I don’t know what happened first: the smoke billowing from the engine of Ole Red, or the fact that she stopped moving and cruised me into some high dry weeds. I know Dan who had been holding the fort with Ole Red at Formosa had remarked to me that she had been making some strange noises.  Yes, that truck does make strange noises. I just usually turn the radio up louder at that point. But she obviously was serious and shut down on a bad road. Accidents happen on that road. I had a crazy notion the shutdown might just be a loose hose, but oh no, it seemed like the engine was on fire. Well, lots of smoke, anyhow.

Normally this is old hat with the vehicles that I drive. I never buy anything that isn’t over 100,000 miles and wasn’t wrecked before. But today I was pooped. 17 days without food and I had been on a trip into a freezer: Maine. I was in Maine and on the second day it was 19 degrees. Never in my life have I seen 19 degrees–but put it backwards and I have seen a lot of 91 degrees! Anyhow, 3 days of cold, 17 days without food, and an exhausting 30-gate walk in Chicago O’Hara Airport. I’m just saying I was a little too pooped to be stranded on a lonely thin highway, and on top of that, the sun was fixing to go down. And my hazard lights didn’t work. That too was stuck on broke.

All that I can say is I felt lucky lucky. Why? Because Ole Red didn’t break down on the causeway during the Formosa 500 worker shift change. 

Lavaca Bay Causeway, no shoulders. Good thing she didn’t quit on me here!

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