Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Out of Gas

It was only before and during Vatican II days that school missions were not allowed to have a car.  Sisters would ask volunteers to take them to appointments or do business in town.

From 1964-69, after the Vatican Council, working at St. John Cantius Parish, St. Cloud, MN.,  our Superior, S. Delrey Kulzer had the use of her brother Tony’s second car once a month to do the necessary business in town.

This particular day bringing the car, Tony said, “This is a very good car, except the gas gauge does not work but not to worry. You will find a gas tank in the trunk when you need it.”

One day when Delrey and I were driving around town to our places given on our “to do” list, driving down 3rd street, I said, “Delrey, I keep stepping on the accelerator, but the car is coming to a stop.”

She said, “Don’t worry; there is a tank of gas in the trunk.”  So feeling confident, we got out, opened the trunk, took the can of gas, brought it up to the front, opened the hood, and thinking soon the problem would be solved. While she helped to hold up the hood, I had the tank of gas in my right hand, bending over and looking all around for an obvious place to pour it.  “Gee, where do I put it?” I asked.  I saw a knob that could have been turned, but it did not say, put GAS here.  I had my car license before  entering the convent, but it was either my Dad or one of my two older brothers who would fill the tank.  I continued to look up and down, from side to side, did not see anywhere that looked like an opening.

We closed the hood and looked in the trunk, closely checked the rounded corners, but found nothing that looked like a gas opening.

Delrey said, “Let’s look inside of the car down by the gas pedal, it would make sense to find it there.” We did not see an opening for gas.  

I waved to the next car to stop. The kind man asked, “Ladies, how can I help you?”  I answered, “Our car is out of gas and here is a tank of gas but we do not know where to put it.”

I gave him the can of gas; he walked back to the rear fender on the driver’s side, opened the lid and poured the gas into it.  Problem solved.

Smiling, he handed the tank back to me. As we graciously thanked him, I could tell by the look on his face that he had a good story to share with his friends for the rest of his life. 


Margaret Mandernach, OSB


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