1982—Off to Batesville
To our vast dismay, Brent took a job with Hillenbrand Industries at their headquarters at Batesville, in Franklin and Ripley (mostly) Counties, in the southern part of Indiana, about 50 miles east of Cincinnati. Hillenbrand, in case you’ve forgotten your grammar-school economic geography, has long offered the consumer a one-stop personal disaster, combining under one corporate roof Traveler luggage (so that you can get to the hospital), Hill-Rom hospital beds (whereupon you may die), and Batesville Casket. If I sound a bit sour on the outfit, you may not be dumbfounded.
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We missed our Bwumet fiercely and immediately, endured the separation for a year, and then jumped into our Van Wiggle1 and set out on the thousand-mile voyage to their new home.

At the Connecticut River, of course, Van Wiggle’s starter conked out. For the rest of the outbound trip, we had to make a point of stopping downhill, so that the illustrated fallback procedure would work without undue pain. I’ve always preferred what used to be called “standard” transmissions; no longer the standard, they’re harder to get, these days, but the modern shiftless variety woudn’t have served our purpose, back then. At our Midwestern destination, we finally sprung for a rebuilt starter and lost considerable opportunity for vigorous physical exercise…
1Van Wiggle (a second-hand VW bus [“casserole,” in French Mission parlance] which [who?] replaced our beloved Brunnhilde, when she rusted out) was named after Erik, as you may or may not find superficially obvious. When little, the kids found his name challenging, in some interesting ways. Rick’s creative versions included approximations to “Airwick” and “Earwig,” which grew inexorably to “Earwiggle” and then got truncated to just “Wiggle.”
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