Sunday, March 29, 2009
I have owned at least 34 motor vehicles of the four wheel type in my short life which means I have averaged one every 2.058 years since I was born or one every 1.588 years since I got a drivers license. That is excessive but I can't give it back. I try to ride a bicycle as much as possible now.
That was a different time. You had to have a car when you reached 16 tears as it was a rite of passage. In those days cigarettes were good for you (they sold candy cigarettes to children to get them prepared), marijuana would turn you into a zombie (or worse a murderous axe wielding drooling drug addict), women wore skirts (and dresses) and if a male of any age had long hair then he was automatically a homosexual except for Jesus of course. He could have hair as long as he wanted and wear a dress besides. This was my first four wheeled motor vehicle. I had a Cushman three wheeler before and several motor scooters and motorcycles.
This strip down was a 1938 ford pickup truck that my dad gave up on. It sat out in the back in the Arkansas woods west of Little Rock for a year or so. When I was 15 and riding motorcycles (and Cushman Motor Scooters) he gave it to me to do what I wanted with it. The gang of four mechanical geniuses you see on the truck got together and with the aid of a hammer and cold chisel we cut the top off and removed the doors. The bed was already gone as was the gas tank. The little round 2 and ½ gallon tank behind the cab is from a 40's vintage cushman motor scooter and the fuel line is just bent into a loop into the filler. No cap. Don't need no stinkin' cap. Well much to everyone's surprise we got it running and we did it by towing it fast enough Jay's Indian Arrow motorcycle. The battery was too low to even crank it but after we got it started it came up enough for a restart. Just imagine those 4 boys rocking and rolling down the road with two of them sitting on the frame with an open gas tank and an idiot at the wheel (me). Mechanical geniuses indeed.
The gang of four are Jay, Ralph and Blake riding and Me as the driver. I got to be the driver because it was my truck not because of ability and certainly not because of good judgment They called me Dick in those days and it was not an insult but I guess I was one. Since Nixon and Cheney I have tried to shed that name with limited success.
Those guys there with me are big in my memories and each had his on special talents. I suspect they went on to success if they lived because they were not weak links. I moved away in the summer of 1955 and lost touch with them.
I have no idea why we weren't killed or a least seriously mangled. Some say guardian angels but I think that pure blind dumb luck is my friend.
In good time I will tell about the other vehicles. Some had character and some had a severe lack of character but they all had a story.