A Poem About My First Car

Poetry

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There won’t be much poem
I had to tow the thing home

It was a dark British green
An ugly shade to be seen

It was never much fun
The damned thing wouldn’t run

It was a ’52 Morris
It wouldn’t start for us

I got it for free
The owner overcharged me

It came home from a farm
The chickens did it some harm

We towed it home with a rope
I never had any hope

I didn’t take time to love it
I just quickly said ‘Shove it’

Mr. Snake-Oil did offer
An older trade he did proffer

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I can’t think of a rhyme for ‘learning experience.’  If you haven’t already, but would like to read about my early automotive adventures, click to go back to read about My First Cars.

Old Coots’ Horseless Carriages

The government allows the daughter 6 pain-med infusion treatments a year, so they are 8 or 9 weeks apart. Any further than that and the treatment wears off, and her pain levels mount quickly.  My hour drives up the highway with her are always on Tuesdays, because that’s when the doctor schedules the clinic in the hospital.

Late in July, the doctor wanted to take some vacation time, and set up a clinic on a Friday, so that people like the daughter wouldn’t have to go a couple of extra painful weeks. This was the Friday of the ‘Cruisin’ On King Street’ annual old-car show.

After the hour drive home, I dropped her off at her place, and walked a block into the big park where they were marshalling the cars. I took along my camera, and took photos of some of the older vehicles that caught my attention.

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1931 Ford ‘Vickie’ Crown Victoria

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Late ’60s Corvette, blah in straight white, side scoop should be contrasting color.

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1932 ‘Deuce’ coupe cabriolet, (convertible/soft-top) an “any color, as long as it’s black” that Ford never provided.

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It was reported that a 1939 Ford truck was the oldest vehicle in the show….and yet, here’s a 1923 ‘Bucket T’ model Ford, but it’s a kit car, with Fiberglas body and all-new frame and running gear.  While the ‘model’ is ’23, the hot rod is 2007.

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Another Coupe, this one with hard-top and rumble seat, and hot-rod wheels.

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A 1939 red Dodge Saloon, looking very much like my ’39 Pontiac, but with custom wheels.

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Now, that shade of green, or the blue above, would complement that ‘Vette.

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A 1961 VW Bug, not even ‘hopped up’, just prettified.

Back in the 60s, car companies and individuals had ideas about ‘Cars Of The Future.’ A few of them worked out – most didn’t.  We actually went back to ‘cars of the past’ for a few.  The PT Cruiser was mainly successful, while the Chevy SSR car, and the HHR van/truck didn’t fare as well.

Here are four 1960s artistic concept cars.

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A bit too Avant Garde, but this concept became the Chevy ‘El Camino’ and the Ford ‘Ranchero.’

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The Corvette’s grandfather.  Look at the models in these photos, and the clothes, shoes and hairdos.  They certainly weren’t advertising to the oil-soaked wrench jockeys.

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Somebody wanted to go back and recreate a 1923 T-Bucket Hot Rod with new engine and running gear. It was very much a niche market, and the private builders were more than enough to supply the market.

I titled my post a couple of  years ago, “Wasted Days.”  This day was definitely not a waste.  😎

Flash Fiction #86

Concours

PHOTO PROMPT – © Al Forbes

ON THE ROAD AGAIN

“What is that thing back there?”

“Hmmm, it looks like a 1908 Marmon automobile.”

“What’s it doing out on the Pacific Coast Highway?”

“Probably going to the Pebble Beach Automotive Concours. That’s a car show and contest for rich guys who restore and maintain classic cars.  Millions of dollars rolling around on narrow tires.  I can barely afford to drive past.”

“Boy, they must have really built them well in the old days. It looks a little breezy without a windshield, but, we’re doing seventy, and he looks like he’s trying to pass.  Slow down, I want a good look!”

***

Go to Rochelle’s Addicted to Purple site and use her Wednesday photo as a prompt to write a complete 100 word story.

 

How Now Pow-Wow

To inform NotestoPonder, an inquisitive, new, Western-Canada follower, here follows the tale of the Great Pow-Wow.  😉

Knowing I had to get up early to take the daughter to the Pow-Wow, I went to bed early.  Since regular for me is four AM, I headed for bed at three….right after a blog comment…and another.  It’s 3:30, and the wife is still reading….it’s 4 AM and she’s turning the light out.  Toss, turn, toss, turn….it’s 4:26, I’ll never get to slee….waddya mean it’s 7AM, and the alarm’s going off?

Juice and pills, feed the cats, water the dog, the son comes home and I take the car to pick up the daughter’s friend, and then her and her stuff.  Not a cold day, but the fog’s so thick I can see KayJai’s face in it.

It’s so thick, I almost couldn’t see the photo radar police car.  I drove past one last year.  They sent me a picture of my car and licence-plate, along with a $50 speeding ticket.  I sent them a picture of a Fifty-Dollar bill.  They sent me two photos, one of a pair of handcuffs, and the other of a cell door.  I sent them an email video of me, walking into the police station, right now, to pay the damned ticket.

By the time we got to the venue, the worst of the fog had dissipated, but the grass was wet.  The nearest parking was at the top of a 40 foot hill.  I hauled down the first couple of items, just in time to claim a good spot, but I am not hauling 500 pounds of stuff, down, and later, up, that hill.  We were allowed to, carefully, drive on the paved walkways, and park at the bottom.

After getting the daughter unloaded and set up, I headed home for some more sleep, and some chores.  There either was, Friday night, or would be, on Sunday, an old car show.  At a red light, a 1972 Oldsmobile 442, and a 1939 Ford drove past my nose.  After some computer time and more sleep, I drove down to the plaza to pick up a pizza for lunch.  In the parking lot, near the restaurant were 8/9 more oldies, a ’41 Dodge, a ’67 Mustang, and, side by side by side, a ’62, ’63, ’64 and ’58 Chevy Impalas.

The son says the only person who impresses him more with old cars than me, is the young fellow he works with.  We just look at a car and tell, within a few years at least, the make and age.  This was easy back in the day of yearly model changes, before they all became featureless clones, and you can’t tell Detroit iron from imported rice-burners.

Back in the tailfin heyday, 61 Chevies ended with a \ slant.  62s looked like /, 63s combined those with a <, and 64s softened it to [.  I could probably have got the ’58 on my own, but an IMP58ALA vanity plate gave it away.  I could even tell the unchanging VW Bug by a larger rear window or taillight.

I got back to pick the daughter up early enough to catch the end of the outdoor, commercial portion.  There was an indoor feast and speaker for those with tickets.  There were 40 to 50 vendor booths, none with fewer than two attendants, arranged in a horseshoe around a grassy lea.  About half were Native Indians.  The rest were White Eyes.

Closing the horseshoe was a large gazebo tent for the organizers.  This is where the dancers danced, the singers sang, the drummers drummed, and the First Aiders aided….announcements, contests, lost and found.  Some woman tried on a pair of earrings, and walked away leaving her large silver hoops.  Another left a green leather (?) purse with a $500 bill in it….or so the emcee claimed, to drum up interest.  Like the U.S., I think drug dealers have forced Canada to not print denominations larger than $100.  I need to research that.

At the base of the hill, white canvas skinned a cone of poles to make a teepee, but her dress had shrunk, and didn’t meet the ground by eight inches.  You’d need to pile a lot of bison shit around the bottom, to keep out vermin and snow.  At the other cusp of the horseshoe, a crew built and maintained a smoky campfire all day.

Everyone had a good day, socially and financially.  Daughter’s friend did some card readings and sold a bit of bead jewelry.  No beaded bookmarks, but the wife sold $51 worth of beeswax candles, in absentia, including a votive that the buyer pulled the wick out of, to rub on buckskins, for waterproofing.  The daughter didn’t actually spin yarn, but brought along two bobbins full, and plyed them together.  The fascinated watchers didn’t know the difference.

Aside from mother’s candles, the daughter sold some of her jewelry, and a couple of hand-knitted shawls, one of commercial yarn, the other, a bit more expensive, with her handspun yarn.  She asked $50 for the first, of the girl in the next stall, but she only had $40 in cash, so the daughter bartered in a $10, hand-painted leather wristband for the grandson, for coming along to help.

$30 bought her an antique Sterling ring with jade stones – cheap at twice that price.  Another $25 bought her a hand-knapped stone knife with an elk-antler handle, held on with elk sinew, with a plain, handmade leather sheath.  I expected it to be flint, but she tells me it’s agate.  Not delicate enough to trim salmon filets, it would still hack a roast off the side of a bison.  The grandson bought a four-feather smudge-fan, and two plastic bags of sage.

Daughter forgot to bring her camera, but went home with lots of happy memories, more money than she came with, some lovely parting gifts, and the intent to do this again next year.

I’m Too Duh-mb For My Shirt

The chances to watch the stupidity of some of the members of the human race are everywhere. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry sometimes.  The local paper has an automotive section in the Thursday edition mostly about current and soon-to-be-released vehicles.  I still drool and dream over the weekly motorcycle article.  On the tonight show each Monday night, Jay Leno usually has a bit he calls “Headlines”.   This week, he showed an ad for a motorcycle for sale.  Well, it actually read “Modersickle”.  Oh dear, is there a special school for morons?

The automotive section includes an article with photo of “Classic Cars”.  I love the old stuff.  I know the new ones run better and are safer, but the old ones had an élan and joie de vivre, before they all became indistinguishable corporate cookie-cutter clones.  I have my advancing age thrown in my face when the weekly *Classic* is from 1994, instead of 1944.

The duh-mb comes from the Question and Answer column.  People write…well, probably email, this ex-mechanic to get him to solve their automotive problems.  For a while, it seemed every week there was some kind of scam operator, trying to use the leverage of the power of the press, to force a business to accept a losing proposition.  Things like trying to force a tire shop to replace all four tires under a two-year warrantee, when they’d been driven two miles up a logging trail for a bush party.  Do they think an experienced mechanic and paid problem-solver won’t find out?  Oops!  Damn!  Sorry, I used that word again.

One guy owned two cars, and took the backup in to a shop to have the spark-plugs changed.  An apprentice removed the old plugs and, in doing so, broke one off.  The car was not ready for pickup when he came back, but they said they would call him when it was.  They thought they might have to take the head off, to get at it from underneath.

The letter rambled on and on about; why did they let an apprentice do this labor?  For the money I’m paying, it should always be a licensed mechanic!  I’m afraid that they’ve done some damage to the car, and they’re holding it for ransom to make me pay for their mistake.  It’s been almost two weeks and they haven’t phoned.  Can you help me get my car back?

The reply was; if you insist that it always be a licensed mechanic, the apprentice will never get to train, and eventually we’ll run out of licensed mechanics.  About damaging your car; they managed to get the plug out without dismantling the engine, so no damage was done.  About holding your car for ransom; apparently the cell-phone number you gave them was not in service and they had no other way to contact you.  The car has been ready for you for over a week if you’d bothered to contact them, instead of me.

Another genius wrote to say that he wanted another chip-encoded key for his car.  He complained that the dealer wanted almost a hundred dollars for one, so he bought one off the internet for ten.  He sent a picture of the key and said that he was having problems coding the new key to his car, what was the problem?  From the picture, the mechanic told him that the problem was that he had bought a non-chip key, and no matter how much he tried; he would never be able to code it.  He should keep it as a spare, in case he ever got locked out, and go to the dealer or a locksmith, and buy the correct one.

I watched an online video recently.  If I’d thought to record the web address I could include it here, or, since the wife and I are learning about linking and inserting, I could show you or let you watch it on your own.  Perhaps another blog.

The gist is; a mid/late-twenties male and his girlfriend, in a car.  He says, “Jenny, I’ve got a math question for you.  If I’m driving at eighty miles per hour, how long will it take to go eighty miles?”  She goes off about how she’s a jogger, and she jogs about nine miles an hour.  Well, if she pushed it she could probably do ten for a while.

“Jenny, if I’m driving at eighty miles an hour, how long will it take to go eighty miles?”

Well, truck tires are bigger than car tires, and you always accelerate hard when you start.  Is this on a level surface, and is the wind behind us or ahead of us.

“Jenny, if I’m driving at eighty miles an hour, how long will it take to go eighty miles?”

This is a trick question, because you probably know a shortcut.  I can’t run that fast, and you won’t let me drive.

“Jenny, I’ll tell you the answer.  It would take an hour.”

No it wouldn’t!  You always drive faster than that even though the truck tires look like they’re going really fast.  I bet it would only take forty or forty-five minutes.

It’s obvious that he’s not keeping her around as a coach for his Jeopardy appearance, and therein lies the problem.  I know we have to let them vote, and drive, even if he won’t let her, but is there some way to keep them from breeding the next generation of duh-mbs?