Tuesday, October 12, 2010

I Wish I Could Blame Just Dad

This is a blog this olelongrooffan posted over on Hooniverse should any of you Counters out there give a d*mn. It will publish on Thursday morning around nine-ish eastern time.

So this week, we contributors to Hooniverse are exposing-hey get your mind out of the gutter-a little bit about ourselves so we Hoons can get to know each other a little better.

In my very first post on Hooniverse, this olelongrooffan described How This Hoon Became A Hoon.
Rather than rehash that old blogpost, this olelongrooffan thought I would approach my Hoonage from a bit different perspective.

As I described in my inaugural blogpost my Dad always had an unusual car around and sometimes more than one.

I readily remember riding in and driving his 1972 Citroen DS21 Palas. It was a super sweet ride, not overly powerful but, Man, the leather front seats were soft and cushy, much like a barco-lounger, and seemed to swallow you whole in their comfortableness. And yes, it had a clutchless semi automatic transmission.
He drove that automobile until it just gave out and then he parked it in the pole barn out back for a number of years. At the time, I was in my early college years and tried to talk him into installing a VW GTI motor in it. But, alas, he passed along to me, and all my brothers, the belief that Stock Rocks! And that car withered away. But by then he had purchased a pair of 66 Pontiacs and moved on.

But as the title suggests, it is not just Dad I can blame. I have three older brothers who are also into all things vehicular.

During my preteen years, my oldest brother, prior to leaving for the Land War In Southeast Asia, purchased, not only a swing set for we "four little kids" and a matching console television and stereo system for the folks, a 1970 Chevelle 2 door hardtop. And as Dad had passed along his trait, it was bone ass stock and stayed that way until he bought his Cutlass Supreme after his first marriage. His wife couldn't drive the "three on the tree" equipped Chevelle! He also owned a vintage WWII Willy's M38A1.

My second oldest brother (the Bus), back in the same era, purchased this sweet British racing green Triumph Spitfire. Prior to leaving for Germany to serve his country as a medic for the US Army over there, he put this thing up on concrete blocks and took the knockoff wheels and tires to a buddy's home so that my little brother (thejeepjunkie) and I, about 13-14 at the time, wouldn't steal it and totally Hoon The Hell out of it. Know this, we would have! But I do remember sitting in that thing, up on blocks, with thejeepjunkie as my navigator shifting that 4 speed transmission while driving in our imaginary rally that took place, not geographically, but cerebelly. And this olelongrooffan remembers that like it was yesterday. It was actually 37 years ago!

Now for my third oldest brother (thehorsefarmer), back in the late 60's he owned a 1955 Chrysler New Yorker. Later in life, after he retired after serving in the US Navy as the Senior Chief Hospital Corpsman, Submarine Services, he bought a small farm and had the two trucks shown in the following image.
thehorsefarmer got that blue F1 from my dad. Dad bought it as a backup pickup on our farm back in the early 70's. My dad had a friend, Hap Henley, who was an old Chrysler New Yorker driving, plaid flannel shirt wearing, pipe smoking shade tree mechanic. When it came time to rebuild that flathead six under the hood of that old truck, Hap was around and told this young whipper snapper to file down the top of the engine block til it was smooth. So I commensed to filing that old block to what I thought was perfection. When I had completed that task, I went to get Hap to show him what I had done. He came over, inspected my work and told me I had done a "jam up job." This 14 year old boy didn't know what that meant and went to find Mrs. Henley and ask her. She told me I must have done an exceptional job as Hap rarely paid that compliment. I walked out of the kitchen just beaming with pride!

Thus far I have explained the contributing genetics as to How This Hoon Became A Hoon. Now I want to share a couple more memories.

Prior to moving to the Missouri Ozarks, my family lived in Shrewbury, Missouri, a bedroom community on the border of St. Louis. My paternal grandmother, Moo, lived across town from us and for my family to go visit her was a big deal. She was of the age who believed kids were to seen and not heard. Whenever we "4 little kids" went with the folks to visit her, my brother and I were bannished to the dark, dank basement of Moo's row house to play with toy cars from an old wooden box. I have been fortunate enough to have gotten a couple of them over the years.
I showed these to thejeepjunkie earlier this evening and he about died! "I remember that old Packard from when we played with it in Moo's basement." And that wheelless silver longroof I remember playing with it while it still possessed those vital items necessary for vehicular movement. Wonder if that toy planted an early seed of longroof fondness in this olelongrooffan? This is my earliest recollection of anything automotive, occuring around age 3, 1962.
While we lived in St. Louis, this Microbus was my Mom's daily driver. My Dad had an identical one. Those are my three older brothers looking cool in the early 60's.

As I mentioned, my dad always had a unique vehicle around. In the early '60's while in St. Louis he picked up a 1932 Ford Model "A". Shown below are me, second from the left, and thejeepjunkie on the far right. My neighbor across the street, Mark Ryan, is on the far left and the other boy is unknown. Yeah, I remember "jam up job" but forget someone's name. Well, that's how I ride.
That car rode down to the Missouri Ozarks on a flatbed trailer behind my Dad's 65 Country Squire and, for a time, resided in my dad's garage where it became a backdrop for a photograph taken by this olelongrooffan of a bunch of neighborhood kids with thejeepjunkie front and center.
And lest you think dad never started on that restoration, note the following picture of more neighborhood kids after we had rebuilt the motor in that early FOMOCO product.
At this time, circa 1970, my dad's fleet consisted of the following: 1967 Ford Country Squire, 1966 Buick Electra Deuce and A Quarter(the bishop's old car), this Model "A", a 1963 Corvair Convertible, a Starcraft tent trailer, a 32' pontoon boat, two Wheel Horse lawn tractors and about a hundred bicycles, including one built for two.

Well Hoons, one day my dad pulled an Oliver Wendel Douglas and moved his brood lock, stock and barrel from urban life to a 173 acre farm a thirty minute drive from "town". He traded that partially restored Model "A" for a big, stout Black Angus bull who provided many calves out there on Haven Lee Farm. My sister totalled that red Corvair so my dad took the proceeds and purchased a brand new 1971 Dodge Sweptline pickup truck for daily use on that farm.
While in the stead of this olelongrooffan and thejeepjunkie, it spent alot of its time in this condition.
Usually stuck during the spring thaws.

Dad also found a tricycle front IH Farmall "C" tractor and much like Mr. Douglas's tractor one day the wheel fell off!
And those are just a few of the thousands of memories this olelongrooffan retains from a childhood with a dad and older brothers who, just like you and me, were Hoons of their time.

I have shared with my brothers this fine website and they follow it as religiously as you and I do. And I am confident my Dad, with a glass of all things Cutty in one hand and a cigar in the other is watching over we Hoons from up above and giving all of us his nod of approval.

1 comment:

Busplunge said...

Nice post John.

I was trying to figure out how many vehicles I have owned since I turned 16.

Don't remember but my newest acquisition is a 1996 Buick Regal fodor purchased from the widow of the guy I got the red S-10 from.

She called me Tuesday and said she wanted to sell me her car for $1200 dollars. I said OK, did you check with your kids?

She said she wanted me to have the car because she knew I would take care of it, like I did Elmo's truck.

Which I do so I did. I put new brakes on it, rotors and pads which set me back $250.00 and fixed the blinkers which set me back some time and tomorrow will buff it out and get you some photos.

FOrtunately I had sold the 8N on Sunday so I had some cash to buy the Buick on Tuesday.