Thursday, April 30, 2009

April 30, 1928

Happy Birthday, Mom.

We all sure do miss you and hope you are enjoying yourself these days.

Love you.


Wednesday, April 29, 2009

I Love My Kinfolk, Revisited

These days I pay pretty much every bill online via an automatic debit from my checking account.

In addition to Jessica's support check and rent, the only other exception to this is my wireless internet bill. I guess when I set this account up several years ago I wasn't as into this practice as I am now.

As a result, I check my snail mail, at that big cluster of condo mail units two blocks away and over by the pool, rather infrequently.

Today, I checked it for the first time in a couple weeks and, Boy, Am I Glad I Did.

You see, a while back, I was at Walgreens down in the Belaire Plaza, yeah, the same one the Kid, thejeepjunkie and I had seen getting its pharmacy robbed, and I noticed they had Daytona Beach tshirts at the rate of 4 for $10. So I decided to pick up some for the youngsters up in the Ozarks, both in The Queen City of The Ozarks and on Haven Lee Farm, and I sent them their way.

It had been awhile since I had done this and I had actually forgotten I had done this as it wasn't that big of a deal, at least to me, and, well, I have consumed some hurricane supplies since then, staying in practice for the upcoming season.

So anyway, I get over to that rarely visited mailbox and unexpectedly find the following in envelopes in it.

These came from thehorsefarmer and

are Owner's Manuals for the INTERNATIONAL HARVESTER hay baler

and an Overhaul and Field Adjustments guide to for the same. Although I have not read each of them in depth, I am going to suspect this is not recommended during the usage of these old balers.

and this one was a sealed example of a copy of the Serviceman's Handbook for Twine Knotters used on McCormick and International balers, circa 1964.

I showed these to thejeepjunkie and TheGoodAttorney and thejeepjunkie and I were reminiscing about the old IH hay baler TheGentlemanFarmer had back on Haven Lee Farm, Halltown edition.

That old piece of equipment would shake, rattle and roar behind the tractor that the wheel fell off. It would also, much to the consternation of TheGentlemanFarmer, break a shear pin in the flywheel for about every 5 minutes of use.

TheGentlemanFarmer, after one season of hay baling just hired ole Roy Weaver to come on over with his baler. I think he paid something like 4 cents a bale to ole Roy.

We boys still had to load it on that old, bare bones Dodge

and haul it to that old barn for storage in that hayloft until the following winter.

And the compensation for that deed? We were allowed to eat and sleep at TheGentlemanFarmer's home for free. Chores was what they was.

In the above photo, perched on top of that hay laden old Mopar Pickup are, left to right, Charlie Bingle, thejeepjunkie, Paul Bingle, and the olelongrooffan. Those Bingle boys are sons of Uncle Bob and Aunt Virginia, mentioned in this post naming one of our horses.

So, anyway, also contained in the envelope with those manuals was a brief, to the point note from thehorsefarmer. "Ebay these and keep the proceeds."

It sure is nice to have thoughtful family members thinking of me during these times.

Thanks horsefarmer, for the thought and the recollected memories.

Well, in addition to my wireless internet invoice, in another envelope, were the following from those youngsters, Trey and "Pickle Boy", shown here during their visit down to The Birthplace of Speed last summer.

Old fashioned, handwritten, including artwork, thank you notes to this olelongrooffan, affectionately known as "johnjohn", thanking me for the shirts and other stuff I had sent their way.

I had gotten a verbal thank you from the Little Princess out on Haven Lee Farm a week or so ago and I am glad to know that, despite all that is going on in the NotSoLilJim and LilMom world,

they made those youngsters sit down and write these to this ole man. Extra credit bonus to the "Pickle Boy", his was folded into a paper airplane!!!

And, know, it is stuff like this that lets me continue to

Celebrate Life.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Dad and Uncle Frank

it is okay to be bummed out.

Yesterday, I did a blog about some sights seen on a recent road trip.

One of the images I captured was of a 67 Pontiac Grand Prix ragtop. It is a similar vehicle to the one my Uncle Frank, TheGentlemanFarmer's brother, used to drive. In my memory, He always owned "Wide Track" Pontiac convertibles. I remember either seeing a 59 of his, or at least a photo of one in a parade. He also had a 63, and then that 67.

My Dad, TheGentleManFarmer had, in the 80's, a 66 Bonneville droptop and a 66 Pontiac Catalina sedan, both seen in this picture along with the olelongrooffan's new wave two tone Volvo 144.

Yeah, new wave two tone, blue car and one white door.

Anyway, the reason it is okay for those two former Pontiac enthusiasts to be bummed out?

Today, General Motors announced the closing of the Pontiac Motor Division sometime in 2010. Too bad. Once at the forefront of automotive design and technology, it, of recent, had become an "alsoran" within GM Corporate Headquarters.

The autoextremist has a good post about Pontiac here.

But, hell, I guess this closure should have been expected.

I mean even Burt Reynolds is doing this.

But unlike that T/A,

The Pontiac Motor Division is truly priceless.

Noone will give you one red cent for it.

And that is why Uncle Frank, TheGentleManFarmer and this olelongrooffan are bummed out.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Honoring Committments

Last month, on my way down to Fantasy Land, I took a slight detour and dropped off a driveshaft from a 46 Willys CJ2A I sold on ebay to a dude just outside of Tampa.

Commitment Met.

So, now, I had from 10:30 am until 5:15 pm to get down to the Port Charlotte airport to pick up my friend Francie who caught a cheapo flight there from Charlotte, North Carolina, and was going to spend the weekend with Carri and me down in Naples.

Now according to googlemaps, it is a distance of 103 miles and should take 1 hour, 44 minutes.

I had 6 hours and 45 minutes.

Am I up to the challenge?

Well, as thejeepjunkie loves to tell ya, the olelongrooffan is the only guy he knows who can make a 3 hour trip into a 5 hour trip, so,

yeah I am up to that challenge.

The following image is dedicated to him. But it could also be dedicated to the Bus, thehorsefarmer and the olelongrooffan just as well.

Seen on the rear of a POS Sentra on I-75. Yeah, I was driving on Eisenhour's highway to get just south of Tampa. I could easily have taken US 41 through Tampa but I didn't want to go through a major urban area while on this relaxing drive south. Just below Tampa I got on US 301 and headed over to US 41 and picked it up just north of Sarasota.

While on 301, I spotted an old car body shop and stopped in to get a few images for ya.

Pretty sure this is a 69 Mustang. I remember in my youth out at Miller High School, when I was in 7th grade, Terry Washam had a 69 Boss 302, all jacked up and ran like nothing I had ever seen. Powder blue and a sweet to me at the time muscle car. Today, not so much.

67 or 8 Mustang, Modified Corvette, Buick Skylark and a 64 Chevy were all parked out front.

This 67 SS was undergoing a full paint job and restoration.

Seen out back.

And a mini chopper?

A dubbed 72

deuce and a quarter.

And I love that roof built over the top of that boat. It was a hoot.

First gen Monte Carlo, first gen Cutlass, mid 80's F150 and a

I am going to say Maverick, based on the wheel covers. But it could also be a Mercury Comet like thehorsefarmer used to own.

Another 67 Chevy Impala, although not a Super Sport.

And a rusty 67 Pontiac Grand Prix convertible like my Uncle Frank used to own, although I don't recollect whether his was a Grand Prix or Bonneville. They both had the same, if not very similar, body styles. I remember one event filled trip thejeepjunkie and I took to St. Louis to visit Uncle Frank and he let the two of us take it out and wash it. After doing so, we put the top down, along with all the windows. When we drove up to his house on Giles, we parked out front and he was sitting on the front steps. He commented, 'Well, at least you guys know how to drive a convertible.' Today, almost always in my oleragtops, when the top is down, so are the windows.

So I was heading down through Sarasota trying to remember the last time I was here and what there is to do to kill a couple hours.

I then remembered and looked off to my left and there it was!!

Yep, The Sarasota Classic Car Museum.

Check out that sweet rare Pontiac convertible, complete with Continental kit on the rear. A mundane 57 Chevy, obviously gutted as I doubt someone gets on the roof everyday to put the top up on that oleragtop. I am fairly certain the other is a Duesey but could be, and most likely am, mistaken on that one.

As always, I headed around back to check out these babes.

Dig that old Morris ragtop.

And that Caddy factory limo was awesome. The roof is long enough for me.

Once inside, I spotted this old woody and, much like the one in this blog, I have to admit that NotSoLilJim may be correct about the panel gaps in these old cars.

Wait!!! I forgot to tell you about admittance to this old car heaven. When I walked in the entrance, I noticed the entry fee was eight bucks. Well, as cash is king these days, I thought about not going on in. When I heard one of the dudes behind the counter mention to another dude surfing the net that I was the 800th visitor that day, I decided to give it the ole college try.

I mentioned to him that should get me free admission. They both started laughing. One of them asked me if I had brought my camera. I confirmed I had and their museum would be featured on my blog in the near future. Did that get me free admission?

Still more chuckles and those eight bucks were exchanged, I passed along to them one of my business cards, or should it be called a blog card as it has no business listed, just my email and blog address, and I headed on into that museum.

Right at the entry they have two huge glassed in bookshelves filled with a diecast of every model I could think of. It was awesome!!! Tried for images but the flash kept reflecting off the glass fronts of those highly desirable display cases.

In addition to many classic US made cars there were a ton of imports in this collection. So many that I have forgotten what a few of them are.

Such as this bronze beauty.

I am leaning toward Lamborgini but probably am mistaken.

But I know this is a Jaguar XJ220. One hot piece of equipment.

While I am not a huge fan of modern SuperCars, I like this one alot, even have a diecast one in my collection.

I also have a replica of this Jaguar XKE in it as well.

And although I know the name of this one off sedan,

I can't seem to remember it. Well, it has been said the mind is the first to go.

The following is an orphaned Plymouth Super Bee,

sister car to the original Dodge Daytona.

And a cherry Dodge Coronet drop top.

and a sweet 67, soon to be orphaned, Pontiac 'Convertible Coupe'.

Next up was a Citroen CX 2200 sedan, as successor to TheGentleManFarmer's DS21.

I have a replica, albeit in taxi cab dressing, of this one as well as several DS's in my collection.

Then, back in the corner of that room off that museum, I spotted this old Truckster of By The Numbers fame

but the one on the right, I am not sure.

I could find no badging on it but I will wager the Bus has an idea of what it is.

Out the side door I saw this trio resting quietly

while this beautiful black beautie was getting washed.

And back inside was this display of carnage.

So much crap was on this that it took all beauty away from it. Admirable to some I guess, just not to this olelongrooffan.

And back into the main exhibit area where I spotted a Ford GPW. I snuck across that barrier chain to see if it had a Ford script on the rear. Nope and it was equipped with a tailgate.

Thanks to the Bus and ebay, I have a few of these in the Taj Mahal.

And once again, I fail to remember the name of this one.

I thought it might be a "bat car" but I just cannot remember.

And you know the car junkie in me, seeing all these rare and cool cars and I can also admire the stantions holding those chains not keeping me from checking out that GPW. Reminds me of the table TheGentleManFarmer made me years ago out of a donut spare tire, a rear axle shaft, a Buick steering wheel and a round glass tabletop. Still have it and greatly treasure it.

A rare Nash Healey coupe,

and this Aston Martin Lagonda are pretty cool situated just across the aisle from each other.

And a series of Iso's

along with an Isetta, but since it is in amongst the Iso's maybe they built, or sold a rebadged, one also.

and another Iso, this one a coupe, a Matchbox sized replica of which I owned in my youth.

Then on the way out I saw this IsoRivolta prototype.

By the way, in the background of the above image are those diecast display cases I mentioned earlier in this post.

So that was it for the Sarasota Classic Car Museum $8.50 tour.

After I passed by that IsoRivolta prototype, I was passing by the entry counter at which I had tried to cajole a free entry just a while ago. Those same two guys were behind that counter checking out a flat screen monitor. As I was walking by, I commented to them, as I do to all participants in the car related events I attend, 'Thanks for the show.' They looked up and motioned me over. So while I sauntered on to that counter, one of the dudes went over to the cash machine while the other came up to greet me with his right hand extended.

"Great blog," he said. "Mike and I are enjoying it right now." With that, Mike hands me $8.50 and comments, "Glad you enjoyed our museum."

"I'm glad you enjoyed my blog and thanks!!" I expounded.

And it is with this blog that I can say,

"Commitment Met".

So I headed out that front door, got in the oleragtop and headed down US41, reeling from a great compliment from fellow car junkies and trying to figure out how to kill another hour or two.

That is when I spot, I think, 'Ultimate Motorcars' and decide I need to drop in here.

Parked inside that showroom filled with highly desirable classic automobiles was this Porsche 356 "Bathtub" droptop.

You guessed it, one of those sits right on the Volkswagon shelf, immediately adjacent to the cool McDonalds Bug ragtop featured at the end of this blog.

Around the corner, I spotted a bevy of beauties, including the Mercedes Coupe in the foreground and the white Mercedes Coupe in the background those dudes are checking out.

And a pair of near matching XKE droptops were lingering nearby along with a sweet Bentley.

And up front was this dashing orphaned Plymouth Fury droptop. It was huge, immaculate and gorgeous.

And another grouping of highly desirable motorcars, especially that Triumph TR3 to the right, Lucas electronics and legendary oil leaks aside, I love them.

So I check out the time on that free Metro PCS phone, and realize I have successfully killed enough time to get down to pick up Francie and get on into Fantasy Land right on time.

However, I ended up being a bit late to pick up Francie. We had agreed she would call me once she had landed and I would then head out to the airport to pick her up. You see neither of us had been to this airport before and were unsure of the parking situation. Turns out the Port Charlotte airport is a one counter, one building facility with free parking. When I arrived, tardy, I parked right in front of that facility waltzed in and, after a big hug and kiss, I sat down in an empty wheelchair next to that broken legged Francie and waited for her one piece of luggage to come around on that carousel. Gotta love a woman who goes out of town for three days and has only one bag.

We then "hopped" in the oleragtop and beat it on down the road to Naples. On the way, Francie desired a cancer stick and inquired if smoking was acceptable in the oleragtop. Well, of course and when it came time to put that butt out, I pulled out a trusty Diet Coke can for disposal as the ashtray is full of Jessica's coins.

You see, when that ashtray is full of stray coins, I cash them in on a gift card to Books-A-Million for the most gorgeous blonde in my life.

Anyway, on the way we ran into some periodic showers. Put the top up? Not just no but Hell No!!! I put those windows in a rare position when the top is dropped, up, and we continued along with the rain beating off the windscreen and flowing over the top across the cockpit and moving obediently to the rear of that oleragtop. Francie, never having experienced it before, was amazed. I know Jessica likes it too. So long as a minimum 45 mph is attained, all is good.

Once we crossed the Caloosahachee River just north of Fort Myers, it was high and dry all the way to Naples.

We got in and Carri had prepared a wonderful meal which we enjoyed with a mixture of hurricane supplies and a great weekend was enjoyed by all.

Commitment Met.

Oh Yeah, the reason I was tardy in retrieving Francie from that remote airport?

Like Minnie Pearl and all the other huge animals following me around, and there are plenty more than just those, I was traveling through downtown Sarasota and came across the item shown in the following image and I, while I pride myself on being where I am when I said I would be there, I just had to stop and get a shot of it.

And, No you perverts, I did not look up her skirt either.

And just know, taking over 5 hours for a less than 2 hour drive, seeing all those classic old cars for free, spending a great weekend with old friends and getting a blog out of it, all for less than thirty bucks gas money, round trip, still allows me the opportunity to

Celebrate Life.

Hope you do, also.