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Hangin’ with the Watch Fobs

Hangin’ with the Watch Fobs


It ain’t easy being primered. Take the incident with the Junkyard Dawg back nearly twenty years. I had the low dollar build roadster out for a join-up with Ron Ceridono, we were to meet up over near Sun Valley, that movie famous ski place tucked well away from anywhere in the mountains of south central Idaho. I had left Ronoldo a few days earlier as he headed down to that infamous highway that snakes east-west across northern Nevada. He was going to scout ahead and pick up some rodders who had indicated an interest in joining Ron and I for a low-key amble up to the River of no Return, thence cross country to end at the West Yellowstone rod run. Actually, we were going to have a real rod run before the start of the lawnchair rod run.

Back in the mid to late ‘90s, we two had decided to host a very irregular thingie called the Teton Krooz, with our ramblings to be roundabout the northern Rocky Mountains. A highly undisciplined chance for a gaggle of Ne’er-do-wells masquerading as respectable hot rodders to scatter through the underbrush and terrorize all who stared. Normally, the group would consist of up to 30 or so scalawags gathered from across the nation in the belief that we, the organizers, would be organized. Piffle.

So, anyway, there was a rod run happening in Wells, Nevada, a noticeably unnoticeable wide place on the freeway west of much better known Wendover. Ron would go down, gather in a contingent of Kroozers, and lead them through the wild wilds of unknown Nevada, to meet Pegge and me in Hailey, Idaho (which is another almost unnoticeable wide spot except for the small airport full of zillion dollar celebrity private jets).I should mention as an aside that Wells has one of those sporting establishments famous in Nevada, and the ladies in waiting of said establishment set up a tent at the rod run offering free tours of said establishment. Surprise: it was a hit with wives of the rod park.

Took Pegge and me about 4 hours to jaunt over from our Teton mountain hideout, the Dawg performing flawlessly as always. I thought things were doing swell, especially when two young kids at the edge of Hailey yelled from their crotch cars, “Hey, nice car for an old guy!” The kids today.

Anyway, the Dawg had a relatively fresh coat of light grey primer, and was humming under the overhead cam Pontiac inline six. Well over 20 MPG, thank you. So, next day we had prearranged to meet at a market parking lot in Hailey, easy to spot as it was on the main highway. Actually, the only highway, and it goes south to north, which was conveniently the direction we intended to go.

Pegge and I had decided to go over a day early, motel it for the night, and be raring to meet our road tour crowd next day. I can report that there is absolutely no world class chilli offering in Hailey, Idaho. Not even in famous Sun Valley, which is just up the road. In fact, now that I think of it, there doesn’t seem to be any world class chili on offering anywhere in Idaho. Pity. I’ll have to report this gross oversight to Carroll Shelby, which might result in Idaho being deregistered as a neat place to go, which in turn will possibly mean that all those offensively rich Californians will have to wrest sustenance elsewhere. Which is what I am getting to anyway.

So, Pegge and I have pulled up in the store parking lot, to meet the gang from Nevada shortly thereafter. I kind of wander around to see what kind of nefarious mongrels have shown, and Pegge ambles away to visit with the ladies. Later, as we ready to head up through Sun Valley and over the spectacular mountain pass into Middle Fork of the Snake River country, Pegge says, “You know, that was kind of snobby. I mean, back there this one lady in the group was looking at our car and she said she thought it was kind of cute, and she didn’t see why her husband said he wasn’t so sure he wanted to be seen in the company of our car!” Boy, in hindsight, I’m sure glad that guy hadn’t said such a thing to Pegge, or she would have torn him a new one. Fierce when she got riled. Frankly I thought it was indeed a rare compliment.

You see, the rodder in question epitomized to me what was happening to street rodding. He was most assuredly a Buy-In Street Rodder, and not a hot rodder. All billet and polish and plastic spending habits and me-too.

Whatever, over the hills and up the valleys we went for a few days, through some of the most magnificent driving scenery in the world, en route to West Yellowstone’s rod run. We were taking the run to the run, our tent trailer in tow, and not one of the other runners seemed even the slightest bit embarrassed to be travelling with a primered  hot rod.  Fortunately, as we arrived at the annual downtown park in West, I noticed that our superior minded canale was nowhere to be seen, perhaps consumed by a bear the night before. Suited me fine, because I sure didn’t want to be seen travelling with his ilk. Give me a bad reputation.