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HEY, WHAT’S A BUDDY FOR?

HEY, WHAT’S A BUDDY FOR?
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Been in and out of the hospital dozen or more times since my last column graced these pages, and frankly, it is something of a wheez to sit here at the computer and compose. All part of becoming even more old. I’m only 81 for crime in Italy, but I can tell you first hand that this being old BS is pure rocky mountain BS.

I was doing OK with these remembering columns until my health got in the way, back about half a year or so. You recall that I was fighting some problems with a blood cancer concern,and the chemo treatments over a couple years turned out not to work, so it was back to the starting line and we started getting by with only blood transfusions. Only, they were coming rather fast and furious, three bags full every couple of weeks. Upshot of it all is that this is what has kept me kicking, and I got really partial there for a few months: lots of hospital time, and a bunch of visits to la-la land thanks to some really weird drugs. No more of that kind of BS either. So, here I am living on borrowed time, but I’ll try and pass along some more memories if I can.

Interesting thing, here at the end of time (mine), I have these snatches of thoughts about where I been and what I was doing. Right off the bat, understand that so much of my life during the past 70 years was to include my very best friend, my wife Pegge. If anything happened to one of us, it included the other. Like the folding top I made for my low-buck roadster, the Junkyard Dawg. I built the top thinking Pegge would need the shade for a forthcoming roadster wrangle down to Indian Territory. Didn’t, so that top has hung in the garage rafters these many years. But it was built for my best friend, so time was not wasted.

If you dig back through stuff I have written during the past 15 years, you’ll surely find a lot of references to that particular car. And, yes, I did build it for under $2000.But that was using a lot of very experienced parts and a ton of time. However, for me, this is the very core of hot rodding.

It’s absolutely bitching to simply dial the number, give them your numbers, and next day you get something else, also numbers. But, and this is THE POINT, in just a few short hours youhave missed out on years of invaluable hot rodding time. More numbers, but youmissed them, bub, and you don’t get a second shot.

I know, I know. Timeagain, and nothing beats time like the plastic card. But I haven’t yet found acard holder who has had as much fun withhomebuilts as I have. I go out to the garage on a snowed-in day, stoke theheater, and just sit in the old plastic chair and look at this or that,remembering. Often about adventures with a legion of buddies, actually mis-adventures, and some of themI’ve shared with you through the years. But, you know what? You would need a month of Sunday’s to get around to them all. Which is also what hot rodding is really all about. The doing, and the un-doing. Like the time Ceridono and I drove from our homes in the high lonesome of far eastern Idaho down to the far-away lowland valley along the south of Idaho, all for a car show down the rethat we happened to like. Down in Twin Falls, ‘Twas. In the only area pavilion big enough to hold a bunch of cars. Trouble was, it was also part of an agricultural college, thus the Arena had a dirt floor. However, since Ron and I came from a time when anything indoors was considered New York Uptown, the dust andperiodic watering of the spectator aisles didn’t phase us.

Anyways, on the 200-mile home trip of a late Sunday, we did take note of the gathering war clouds to the North, along the Montana border country, and we did up the pace a bit. Meaningwe ran at mostly l00-plus gigabites. And as we did on so many trips, we almost,most nearly, plumb nigh, made it. Well, give or take about 50 miles. Just as we turned east off the Interstate (Only one we have up there) for the finalhalf-hour dash, there started to be some white stuff fluffing down. Keep in mind my roadster wasn’t anywhere near finished, I had displayed it at the show as a project. I, keen ahead thinker that I am, was in my snuggy, warm Chevy Suburban.

Anyway, Ronnie Poo just pulls over and starts to wipe snow-ice-slush off the windshield of his T fadcar. The INSIDE of the roadster windshield. The frozen water being thrown offthe big rear tires was all over the interior of the T, since it was open to the element of water being thrown forward. You get the idea. Anyway, the freezing wind soon drove Ronnie to the “Burb for a hand warming, and I did not offer to help. I was warm. And I was road stering, sort of, what with my car on the open trailer out behind.

At sometime during all this, one or ‘t other of us noted that his T, which had been parked in neutral,was going on down the road. Alone. Without Poo Bear. Out of the Burb he jump sand off down the road he go’s intent on hailing a ride in the driverless and fenderless Fadster. I helped by hanging over the Burb steering wheel, helpless in the throes of laughter. Finallly, Ron regained control of his hot rod, just shy of the train crossing (where a train had not been in half a Century.)

The snow/slush was frozen an inch thick on the windshield inside!

Now, you show me where that kind of fun can be had with a Zillion buck plastic card bolt-on hot rodwanna-be!