Kathy’s Dilemma…..#167a (80’s)


The  parts department at the  Kiowa Service Company wasn’t without its humorous moments,  especially when provided by a good natured parts employee and her attempt to drive Department Manager Gary Willson’s 1950 Dodge pickup.  An afternoon found a need arising to encompass a fan belt for one of the service pickups,  Gary initiating a call to the Jarvis Auto Parts store informing Gerald Elwood about the belt,  and adding that Kathy would be arriving to realize the purchase.

Kathy,  skilled at pricing work orders and cataloging sales for inventory control having worked for Larry Foster in the service department,  was about to leave when it was discovered the only company pickup available was the one requiring the fan belt.  So without hesitation,  Gary handed Kathy the keys to his 50 Dodge pickup stationed curbside, asking if she had driven a manual shift.  Kathy assuring him she had.  He observed from inside as she positioned herself behind the steering wheel, inserting the key in the ignition,   she remained seated,   the seconds ticking away, then stepping out,  returning inside.  With a bewildered look,  questioning, “alright where’s the starter?”.


Gary explaining, the starter was on the floorboard adjacent to the accelerator ,  just step on it and the gas pedal at the same time, making sure you engage the clutch pedal before starting  Kathy approached the parked vehicle for a second attempt, successfully starting the Dodge  but immediately shut it off once again returning inside with a question, “where’s reverse?”. Gary holding back a smile,  informing her that the floor-shift reverse was located all the way to the right and in the down position.

A return to the pickup finding the young lady again starting the Dodge,  attempting to back out, trying to turn  the steering wheel, then abruptly letting the Dodge coast back to the curb turning off the engine,  returning once again,  handing Gary the keys with a look of frustration mumbling as she walked away  “I can barely turn the steering wheel”.


 Gary realized her dilemma,  the pickup didn’t have any  power assist steering and unless moving it took a concernable  amount of strength to turn the steering wheel,  especially when parked on a downhill slant against a curb,  Gary with an inward smile deciding to pick up the part himself, applauding Kathy’s perseverance and determination in her attempt to drive the Dodge.

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