A Respect For Ingenuity…..#157 (80’s)

Dairy Queen in Hennessy Ok.

Dairy Queen in Hennessy OK.

The four barrels sucking the gas, Gary pushing the 66 Pontiac towards Hennessey Oklahoma  to rendezvous with his daughter Marlo and her mom at the Dairy Queen.  Kaye and Gary splitting the mileage difference agreeing on this mutual meeting place 68 miles from Oklahoma city and 90 miles from Kiowa,  Marlo able to spend some time in Kiowa with her Dad,  Jan  and little Robert and Sandi.       The assemblage concluded, the sun having set, Gary and Marlo started north when the Pontiac began  what sounded like a the continuous backfiring thru the carburetor, Gary having experienced a backfire before but not a continuous one, deciding it might be best to return to Hennessey.   Entering town, the backfiring continuing, Gary discovered a well-lit service station and garage,  the Pontiac halting with the motor still running, the attendant approaching, listening for a moment and ventures an opinion, ” you’ve got a  intake valve stuck open, thus the backfiring thru the carburetor, apparently a valve push rod may have come off”.    The analysis was logical to Gary deciding that if he took it easy on the way back,  meaning drive a little slower,  he was confident the remaining seven cylinders would provide ample providence for their return.  The trip back seemed to take forever,  Father and Daughter sharing an unusual voyage to accompanying  sound of an orchestrated carburetor.

1966 Pontiac

1966 Pontiac

The morning finding Gary removing the right side valve cover from the thirteen year old Pontiac,  discovering the culprit pushrod was still in place but worn beyond adjustment, the would-be mechanic confident a replacement could resolve the quandary.  Gary checking with Gerald Elroy at his Main St. automotive store discovering it wasn’t a stock item and it might take day or two to receive one.  Conferring with Jerry Whitney at work about his automotive dilemma, Jerry suggesting that he might explore the vacant Jack Beasley Ford Dealership building on 7th St.,  Steve Miller  Kiowa Service owner having purchased as the now defunct building still retained numerous parts in its parts bins.  Obtaining the entrance keys to the demise Ford establishment,  Gary with the Pontiac push-rod in hand began searching the depleted bins for a reasonable-fact-simile and to his astonishment, finding a valve push-rod that was almost an exact replica. Upon inserting the replacement a question still remained,  would the provisional endowment endure, only time would tell.

Vacated Jacks’s Ford Dealership

1950 Dodge

It was less than two-week when once again the 66 Pontiac professed the same sounding through the carburetor, Gary deciding to consult a higher authority,  Larry Foster,  the John Deere service manager,  Larry without hesitation forwarding,  in all probability it wasn’t the push-rod that was the problem but a worn lifter arm.   With the advent of a major repair possibility, Gary concluding it was time to bid farewell to his $200 Pontiac, deciding it was time for him to shop for another vehicle, preferably  a pickup.   An attentive resolve finding a Kiowa resident, Mike Mayberry with a restored 1950 Dodge four speed, the family having utilized it on the farm for many years, an asking price of $350.  Gary was interested, countering with a$250 offer, both parties finally agreeing upon  $300, Gary taking possession of the 29-year-old relic from the past.   The pickup bringing back a reminisce of  Gary’s  learning to drive experience in his Dads 1940  Chevrolet pickup.  The Dodge having a  four speed floor shift,  with a grandma lower gear,  hand choke and throttle and a low-geared ratio rear end,  a floor starter and obtaining a maximum speed of 55 mph.  The Dodge rear window a classic one with rounded corners, the 29 year pickup also qualifying as a classic.

Dixon ZTR

The parts department proving not to be an experience but a expedition into the world of John Deere  working with the parts manuals enabling the novice an insight to the internal mechanisms of cultivators,  plows,  seed drills,  forage balers, augers and the power trains of all the motorized application used in agriculture.   His work application required the use of a forklift,  the movement of pallets,  55 gallon drums of motor and hydraulic oil, even being called upon to load combine headers onto flatbed trailers,  plus an ability to operate the divergent motorized equipment for display.  Another prerequisite was the assembly of an integral part of the modern-day agricultural equipment, the hydraulic hose, the parts department able to satisfy the farmer having a 10,000 psi hydraulic pump to press fittings on any desired length or diameter hose.  The Service Company was not only a farming implement store but also having a complete line of lawn & garden equipment.  John Deere producing push mowers utilizing a Briggs & Stratton motors, the #57 riding with a Tecumseh and the new larger 300 series with a 13 HP Kohler, but the best-selling mower was one that Deere & Co didn’t produce, something new to the community,  the Dixon ZTR,  Steve Miller having acquired  a distributorship for the Briggs & Stratton powered zero-turning-radius mower.  Gary never ceased to be amazed at the inventory amassed,  Jerry Whitney seeing that the parts department maintained a substantial  inventory of Briggs, Kohler and Tecumseh Parts all in the name of John Deere.

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