Something Lost, Something Gained…..#157 (80’s)

.  With the sound of the four barrel carburetors consuming its motive, 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 concluding, 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.

.  The morning finding Gary removing the right side valve cover from the thirteen year old Catalina,  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 Jarvis automotive, discovering it wasn’t a stock item and it migh take a while 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 and 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.

.  It was less than two-week when once again the Pontiac resumed the backfire chorus  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,  but a worn lifter arm.   With the advent possibility of a more serious problem, 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 1951 Dodge four speed, the pickup  having been utilized  on s farm for many years, an asking price of $350.  Gary was interested, countering with a $250 offer, after a two day lull, both parties finally agreeing upon $300, Gary taking possession of the 28-year-old relic from the past.

.  The pickup bringing back a reminisce of learning to drive in his Dads similar 1940  Chevrolet pickup,  both having a four speed floor shift with a grandma lower gear, hand choke and throttle, floorboard starter,  but the dodge having a low-geared ratio rear end, at its best able to go 60 mph with a tail wind.  The Dodge rear windows a classic one with rounded corners, the uniqueness of the 28 year pickup qualifying as a classic.  The trucks red  paint faded and well worn, Gary deciding to touch it up with a John Deere spray-can red,  but didn’t stop there,  painting the rest of the pickup. It wasn’t a paint shop finish but did clean up its appearance, plus he got the paint at cost, the normal retail markup of John Deere products being around 40 percent.  Gary having mixed feeling about acquiring the pickup,  being a classic it was one of a kind,  but the departure of the Pontiac, with its 421, 4 barrel engine was somewhat of a  status symbol, being thought as a poor man’s G T O

.  The parts department proving not to be an experience,  but an expedition into the world of John Deere, 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 calm bine headers onto flatbed trailers,  plus an ability to operate the divergent motorized equipment for display. The Service Company was not only a farming implement store,  but also having a complete line of John Deere lawn and garden equipment,  but the best-selling mower was something new to the community,  the Dixon Z T R,  Steve Miller having acquired a distributorship for the zero-turning-radius mower.  Gary never ceased to be amazed at the inventory amassed at this agriculture utility center, it’s


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