Demise Of *Ole Blue…………………..#147 (the 70’s)

Old Blue - 1966 Ford F100 - V8

Ole Blue – 1966 Ford F-100 – V8

.  Ole’ Blue was stationed at the Murrow’s residence in Kiowa,  the acronym given to Gary’s blue 1966 Ford pickup by the bands Bob Wallace.  Gary, Jan, their new infant Robert and four legged  Mitzi having journeyed from Oklahoma City to acquire  household items, including bedding  her parents had stored in their basement.  The embodiment of furnishings and other articles surfeited the bed of the Pickup, Gary humorously remarking about the load looking like Okies from the movie The Grapes of Wrath.  Sunday after church,  the family embarking on the 175 mile encompassed journey, Gary opting to take highway 11 east rather than 58 thru Cherokee.    Approaching an area just north of the Great Salt Plains State Park,  a sudden clatter resonated from  the V8 engine.   Gary’s first reaction was one of disbelief, receding the accelerator,  engaging the clutch, turning the engine off,  the Ford coasting to a stop at the road.  Making an attempt to see if the motor would turn over, from the response it was pretty much locked up, Gary almost certain Ole’ Blue was about to throw a rod.

.  The summer afternoon heat suddenly becoming a proponent, Gary activating Ole’ Blue’s under dash CB radio,  a call on channel 19,  the trucking industries channel, but being a Sunday there weren’t many 18 wheeler’s or CB operators on the road.  Switching  to  channel 9,  the emergency frequency, still getting no response,  deciding to raise the  hood and flag the first approaching vehicle.  As the time passed a concern was beginning,  but then from the east a pickup appeared, and from the markings on its door,  it was a ranger from the State Park.  Gary explaining their situation and the need to make a phone call to Kiowa, the ranger suggesting they accompany him to the Park station to make the call.  Jan holding Robert, Gary holding Mitzi, the family squeezing in.    Gary placing a call to Kiowa, the resolution activated, Jan’s Father, his pickup and a tow rope on his way to their location.  With Bud’s  arrival, Jan and little Robert finally out of the heat in his air-conditioned pickup,   Gary and Ole’ Blue at the end of a 10 foot rope, the towing endeavor commencing for the slow journey to Kiowa.

.  With Ole’ Blue incapacitated, the bed of the pickup still fully loaded,  a plan to resolve the situation to get Ole’ Blue and the furniture back to Oklahoma City was contemplated.  The Willson’s would stay the night, Gary calling Greyhound in Alva to see what time the bus heading to Oklahoma City would arrive.  The morning finding his father-in-law Bud transporting him to the convenience store on Oklahoma Boulevard that served as the Alva Greyhound stop. Once arriving in Oklahoma City,  Gary giving Jerry Willis a call to retrieve the Torino at their rental. Gary conjecturing the Torino should have the ability to ferry the fully loaded Pickup to Oklahoma city, securing a tow-bar.  On the 175 mile trip back to Kiowa,  he began to question whether the Torino with its automatic transmission was up to the task, finally concluding, the results would be soon be known.

.  The morning Kiowa sun giving new light on the day, the journey beginning, the family once again attempting to traverse to Oklahoma City, only this time in the Torino with Ole’ Blue in tow.  Gary driving with kid gloves on, manually shifting the cruise o’matic transmission, gradual accelerations and braking, having noticed the Ford stressing under the load.  Once back home, making  some inquiries about restoring the ailing pickup, with most of the estimates being questionable until they tore down the engine,   but even then,  the ballpark estimates were financially unattainable, a decision was made to sell it as is.  By chance, gary running  across Glenn Froman’s cousin Paul Ambrose, and when told of the fate of Ole’ Blue, mentioning he might be interested,  and later after a look was confident,  over a period of time he could repair it, but the only foreseeable problem,  was the rule about working on cars at the Penn Apartments where he still resided.  Paul asking if he could leave it at Gary’s rental and work on it on his day

.  Gary mulling over the idea, not too keen on having what could be a long-term automotive project on the rental property,  but an idea occurred to him.  He still maintained a very cordial relationship with his ex-wife Kaye, approaching her about Paul’s dilemma, Paul,  like his cousin Glenn were like family when Kaye and Gary were married.  Kaye agreeing to let  the pickup park on the extended wide part of the driveway  Gary had poured for their boat and trailer.   Paul was not without accountability, Kaye securing an agreement that he would help with any needed household projects.  Paul’s weeks of diligence paying off, having only to replace a rod and piston, no damage to the cylinder or crankshaft, the total amount for parts being cost-effective’s off.

.  Gary was sadden with the departure of Ole’ Blue.  thru the recent-past troubled years, a comforting refuge.  a haven, having  spent untold solitary hours behind the wheel, and within its confines,  able to process, analyze and rethink outcomes, events and future possibilities. The bright note, Ole’ Blue had been restored to serve another.

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