Envisage Decision…………….#48 (The 50’s)

Signal Gasoline Pumps

Gary having come to the conclusion it was time for his plan to come to fruition.  The past month the teen spending considerable time at Ed  Fletcher’s Signal Station on Mountain Blvd implementing a strategy to demonstrate his usefulness.   The youth volunteering  to participate in the automotive washing,  waxing,  checking oil levels,  cleaning  windshields and at closing time working with Ted to mop the service bay area with solvent and spread and sweep it with the absorbent.  Once again the teen approached Ed about employment and once again hearing the disdained answer,  the station didn’t need additional employees,  but this time it was said with an asterisk, Gary detecting a hint of  possibility in the owner’s voice, followed by a wavering discussion.

Gary was elated, a meaningful job, even if it wasn’t a scheduled position but still an opportunity to expand his horizon and more important a source of fiscal income.   The station would pay him a dollar an hour on an “as needed basis”,  a start and an assurance of some income even if not a steady scheduled hourly employee wage.  Weekends were busy, the stations neighborhood clientele would call scheduling an appointment time for hand washing and sometime the time consuming waxing.  Gary was appreciative of the experience and of course the financial addition,  but the biggest benefit was inaugurated after closing time.

1950 Oldsmobile Convertible

Ted’s 50 Olds Convertible with chrome endowed instruments,  plush leather interior,  presented a luxurious effluence, the rear end poised  with an air-lift enhanced rake,  capped header pipes protruding just beneath the doors,  the automotive treasure giving the impression of a sprinter on the starting blocks.   Ted having  the 3.8 inch cylinder bore increased adding oversized pistons and replacing the two barrel carburetor with a four, the 303 cubic inch engine now 324 and the 136 horsepower upped to almost 200 HP.

The night air whispered the fragrance of the damp foliage from the wheat field located a quarter-mile down  Mountain Blvd.,  across Holmes Ave.  The Olds, top down and a clear pristine night presented a star filled decorative cover as Gary sat inhaling the  atmosphere of his surroundings.   Across in the driver’s seat sat Ted,  directing their travel toward the short divided roadway section approaching the Oak Knoll Naval Hospital gate.   Gary inquired as to destination and Ted related they were on their way to Jerry’s.   Jerry’s was a 16 cent hamburger drive-in located at 560 MacArthur Blvd just inside the San Leandro line.  It was the spot for the teen-set to congregate and anyone who was anybody made their appearance,  sporting the latest  in automotive enhancements.   The Olds traveling to 98th Ave. turning left onto Stanley Ave which merged with Foothill,  noted by local law enforcement as the clandestine drag strip, because of the late night automotive duels.   Victoria Ave. connected the back way into Jerry’s,  preferred by the youths because of busy MacArthur Blvd.

Jerry's - A cruisers hangout

Jerry’s – A  high school cruisers hangout

A loaded and ready 1950 Olds.

The 16 cent beefburger and 10 cent fries made for a parting snack as the two pulled on to MacArthur.   Gary expecting a right turn to return to Mountain Blvd. on 98th,  but Ted turning left,  heading towards East 14th St.,  the four lane thoroughfare to downtown Oakland,  the tracks still remained  but no more A train on E.14th journeying a direct route to the high-rise of the city. and the Bay Bridge to San Francisco.    A stop light at the intersection of 90th  found a 1951 Ford pulling up beside them.   A screech of tires and the Ford darted down the black top giving notice of its 100 HP. flathead V8.   Ted eased up beside them at the light at 82nd, the two glancing at the Ford, Gary could see two high school aged teens,  but didn’t recognize them.    Again a squeal of rubber and the Ford once again darting  down E. 14th.   The next light found the two cars at 73rd Ave,  only this time Ted handed Gary a station cloth for wiping oil dipsticks, he knew what it was for,  both opening their  doors just enough to reach down and unscrew the now hot removable caps from the header pipes.  The Teen could feel the change of presence hearing the  deep-throated sound emitting from the header pipes of the halted Olds.   The light changed and with the accelerator floored,  a booming bellowing roar accompanied by the sound of spinning  tires filling the air, the Olds convertible screamed across the intersection,  a trail of black tire imprints painting the pavement,  its four barrel carburetor whooshing, as air filled it four lungs and the echoing sound of the headers reverberating off the surrounding buildings.   Gary catching a quick glance of the two teen in the Ford,  their jaws having dropped and a look of perplexity endorsed their expressions.   Continuing to accelerate, Ted making the decision to shut it down,  the header’s still bellowing a throated compression back off call before turning  on to Havenscourt Blvd finally pulling over to still the authoritative sound,  the two re-capping the headers.

The ride home was unspoken save the music on the radio,  Gary sensing that Ted may have had second thoughts about his action,  the possibility it could have ended with unacceptable consequences may have crossed his mind.   Gary concluding that fast cars make for envisage decisions.

4 Responses to “Envisage Decision…………….#48 (The 50’s)”

  1. Hit Song Lyrics Says:

    I found this post while looking for downloads. Thanks for sharing I’ll be back regularly and will email this article to my buddies.

    • gwillson7 Says:

      Thank you for your comment. I enjoy sharing these true-life espisodes and giving an insight to that past era. The Memory Series allows me to write and relive those days.
      Thank you again…………….Gary

  2. Hot Lyrics Says:

    I found this post while looking for free downloads. Thanks for sharing will be sure to follow this blog regularly and will email this post to my friends.

    • gwillson7 Says:

      Thank you for your coment. I enjoy sharing these true-life episodes and giving an insight to a past era. The Momory Series allows me to write and relive those days.
      Thank you again………..Gary.

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