Thursday, February 12, 2009

A Drive Down Memory Lane

As I was surveying a local cemetery close to home recently (i.e. snapping photos of tombstones for family genealogists to use at FindAGrave) I happened to glance off into the mature pinewoods and there was another kind of graveyard. I found old abandoned 'skeletons' of vehicles and farm equipment.

When I happened upon the Chevy pickup, a flood of memories hit me. It was the memory of my father and I building an antique 1949 pickup together.

Abandoned Chevrolet Pickup

In the early 1970's, while I was still in High School, my Dad bought two 1949 Chevrolet pickup's. One was for parts and one to actually rebuild. Previously, Dad had built a large workshop on our 1 acre of land, so, there was plenty of room. We pulled motors, scavenged oil soaked parts to find something usable, spent many an hour down at NAPA Auto Parts, haunted junk yards. Finally, it was ready for the finishing touches: the paint job. Dad took it somewhere locally and cheap and had it painted the original Dark Green.

Everybody in our small town of Titusville talked about Don Ackman's truck.

I quite often drove it to school. It was a pickle to handle too. The 3 speed gear shift was on the column. The starter was on the floor ... it was quite a trick to hold down the starter and crank the motor at the same time, it took a little finesse. There was no power steering or power windows. The seats were the hard, uncomfortable, bench-style. The windshield wipers were horrible. I recall driving home from a friends house one night in one of our frog strangler Central Florida thunderstorms and the vacuum-driven windshield wipers would slow down as I applied the gas! So, in order to see, when I thought it was safe enough I would get going as fast as possible then let off the gas and coast so the wipers would speed up, then I could see well enough to proceed a little farther.

It was an experience.

Then one day Dad just up and sold the truck many years ago. Just broke my heart.

I thought I'd had a photo of it but it must be hidden in some boxes somewhere. So here's one from the Internet that is similar:

216 C.I.D. V-6, 3 speed, 5 window
Source: Larry Chapman

The only difference between the one above and Dad's truck was he had an oval window in the back. It was quaint but rendered watching traffic behind you an exercise in futility.

It wasn't comfortable or really very practical, but, oh, if that old truck could talk ... it would have such happy memories of growing up to regale.

♥ ∞


Anonymous said...

What a delight to read about you and your dad's pickup. What special memories. I have a few snapshots of a similar truck that belonged to my grandpa. That must have been a real trick to drive that! I guess you could drive just abou anything now.

Linda said...

Thank you for the memories. Blessings

Lanny said...

Too fun. Too bad you didn't know about the cigarette tabacco smeared on the windshield trick!

Janeen said...

Great memory! I love your pictures, they tell stories themselves! How are you feeling this week?

Technonana said...

Hi Sparky!!! I really love this post!!! It's amazing what you find down country roads!! They always seem to bring back memories!

Sparky ♥ ∞ said...

Cigarette tobacco?? I'm speechless. This is one trick I haven't learned yet. :o) Hope I don't have to take up smoking.

I'm doing dandy, thanks y'all. I just can't go out and do my normal things yet (shopping, eating out, etc.). I get tired and my neck feels strained. Not a biggy. I'll probably be great by next week.

Thanks for stopping by!! ♥ ∞

WHITEShadow said...

What a sweet memory you have with your Dad and sounds like you know much about cars just like your Dad.

Ms Cupcake said...

Great story!

Dropping by from sits. Dropping by from sits. BTW, I'm sponsoring a Valentine's Day giveaway on my blog, Zen Cupcake in case you're interested.

Marie Reed said...

Hey lady! It has been a little crazy with birthday stuff! Sorry that I haven't been visiting:) Could you email with an update of your health too?

Anonymous said...

Enjoyed the story and I'm glad to hear your progressing well.

Judith Richards Shubert said...

Hi Sparky,

Your post is great. Sure loved seeing that old pickup and the picture of one similar to the one you and your dad worked on. I know you were sorry to see it sold.

Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

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