Monday, March 27, 2017

Drive - A Memoir 77th Installment

Chapter 19
This summer is the most difficult ‘reign of terror’ Edith has ever laid upon us: Twelve jobs in the work schedule every day!” Russ was complaining again.

Ain’t it great?” I quipped.

What!” Russ growled angrily and slammed out the door.

I followed, “We have a full time work agent, scheduler, secretary and banker. She takes the calls, assigns us the work, takes our paychecks and on top of all that…she feeds us! All we have to do is work our butts off for sixteen hours a day. I like it. No responsibilities.”

She – takes – our – pay – checks!” Russ barked one word at a time.

And why not? What do we have to do with money? Besides managing our lives, Edith gives us food, clothing, boots and bullets.”

Bah!” Russ grumbled as he almost ran to the outdoor workshop under an old cottonwood tree. There was our project, our dream vehicle. With our homemade machine we hoped to drive it to get around and to work it turning bales. Most of all we would push the limits of the Whiz–Gizzy to spike our adrenalin levels to an all time high, and probably this would be the machine we would die in! “What a beautiful machine,” Russ whispered, suddenly in a better mood.

Today!” I shouted. “Smoke test!” We had a couple of hours till work and chores required our attention. The Whiz–Gizzy was a totally magnificent vehicle to us, a piece of junk to everybody else, and absolutely illegal to the state officials. There was no front bumper; the radiator was foremost with an open V–8 between the front wheels. There was no muffler, as the exhaust pipes were cut off eighteen inches from the exhaust manifold…the racket was going to be wonderful. The only part of the original body was the firewall we had left to hold the steering wheel and windshield. The seat was the only original interior feature, and its back rest was even with the rear tires. The very last thing was the rear axel mounted with our inventive ‘half–leaf springs’ and traction bars. The overall reincarnation was so short it was nearly square in appearance. “Eureka! It’s done; let’s start it!” I hollered.

Gas tank?” was Russ’s quiet reply.

Oh boy, we I guess we need one of those don’t we?” I said a little chagrined. “Where is the one we tore off this thing when it was a car?”
We spent the next hour looking for, cleaning out, finding tubes and connectors, and then spending quite some time figuring out where and how to connect it. “Okay, gas tank tightly strapped behind the seat, the tank is half full and hooked up. Let’s start it.” I suggested a little less confidently this time.

Let’s see, we’ve put antifreeze in the radiator, oil in the engine, water in the battery, gas in the tank,

500 more words tomorrow

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