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History Barn found. Then lost. Sort of....

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by modagger, Feb 15, 2021.

  1. modagger
    Joined: Jul 2, 2013
    Posts: 290


    In the the summer of ‘65 I was working at a local gas station/transmission shop . Pumping gas, checking oil, air pressure, and washing windshields. How ‘bout that?! Learning what I could about transmissions by watching, in between the, “gimme a dollars worth” requests.

    I lived about three miles from the shop and every day would take the same route home. The main drag through town. It afforded me the best chance of seeing some friends who for whatever reason, didn’t have to work or didn’t care to, and were able to just hang out.

    One day I was in a hurry to get home so I took a shortcut that went by a couple of farms. I had taken this route before and never gave more than a passing glance towards the farms. But on this day, there was a moving truck backed up to the front of the first farmhouse I came to.

    What started out as a casual look at the goings on turned into a head snapping, “what is that?! Up the driveway to the right of the house was a barn that looked like it hadn’t had the same level of upkeep over the years that the house had. It looked sturdy enough, just not painted as often.

    The two big doors were opened wide and toward the back was what caught my eye. The very distinctive grille of an old car. In my lathered up state, I guessed somewhere in the 30’s.

    I parked my car, ‘52 Chevy Business Coupe, and went up to the open front door. Just then, an older woman at least twice my age came out. She had to be 30 or so! I said “hi” and introduced myself. I asked if the “car” in the barn was for sale.

    She told me that it wasn’t a car but an old Ford truck that doesn’t run. She explained that the house and farm had belonged to her grandparents and that they could no longer work it so she and her husband bought it.

    She told me her husband had plans to turn the barn into a woodworking shop and would probably sell the truck. I gave her my phone number, (landline rotary dial phone basic black), and hoped her husband would call.

    An excruciatingly long week went by that saw me driving by and looking into the barn every day to and from work. Nothing, no call.

    Finally, early Sunday morning he called. He apologized for taking so long to call but explained he was busy moving in and now that he had a few free minutes, he thought he would call.

    He wasn’t sure what year the truck was and apologized because it wasn’t running and he didn’t know if it would. Then he said, “you’ll have to have it towed but if you want it, you can have it for $25.00.

    I was hoping that the screams of joy in my head weren’t creating some reverse eardrum effect and transmitting them into the phone receiver. Lest he hear them and raise the price.

    He said he would be there all day and if I wanted, I could come take a look. It probably took me all of seven minutes to get there. He was involved but told me to look it over and see if I wanted it. See if I wanted it?! Hah! I already had plans for my new truck.

    I was all over that truck and the only thing wrong with the body, was the door restraints on both sides had broken, allowing them to open too far and hit the fenders. So consequently there was a dent on the bottom of each door and one on each fender. That was it! Oh, and the petrified cow dung in the wheel wells that would have gotten the attention of any paleontologist worth their salt.

    I arranged with my boss at the shop to tow it to my parents house for five hours of gas jockey time. Which was probably the equivalent of ten bucks. He identified it as a 1934.
    None of my friends could believe that it had been hiding so close by for all those years. If not for my taking that shortcut, and those barn doors being open, it probably would’ve gotten junked.

    I was all over that truck. First order of business was to try to free up the stuck motor. Kerosene, Marvel Mystery oil into the cylinders, then stand on the crank hoping each time for just any slight movement. Looking skyward each time hoping for some “Andy” Devine intervention.

    In between attempts to turn the engine over, I scraped the aforementioned dung from the undercarriage and did a thorough clean up.

    I made a wish list of all of the things I wanted to do to personalize it. First was definitely a chop. New gauges, new gas tank...........

    I finally got the motor to start moving. I couldn’t afford to just yank it and have a shop do a rebuild so I hoped that sooner or later it would see things my way.

    Time passed and before I knew it, I was on my way to Boot Camp. My parents said that I could chose one vehicle to leave at the house while I was away. That was a no brainer for me, so I gave my ‘59 Chevy Impala with 348, two fours and three on the tree to one of my uncles . I had big plans for that truck.

    Fast forward about a year and a half to my homecoming after a government sponsored, all expenses paid trip to a foreign land.

    I was looking forward to seeing family and friends, and, my truck!

    The house sits up on a hill in the woods with a 100’ driveway leading up. I made that oh so familiar climb with great anticipation. I noticed that the driveway was freshly paved where when I left it had been just crushed stone.

    When I got to the top, I didn’t see the truck. Just as I started towards the back of the house to check for it, my mom came out and smothered me with oxygen depriving hugs.

    When the welcoming ceremony eased up a bit, I asked after my truck. “Oh, it was in the way when we had the driveway paved so I called the junkman”. At this point in my life, my hearing was still fairly acute but that didn’t stop me from barking out a “what!?”

    That day, I fully grasped the meaning of crestfallen.

    There was only one “Junkman” in town, Josie. He would let us scavenge for any parts we needed to keep our cars on the road and ready for “pick up” duty.

    I called him straight away. “Hi Josie it’s Jeff. My mom told me that you have my truck”. “Oh, you mean my boy’s truck! He just loves that truck, been workin’ on it non stop ever since we got it”. I realized then that it was truly gone.

    He got it on the road finally . He didn’t chop it, put some Volkswagen bucket seats in it, and a whole bunch of other tasteless touches, at least to my mind. I didn’t see it on the road often but when I did, it conjured up a host of memories of how one phone call can change the course of a life.

    Aside from that, life’s been good.

    Be well and safe

    Sent from here. Where? Here.
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2021
  2. FalconMan
    Joined: Sep 9, 2008
    Posts: 1,354

    from Minnesota

    Did you ever forgive your mom ??? That's a sad story ....

    Thanks for your service :)
    Baumi and modagger like this.
  3. williebill
    Joined: Mar 1, 2004
    Posts: 2,784


    I held my breath, waiting for a happy ending.
    My mom never got rid of my stuff ( except the Zap Comix she found when I was about 15 ), but ex wife and ex g/f have. Too often.
    I hate that kind of story. Sorry, man. Glad you got to come home.
    modagger and Lepus like this.
  4. Lloyd's paint & glass
    Joined: Nov 16, 2019
    Posts: 4,868

    Lloyd's paint & glass

    I'm not hitting the like button, that's an awful story!! I kept waiting for that happy ending! But no!!! And i bet your uncle rubbed it in with his 59!! Excuse me while i go kick the cat :D;)

  5. modagger
    Joined: Jul 2, 2013
    Posts: 290


    I learned a lot in a year and a half. Like not to worry about things that you just can’t change. So, my mom gave me a lot more than she took away with that phone call. We actually had some pretty good laughs about it during her long life.
  6. modagger
    Joined: Jul 2, 2013
    Posts: 290


    Want the insult to injury chapter? My uncle sold the engine and put a bone stock 283 in it.

    To quote Mr. Smith. “Oh the pain of it all!”. :rolleyes:
  7. Lloyd's paint & glass
    Joined: Nov 16, 2019
    Posts: 4,868

    Lloyd's paint & glass

    Oh no!! Lol! Probably sold it to the kid that got your 34 :mad:
  8. Had it and lost it, I've been there my friend. HRP
    Sandgroper, modagger, slim38 and 2 others like this.
  9. Fortunateson
    Joined: Apr 30, 2012
    Posts: 4,123


    I would have put myself up for adoption!
    BrandonB, chargin03, clem and 4 others like this.
  10. AVater
    Joined: Dec 9, 2008
    Posts: 2,598

    1. Connecticut HAMB'ers

    Wow! You’re a good man sir.
    WB69, modagger and VANDENPLAS like this.
  11. F-ONE
    Joined: Mar 27, 2008
    Posts: 2,828

    from Alabama

    You made it back.
  12. Petejoe
    Joined: Nov 27, 2002
    Posts: 10,960

    from Zoar, Ohio

    Great storyteller Mo.
    I think it’s time for you to buy a replacement.
    I believe I’ve seen one in the H.A.M.B. classifieds lately that’ll scratch the itch.
    Good luck!
    modagger likes this.
  13. 1934coupe
    Joined: Feb 22, 2007
    Posts: 4,579


    a similar thing happened to my friend in 68, he had his new/used car in his mothers name because he couldn't afford the insurance. It was a non hamb friendly 67 Dodge Coronet with a street hemi that he just had built by S & K Speed on LI. It had a 4spd and Dana 60 rear. He went to Germany I went to Vietnam and when he came back found out his mother traded it in on a new Ford Thunderbird.

    modagger and catdad49 like this.
  14. modagger
    Joined: Jul 2, 2013
    Posts: 290


    I did but there were no takers!
    Budget36 and Sandgroper like this.
  15. modagger
    Joined: Jul 2, 2013
    Posts: 290


    There was never any malice in those Mom missteps. They just couldn’t appreciate that iron the way we did.
    williebill, Butler 32 and 1934coupe like this.
  16. modagger
    Joined: Jul 2, 2013
    Posts: 290


    Every time I see your avatar I revisit that climb up the driveway and think about what should have been. In a good way. Great truck!
    Petejoe likes this.
  17. swifty
    Joined: Dec 25, 2005
    Posts: 1,828


    Just looked at your profile page and I think you've found enough cars to take the place of that truck. Good story, sad ending.
  18. Same story as the OP's only it was a '29 Model A Sport Coupe.
    modagger likes this.
  19. WB69
    Joined: Dec 7, 2008
    Posts: 1,624


    modagger likes this.
  20. guthriesmith
    Joined: Aug 17, 2006
    Posts: 5,353

    1. H.A.M.B. Chapel

    Great story telling, but not a good story for anyone other than the junk mans son. Thanks for sharing though.
    modagger likes this.
  21. modagger
    Joined: Jul 2, 2013
    Posts: 290


    Right you are Mate!
  22. 57Custom300
    Joined: Aug 21, 2009
    Posts: 1,363

    from Arizona

    I parked my 63 Galaxie 406 in front of our garage when I went off for my exotic tour of a foreign land. When I got back it was still there though. I'm sure my old man wanted to tow it away. He hated that car.
    modagger and kidcampbell71 like this.
  23. modagger
    Joined: Jul 2, 2013
    Posts: 290


    Ah, a happy ending. Good for you!
  24. 49ratfink
    Joined: Feb 8, 2004
    Posts: 18,082

    from California

    I'd have moved away from home on that day and never returned.
    kidcampbell71 and modagger like this.
  25. 283john
    Joined: Nov 17, 2008
    Posts: 822


    I left a truck in my parents yard for eleven years without the slightest of complaint. I wasn't even away serving my country. Mostly just living in town and drinking beer.
    49ratfink, kidcampbell71 and modagger like this.
  26. mickeyc
    Joined: Jul 8, 2008
    Posts: 1,242


    I know how your mom felt. My sons first vehicle a 64 Chevy pickup still
    resides in my yard today. It is dead to the world but he insists on keeping
    it. I have spent more money on tarps than its worth in parts. By the way tarps now last half as long as they did a couple of years ago. The price goes up
    but the thickness and quality go down every year. I just cant bring my self to tow it away. My dad would have sent it out of there in a minute.
    kidcampbell71 and modagger like this.
  27. Moms are great! But they never like the girls you date, or the cars you drive.
    mountainman2, modagger and Baumi like this.
  28. earlyv8ford
    Joined: Mar 30, 2006
    Posts: 10


    You definitely need to hunt down a 34 pickup and drive the wheels off of it.... It'll make you feel 20 again!
    modagger likes this.
  29. Baumi
    Joined: Jan 28, 2003
    Posts: 2,765


    Great story, thanks for sharing it!
    modagger likes this.
    Joined: Jun 6, 2007
    Posts: 3,642


    I have a similar story, maybe a little O/T. Here's the Reader's Digest version:

    My aging mother asked if there was anything I wanted out of the homestead. I said the only thing I wanted when she decided to leave was a big brass steam locomotive bell in it's halo mounting fixture that my dad had acquired and mounted on a pole in our back yard. It had a tiny two cylinder steam driven device to ring the clapper when pressure was applied.
    She said "Take it."
    I said, "No Mom let's leave it here until you're ready to go. Enjoy it."

    A year or so I was visiting and saw the bell was gone off the pole.
    Mom, "Where's the bell?"
    Mom was losing her memory. She said, "Oh, my friend Sophie was visiting and she remarked that her husband collects and restores bells. I said she could have it."

    A similar bell on ebay was listed at $3000. Oh well...

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