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Doofus and Whiny

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by C9, Sep 21, 2004.

  1. Copyright September 2004

    Permission given to make one copy of this book for your own use.
    No other rights granted.

    Jay Carnine



    This one for little brother. I call him little brother, but he’s my size and stronger. True name, Louis Allen Carnine although most folks call him Louie.

    Louie’s a cool guy, sensible, smart and able to figure out most things. His most outstanding trait is simply patience. I can make a lot of things for the hot rods and I buy some of them to save time, but Louie just makes em. From simple aluminum clamps to more complex things. His present day drag racing Henry J a more than excellent example.

    To a certain extent, we’re sort of a Doofus and Whiny duo. Although Louie is no doofus and certainly not a whiner. He just gets in there and gets it done.

    I’m not a whiner either, hope so anyway. The Doofus title fits well. But only now and then.
    As I suspect it does for most of you.

    Louie, like most of us has a few scars. Trouble for him is, most were inflicted by his big brother. Me. All accidents. Honest.

    He does get even every now and then. To the tune of a broken wrist for me when I was picking on him and did not realize how big and strong he’d gotten. He picked me up and threw me into the kitchen. That was the last time I ever picked on little brother.

    It didn’t take him long to surpass my best times in the drag racing end of it. I think he realized right up front that a big engine in a light weight car was the way to go. My car, a 50 Ford coupe weighing in at 3200# with built 335" Olds engine wouldn’t have been much of a match for his 2700# Henry J with 463" Olds engine built similar to mine. As much as I hate to admit it, he’s the better drag racing driver of the two of us.

    Even as a little guy, he was fun to be around. I think that hanging around with me and the little gang I belonged to and him being seven years younger is pretty much what got him started in the hot rod game. Like anything else, if the big guys are doing it, it must be cool and fun.

    He got started in drag racing by going to the races with us. Starting at age nine. When he was sixteen he ran my Olds powered stick shift coupe at the drags on a fairly regular basis and did well.

    At sixteen, he got his first car. Grandpa’s 54 Ford sedan bought new in 1954. Shortly after Louie got it, he installed a built 322" Y-Block with automatic. Two years out for the Army and a stint in Vietnam he returned to drag racing with a 62 Harley Sportster and had a small degree of success with it. The bike, now retired from the drag racing wars, sits in a small garage on his property, usually covered with a blanket and it’s still a runner. He drags it out now and then and fires it up. More than likely he’ll never sell it. He always was a smart kid. I wish I still had some of the cars and bikes I had from the good old days. He’s still got his, one at least, in the form of the bike.

    Sometimes when I look at what little brother has done and how he’s done it, I think he’s more of a mentor to me than I am to him. Maybe familiar territory to those with a younger or older brother, but for him, it fits well. A common sense guy that figures most of it out.
    Far better than I ever could....



    Just a little story about some California kids who grew up sorta normal and led not so normal lives. The not so normal part not necessarily due to their interest in hot rods and fast cars. Seems like things just happened to them.

    My friends, true. A few thinly disguised and the rest entirely make-believe.

    I’ll bet you’ve got a few friends just like them. The real and the make-believe.

    Like always - almost always anyway - a work of fiction. But then again, maybe not. You probably won’t see yourself in here, but you may remember some of the things that went on at the time.

    Fiction comes from truth. The best truth and the best stories coming from real things done by real people. Which made - at least for me - this book very easy to write.

    It doesn’t take much of a twist to make a good story suitable for fiction.

    What better than to chronicle some of the best?


    Doofus and Whiny

    We went to school with an odd assortment of characters. The assortment being small, thank God, because some of them were really strange. If it hadn’t been for the normal kids I think we’d have gone nuts. Who knows though, maybe we were some of the odd characters too. Hope not, but maybe. You never can tell.

    We were like anybody else. We judged ourselves by ourselves. If we looked in the mirror and the guy looking back looked normal then you passed that test. With high marks I might add.

    Anyway, this little story is about a couple of the strangest ones of all and how their lives intertwined with a few other characters.

    Sometimes, I think life - at least where I grew up - had the makings of a Lewis Carrol novel.
    Kinda like Alice in Wonderland to say the least. Wondering the most, were the two characters this little missive is about. Doofus and Whiny.

    How the heck do you come up with nicknames like that? Easy for these two and it just sorta happened.

    Nicknames are funny. If you’re lucky, you get a really cool one. Like one of the guys in our little gang, Hi last name was Trueblood. We just called him “Blood”. He was pretty much a cool and levelheaded guy so “Blood” fit him well. If you’re not so lucky, you end up getting one like Doofus and Whiny. Not so cool, but once you get a nickname, you’re stuck with it. Protest, bitch or complain and the name sticks even tighter. Start whining and you get an even worse one.

    In Doofus’ case it was an easy spinoff from his real name and not so much that he was a dork or anything like that. He just had a different outlook on life. Donald Dorfus was his name, but around second grade he got tagged with the Doofus moniker and it stuck. He didn’t protest or complain. He was smart and knew better. He just kept quiet about it in the hope that it would go away. Not to be though, it was a great nickname and after a while it became his regular name. It was just a simple play on words and that was about it. Use it in a derogatory manner though and you might find your face hitting the fist on the end of Doofus’ outstretched arm.

    Whiny’s nickname came about pretty honestly too. It could have been a play on words, his name being William Winster, but it wasn’t. We heard Willy Win on the playground now and then, but it never really stuck. Whiny was what he got stuck with and for good reason. He whined and complained about everything and just wouldn’t quit until one of the guys told him to shut up. To be fair, we did let him go on for a while, but it wasn’t too long until it was too much.

    Doofus and Whiny made a pretty good team. They went through some interesting escapades all through school and for that matter, long after school. I went along with them and witnessed some of the very best. Not too spectacular most times and once the bleeding stopped that was pretty much it. Every once in a while though....

    Somewhere near the end of sixth grade, Doofus and Whiny showed up at my house on a quiet Saturday morning for a ride across town to Whiny’s grandma’s house. The plan was, they’d pick up Whiny’s old Radio Flyer wagon and bring it home. Whiny had a scheme hatched for it, seems like he always had some wild idea going. Course, we were always ready to go along. If nothing else Whiny figured out neat stuff and he was an interesting guy. Sometimes though, it could get a bit hazardous.

    Doofus and him were riding double on Whiny’s nice old springer front end Schwinn. A big old
    bike, cream colored with dark red trim, huge balloon tires and the tank with a horn inside. What made the bike great was the factory supplied rack over the rear fender which was just right for taking along a passenger. The Schwinn was way ahead of my balloon tired Columbia with fenders and chain guard. That was about it for accessories. Just your basic bicycle, dark blue with white trim. It was a dependable old bike and I’d ridden it many a mile with no trouble. Not even a flat tire.

    Unless you count the time we aired up our bike tires at the local Signal gas station one cold winter morning. Cold along the California coast being more perceived than actual. Once the sun was up for a while, the temps usually got to the low-mid 60's and we did pretty much the same things in the winter that we did in the summer.

    The trouble with airing up the bike tires at this particular station was that there was no tire pressure gauge available. Not too big a problem, we’d been airing em up by eye for a long time and always getting away with it. This time though, I must have put a whole lot of air in the tires on my bike. After we’d ridden around for a bit we headed for the High School to play basketball.

    After an hour or so in the hot winter sun, the rear tire on my bike blew out with a bang that sounded like a gunshot. The gunshot noise was good enough for us, we’d seen lots of cowboy movies and knew what to do. We hit the deck right now and looked around for whoever was shooting at us. We didn’t realize what had happened at first. Along with our hitting the deck, a whole string of bikes went over due to mine falling into the adjacent one and so on. Pretty much like the old domino bit. Which further reinforced our thought that somebody really was shooting at us. We were calm though, we knew we had to figure out where the shooter was before we ran. After a bit of thinking about it, we realized there was no shooter and that it was only a figment of our over active imaginations. When we walked over to the bikes, it was easy to see what happened. The rear tire blew out on my bike ripping a big chunk of the sidewall out.

    We may have been dumb, but most times we were only dumb once. The rest of the guys got busy bleeding the air pressure down in their tires and I did the same with the remaining good front tire. They were hard as rocks from sitting in the sun.

    Anyway, since Doofus’ bike was down with a broken chain, he was riding on the back of Whiny’s bike. The ideal bike for that with it’s nice wide rear fender rack. Not too bad a deal, but it did get to be a drag holding your legs up off the ground after a while. Doofus didn’t get to sit back there and enjoy watching the world go by either. The pedals on the Schwinn - and most other bikes for that matter - were wide enough that the passenger could get his feet on the outer edges and help pedal. Expected on the long grades and when riding into the wind.

    Living in Ventura it seemed we were always going up a moderate grade to get somewhere and riding against the wind to get back. Not too many times you got to coast along for free. The ride out to Grandma’s house on the north end of the Avenue at the west end of town was easy and pleasant. Lots of interesting things to do and things to see along the way.

    We rode down Seaward Ave to the beach and along the beach to the pier. Which of course required a ride out to the end of the pier just to see what we could see. What we saw was what we always saw. The ride over the breaking surf underneath was always cool, just beyond were the more experienced pier fishermen. Seems that’s were they caught the most fish.

    Out at the end, not too many fishermen. These guys, at least to our minds not being quite as knowledgeable as the ones fishing just outside the surf line didn’t catch as many fish as the other guys did. We guessed that their thinking was, get all the way to the end where the deep water is cause the guys on boats catch all the fish and they’re always way out there. True on the boats to an extent, except the boats were usually headed in or headed out and they fished the shallow water rock formations along the coast and the sand bars at the outlet to the Ventura river.

    After riding out to the end of the pier, we’d ride up to the end of the beach road, make the curve on California St., head north and go past the skating rink that was part of a big old building.
    Once we rode up California to main, we got off the bikes and pushed them up the very steep hill to the Father Junipero Serra statue. We always took a break there. The statue of the founder of the California Missions and the beautiful courthouse building was always something to see. Since we were east end kids, we didn’t get out that way much and always liked to stop and see the sights.

    A short push up the hill from the statue put us onto Poli St. Poli, in that area at least, was pretty level. It paralleled the beach as well although it was a ways away for most of it’s length. Poli was one of four ways to get from one end of our long and narrow coastal town to the other.

    The ride to grandma’s house was easy from there. Whiny’s grandma was always glad to see us and she was one of our favorite people. The small fact that she baked the best chocolate chip cookies in town wasn’t lost on us either.

    She’d taken over Whiny’s old wagon to haul her plants and garden stuff around. Whiny’s dad gave her a nice garden cart for her birthday and she used that so much that she didn’t need the wagon anymore. Which worked out well for Whiny and his plans.

    Stuffed to the gills with cookies - there were no limits at grandma’s house - we drug the wagon out and tied it to the back of Whiny’s bike. I offered to tow it, but they figured the two of them could do it easier and besides the Schwinn with it’s fender rack had the ideal place to tie it on. Ok with me. It made quite a sight. Two guys on a bike towing a wagon. The wagon rattling along and me bringing up the rear. Just a simple little caravan of three skinny California beach rat kids.

    I figured we’d go home on Main St. and maybe cut over to Thompson when Main St. started uphill. That would have made it a level ride for most of the way home. Something that usually figured into our bike riding. No using beating yourself up if you didn’t have to. Whiny had another stop he wanted to make. This one up at a house just above the Presbyterian Church on Poli. He’d planned to pick up an old bike and carry it home in the wagon. Not a bad deal, get the wagon back, get a free bike and life wasn’t too shabby. We could ride most of Poli, but a lot of it we had to get off and push. No big deal. Lot’s easier than riding the one geared bikes of the day up the not so steep and really steep hills around town.

    We got to the church ok and found the kids house ok, only trouble was, he wasn’t home. Not a problem and just a small change in plans. Since we were so darned close we may as well push our bikes all the way to the top of the hill, ride down Catalina St., cross Poli and go onto the high school at the bottom.

    Sailing down Catalina was always a good ride. It wasn’t the steepest hill in town, but the top section came pretty close. The good thing about Catalina was that it was the longest steep hill in town.

    The only bad part was the intersection with Poli at the bottom. Not a problem for the most part, we could slow down enough to see what the traffic was like and if it was clear, run the stop sign and sail right on through Poli. Once across, it was hang a shallow left, hit the driveway to the high school lawn, do a big brake slide and controlled wipe out on the grass. Always lots of fun and pretty safe. Except for the little part about blowing the stop sign at Poli. Poli was a through street at the time and not the four way stop that it is now.

    The long push up Lincoln Dr. to the top was always worth it. For two reasons. Just stopping and resting up allowed us to see pretty much the whole city of Ventura. At least all there was of it at the time. You could see airplanes taking off and landing at the beach airport as well as see and hear trains come through town. Up high like we were, we could hear the trains coming down the coast before we could see them. If we were lucky, it would be clear enough to see the islands. A place of mystery and interest to us. We loved hiking around the hills above Ventura, but we figured that hiking around the islands would be a logical and most interesting thing to do. Course, the trouble was, how was a small band of eleven year old’s going to get out there? We figured we’d cross that bridge when we came to it.

    For now, we had the grand ride down Catalina staring us in the face. Always fast, fun and exciting. Looking down at the start of the ride made you realize how steep Catalina really was.
    It paid to keep the speed down since there was a fairly blind four way stop a little over a hundred yards down and more than one kid had smacked the side of a car there. Or gotten smacked. We knew the danger, didn’t care. We took our chances just like all the rest who blasted down Catalina. A rite of passage to any bicycle owning Ventura boy and besides, who would turn down a fast and free, coast all the way, ride down Catalina. Not us, not anytime.

    In fact, we went out of our way to incorporate Catalina St. into our riding route whenever we could. Whiny and Doofus decided to do it a little different this time. They thought it would be cool if Doofus rode in the wagon. No one in our gang had ever ridden down it double, let alone in a wagon tied to a bicycle. It didn’t look to be a problem. Although looking back on it, a front brake on Whiny’s Schwinn would have been nice. Along with a speedometer. Maybe. I’m kinda glad in a small way that we didn’t have a speedo. I don’t think I want to know how fast we went down the hill.

    As always, dropping onto Catalina from Hillcrest St. at the top was a cross between flying and riding a motorcycle. Kind of a slow glide along the last little bit of Hillcrest as it was slightly downhill, but only slightly. Just lean into the curve and let gravity take over. Once you were on Catalina and firmly in the grip of gravity things changed and they changed at a rapid pace.

    Gravity was King on Catalina and if you didn’t know it before you sure as heck knew it now.
    Nothing anywhere was like the top end of Catalina. Nothing.

    After that rush of a turn onto Catalina and the bike starting to pick up speed right away, your fate was sealed. It was quiet at first and then the wind noise started picking up right away. We were probably doing 30 or so in the first little bit Kinda took your breath away.

    It made the long push to the top worth it though. With the drag of the wagon holding Doofus and Whiny back, I passed them right after we turned the corner. It wasn’t very long until they’d passed me back and were pulling away. Opening up a pretty good gap by the time they got to Foster Ave where the four way stop at the bottom of the steep part was. The gap between us widened some more because I’d been on the brakes a little ways after the corner. The hill was that steep. Only an idiot would blast down the first third of Catalina wide open, never slowing down for the intersection.

    Not that we were idiots or anything like that, but it sure looked like Whiny hadn’t touched the brakes on the big Schwinn. Not a sound out of either of them. Just the wind noise from my own speed and the rattling of the wagon wheels up ahead.

    They hit the intersection wide open. From what I could see, it looked like they hadn’t slowed down a bit. It may have been my imagination, but it looked like the Schwinn and wagon combo left the ground for a short ways on the other side. Maybe, maybe not. They were really hauling the freight. I was still behind, slowing even more for the intersection and Whiny and Doofus pulled even further ahead. I could still hear the wagon wheels rattling along. Even faster than before. I tried hard not to think about it, but it was surprising the wagon wheels could hold together at speeds they were going.

    I knew that Whiny got kind of crazy now and then, but he wouldn’t normally expose anybody else to the danger unless they were totally willing. Kind of surprised me too that Doofus was going along with the whole thing. I’d have been hollering at Whiny to slow down a long time ago.

    It didn’t take long to cover the rest of Catalina. It wasn’t near as steep as the top third, but it was steep enough. Steep enough in fact to give you quite a ride on that section alone. Bad enough to start at the very top. None of us had ever seen anybody start at the very top and not slow down. Whiny and Doofus were exploring uncharted waters for sure.

    When they got down close to the short level stretch before the Poli St. intersection Doofus finally started yelling. Actually it was more like screaming. Gotta give him credit though, he kept quiet a lot longer than I would have.
    All I could hear was this long drawn out and plaintive cry of, “Staaaaaaaaahhhhp, Staaaaaaaaahp. Damn it Whiny, stop!”

    Fat lot of good the yelling did. I figured if they did make it through the intersection unscathed they’d never get stopped by the time they hit Main St. a short block away and a straight shot.

    They tore through the intersection, flew past the High School auditorium on the left and amazing to me, they did make the shallow left into the driveway and up onto the high school lawn. It didn’t do much good though. It was obvious by now, that the Schwinn had long ago run out of brakes. Doofus finally got smart. As soon as they hit the lawn he rolled off the back of the wagon and eventually came to a sliding, rolling stop with no harm to speak of. Took him a ways though and all he got out of it were some rug burn looking abrasions on his arms and a really green T-shirt where he’d slid along the lawn on his back..

    Whiny though, he was still the master of his fate, in a manner of speaking. Once Doofus bailed out, he could see that there was no way to stop the bike and wagon before it crashed into the rose bushes bordering the diagonal walkway up to the front of the main building. It wasn’t a problem for a rider as good as Whiny was. He figured he’d just lay it down like he’d heard the motorcycle guys did when they hit trouble. I was pretty much a non-believer about motorcycle guys laying it down. You could stop quicker on tires than you could sliding along on the steel. They probably went down for the same reasons we did. They held the rear brake on too long, the motorcycle went down and if you were lucky enough to end up on top of it and lived through it, you had a great story to tell.

    Whiny got the bike laid down ok, but he still had a good turn of speed on. He slid right through the rose bushes and onto the cement walkway before he got stopped. Then the bike and wagon flipped, came right on through the rose bushes, and smacked into him a good one. Sorta adding insult to injury I guess.

    When I got there, Doofus was ok and sitting up. I rode on past and found Whiny lying in a smoking heap so to speak, moaning a little bit adn bleeding a whole lot from where his bare arms bore the brunt of crashing through the rose bushes. His Levis were a touch torn up too and he was leaking a little blood from his leg. Interesting part was, the faithful coaster brake on the big old Schwinn looked hotter than heck, the chrome plating on the hub was blue, oil was boiling out of the hub and it was smoking up a storm. Didn’t take too long for the smoke to stop. Either the hub had cooled off or more than likely it had simply run out of oil.

    Whiny wasn’t too bad off, most of his cuts, even though they were good ones, stopped bleeding after a bit. The bad one on his wrist we wrapped a red handkerchief around and after a while that one stopped leaking blood too. He ended up with a nice little scar on top of his right wrist.

    Aside from having no brakes, the Schwinn and the wagon as well, were none the worse for wear. Gotta admit though, both Doofus and Whiny had kind of a glazed look on their faces.

    I’m not sure if the boyhood bravado stuff came from bravery or stupidity. Didn’t know then, didn’t care then, don’t know now and it just doesn’t make any difference. I felt privileged to have taken part and especially privileged to have lived through it.

    I don’t know what the heck Whiny had figured out for the wagon. Seemed to me that we’d done just about enough with it....


    Grade school was an interesting place. We had some fun times and some small adventures, but it was Junior High School when life got really interesting. In particular, the summer after seventh grade. Kinda funny, the year before, we weren’t allowed to do much of anything and now the folks, all of our folks, at least Doofus’, Whiny’s and mine pretty much turned us loose on the world. We weren’t sure if we were ready, but we sure were willing to give it a try. Not too sure if the world was ready for us either, but the world is patient, bides it’s time and more than likely had seen it before. Probably the same for every generation.

    I don’t know if it was because we were twelve years old or what, but we got to go a lot of places and do a lot of things on our own that would never have been permitted before. I guess the folks decided we were at the point where we’d learned about all we could about behaving, doing the right thing and being careful. We didn’t have too much trouble with the behaving and doing the right thing stuff. We were pretty good kids. It was the being careful bit that usually got us into trouble.

    Most of our little adventures, planned or not, usually worked out just fine. When they didn’t, oft times the results were spectacular. Spectacular being on the small scale for sure, but it was all new stuff to us. Best part was being able to go to the beach on our own. Being Ventura born and raised - Ventura being a small California coastal town south of Santa Barbara - meant that the beach was a large part of our lives. There was always something to do at the beach.

    People like to talk about and still do about how great their home towns were. Maybe so. We figured that anyone who didn’t grow up next to the ocean was underprivileged. We had the same things kids in most towns had, open school campus’ at all the schools, football fields, baseball diamonds, basketball courts, handball courts, tennis courts as well as the foothills, mountains and rivers. The rivers sometimes dry and other times raging torrents. Best of all was the ocean. We didn’t have snow and truthfully we didn’t miss it. Later on, when we started driving, we found that the snow was about an hour away in the winter. Sometimes, there was so much to choose from that we didn’t go anywhere and simply retreated to the beach. Always one of our favorite places regardless of the season.

    Getting to the beach was the tough part for a seventh grader. Depending on where you lived you could walk, bicycle down or talk mom into taking you. Course then, mom had to let you out of the car a block or so from the main gathering spots. Geez -- only wimps had their moms take em anywhere. Even though we all depended on our moms, we acted like we didn’t.

    Most times though, we’d meet near Seaward Avenue, the main thoroughfare to the beach and start walking and hitchhiking down the road. The walk wasn’t that far or that bad. Even so, it was sorta traditional to hitchhike. If you didn’t catch a ride, the walking eventually got you there.

    Usually though, and maybe this was traditional too - although no one ever said so - almost always a high school guy would stop and give you a ride down the hill to the beach. Didn’t matter whether you had skim boards or not. They’d open the trunk, pop em in and four or five Junior High School beach rats would climb in for the mile and a half run to the beach.

    Best of all was when the high school girls gave us a ride. These were real women. Mature and beautiful. We were awe struck in their presence and found it hard to talk to them.

    More than one beach bound Junior High Schooler fell in love with one of these unattainable young women. Sometimes it was obvious and sometimes well hidden. Made no difference though. When they smiled, you knew the smile was just for you and you knew they knew.
    Man.... Hopes and dreams and grander schemes I guess.

    Next best thing to catching a ride with a high school girl, or better yet two of them, was getting picked up in a hot rod or custom. We were very aware of the hot rods and customs that ran around town and had a pretty good eye for them. Actually getting to ride in one of these fabled cars meant bragging rights for a long time.

    Getting a lift to the beach in a locally famous 40 Ford coupe with built flathead was something we talked about for weeks and the story was still a good one months later. The guys who owned these cars were most cool. Sometimes they’d nail it at the Seaward-Thompson stoplight and even if they didn’t, just having them shove the throttle down half way was enough to set you back in the seat. The luckiest guys of all caught rides in the one or two cars that were recognized as the fastest car in town or at the least right next to it. We never forgot those rides. Even if nothing happened other than a simple ride to the beach, it stuck strongly in our memory.

    The beach, figuring strongly in our choice of places to go wasn’t the only interesting place around. The coastal mountain range was right behind town. The town was long and narrow and situated between ocean and mountains.

    The mountains were the place to go sometimes. We’d spent many a day traipsing around the hills with our 22's killing every tin can we saw. Which weren’t too many as the few who did hike the hills didn’t leave trash behind. A lot of small rocks got shot as well. All done with a view towards improving our marksmanship. Our story anyway.

    We fancied ourselves as hunters to a degree. Truth was, we probably made so much noise that any potential small game animal was long gone. It didn’t make any difference, we didn’t really want to shoot a rabbit anyway. Killing one meant cleaning it and dragging it home and we weren’t too sure mom would be thrilled about that.

    We’d owned our 22 rifles since we were about eight. A rite of passage to an extent. We weren’t allowed to use them by ourselves at that age. They were put away and we weren’t allowed to touch them without adult supervision. A rule we obeyed to the letter. We’d all had the man to man talk with dad and he impressed us with the gravity of the situation. We learned early on that owning a gun was a big responsibility.

    Seemed too - at least for the three of us - that our moms frowned on us being gun owners. Ending up with a rifle for Christmas or a birthday meant that dad had to do a bit of convincing of his own. Just something that all dads do when the time comes I think. Even so, with disapproval from mom coming at the least transgression, at least where the guns were concerned, we toed the line quite well as far as that went. Owning a rifle was a big step in a boys life and we weren’t about to lose it for something stupid. Other things, no problem, we screwed up, cut corners and did the typical boy stuff that ended up with us in trouble at times. Such was life and I suspect it’s still pretty much that way.

    As far as the rifles went, they were semi-released to us the summer after seventh grade. Fairly often, we’d ask permission to go hiking in the hills. Usually a request that was granted right away. We asked permission to take the rifles along as well. That one got thought about for a while and the answer didn’t come until the night before the big expedition. Once we got permission, laced with the usual cautions from the folks and the usual promises from us, we were in business.

    We’d raid our lawn mowing money or allowance or wherever the heck it was you got your money, pack up a cheese sandwich or two, a GI canteen full of water, sometimes a soda if you were lucky and head out. The three of us would meet, bicycle up Seaward to Main and West on Main to the gunshop across from the high school tennis courts. You could buy a box of 22 shorts there for 35 cents. Provided your rifle could handle it. Most times though, we bought 22 long rifles for about fifty cents a box. We figured, and rightly so that these were the most powerful 22 rounds available. We knew all about more power and in most cases chose to use it.

    The three of us had a nice collection of rifles. Mine, a Winchester 1890 pump, tube fed, exposed hammer, crescent butt plate and octagonal barrel. Highly accurate, the long barrel seemed to hang on the target and never wavered. It stood me well and I seldom missed with it.

    Doofus’ rifle was very similar to mine. A Remington 1912 pump, tube fed, concealed hammer, button safety, crescent butt plate and octagonal barrel. It hung on the target as well as mine did, but I think mine had a much smoother trigger. Even so, Doofus didn’t miss much. He was tough to beat in a shooting match.

    Whiny though, he’d come up with a completely different rifle. He decided early on that firepower was the thing and asked for a Winchester semi-automatic one Christmas. His dad did him well, he got a Winchester Model 74 semi-auto, tube fed, but the tube was in the stock and it was loaded through the right side of the stock. It was a nice rifle, not as fancy as some, but Whiny could shoot it quite well. Provided he took his time and didn’t get carried away by popping off a few extra shots when it wasn’t needed.

    Our pumps were quick to chamber a fresh round and quick to get back on target, but it was just too easy for Whiny to send off two or three shots when we only took one. Course, that meant he ran out of bullets first. Always. Which meant in turn, that he was always borrowing bullets from us. Never a problem, he always paid them back. Sometimes though, it was amazing how many bullets he could go through.

    Interesting part about all the guns is that they were chambered for the long rifle round only. You could shoot shorts and longs in them, but they had to be hand chambered. We quit using the shorts and longs when the old gunsmith at the shop noticed the rifles we carried and cautioned us that the short length rounds would ruin the chamber. We weren’t dummies, we had great respect for this knowledgeable man and we took his advice. Never again did we shoot shorts or longs in our rifles.

    When we were kids, times were simpler. Folks didn’t think too much about three Junior High School kids biking or walking through town with rifles. Always unloaded. We’d heard stories about kids being stupid enough to walk into town with a loaded rifle.

    Sometimes one of the local cops would stop you, ask where you were going and if the answer was satisfactory would ask you if the gun was unloaded. And then ask you to prove it. Empty, no problem. Loaded, confiscation and a write up. Then the kid had to confess, dad or mom had to go down to the police station and get the rifle back. Aside from the embarrassment, the kid lost the use of the rifle for a while. Quite a while in most cases.

    We must have made quite a sight sometimes. We each had a 22 rifle and a GI canteen, absolutely minimum required equipment for hiking the hills. We’d go out to Korbs way past the east end of town and clear out in Montalvo. Korbs was a store that carried work clothes and the like, but the best thing it was, was that it was a war surplus store. It was chock full of neat stuff. Things for campers, hikers, work clothes and the best place in town to buy Levis. Far as we were concerned, the best part about Korbs was the war surplus stuff.

    A kid could go in there with two or three bucks and come out festooned with equipment. The three of us had ridden out there last summer with a few bucks in our pockets and left the store with a GI canteen, a pistol belt to carry it with, a couple of small belt containers which were just perfect for loose bullets, a first aid belt pack, water purification tablets which we never needed, a mess kit and a machete with sheath. One each for all of us.

    I have no idea what we thought we’d do with the machete’s. We carried them with us for a while, must have actually cut through a few feet of brush with them before we decided that was too much work and left em home. Worked out for our dads though. It wasn’t long until they’d taken them over for yardwork.

    The mess kits never did get carried. We figured they’d be useful for that big overnight camping trip that we never seemed to get around to. Whiny bought the best goodie of all. A pack. He was the most official looking one of us all. The pack was just the right touch. It worked out well for all of us. We piled all kinds of stuff in there, lunch, sweatshirt, extra canteen, whatever else we thought we’d need. Didn’t take Whiny long to realize that he didn’t really like being the group packhorse. It worked out ok, we took turns carrying the pack so it wasn’t too bad.

    A lot of times we’d walk through the oil fields and sometimes down the oil field roads. Now and then we’d go by the guys working on the derricks. They’d wave and not say much. They probably grew up doing pretty much the same thing.

    The roads we avoided to an extent, mainly because we didn’t need to use them to get where we were going and if an oil field supervisor spotted you, some of them would run you off. Just doing their job I suppose, but some of them seemed to enjoy it more than perhaps they should have. We got to know a couple of them and after being cautioned not to shoot at oil field equipment and especially not at the pipes running through the oil fields not much was said about getting off the property. For our part, we respected what the supervisors said. It would be a cold day in hell when a 22 bullet pierced the thickwall oil field pipe, but we didn’t shoot at it anyway. We sort of had an understanding. If we left things alone and behaved then they didn’t bother us.

    One of our forays took us into a canyon off to one side of the oil fields. The canyon, not frequented much at all by the oil field guys and the road in was darned near completely overgrown with brush. Near the end stood an old wooden derrick. A piece of oil field history for sure, but for us it was an interesting place to explore. From the corrugated tin covered roof and walls of the pump house with it’s old flat belt drive engine running to a long dead pump to the splinter laden and somewhat disintegrating derrick.

    The derrick wasn’t so rickety that it was going to collapse if you climbed on it, you just had to be careful how you did it and what you hung onto. Many times we’d hide our rifles in the brush and climb to the top. If we hadn’t been back in a canyon we could have seen a lot more than just down the canyon and across the Ventura river bed.

    On one of our climbs up to the Run Around, Whiny noticed that the derrick was guyed into the adjacent hillside about a hundred yards away. The guy, a steel cable connected to an anchor buried in the hill and the other end connected to the derrick right over our heads above the Run Around where the derrick man works. The Run Around being the middle platform that runs all the way around the derrick about half way up.

    He didn’t say much, but we could see him eying it and doing some thinking. We didn’t say anything, we’d been there before. I had no idea what he had in mind and to tell you the truth I was afraid to ask. Some of the stuff he came up with was downright amazing. Trouble was, sometimes he expected us to go along with him. Most times ok and there were other times when we all got banged up and bloodied a touch. To be fair, the wild ideas weren’t always Whiny’s.

    A little more exploring around the oil derrick, hiking further into the canyon, a little plinking with our 22's and that was about it for the day.

    A couple of days later, we rode our bikes out to the riverbed, hid em away and hiked up the canyon to the abandoned oil derrick. Whiny had his pack with him which was kinda usual so we didn’t think too much about it. Like always, we had our 22's and the GI canteens, but not much else. We’d learned that dragging all the military equipment along wasn’t always necessary. The 22's, bullets, lunch, water, the first aid kit which we’d never used and we were set for the day.

    Once at the derrick we hid the 22's in a safe place and waited while Whiny took his pack off.
    He opened it and dragged out the weirdest looking contraption we’d ever seen. It was a pulley wheel with a bolt through the hub. The bolt also held on two pieces of 1/4" strap steel, one on each side. The straps had a bolt retained with two nuts, one on either side of each strap sticking out and once we saw the friction tape wound around the bolts the light dawned. Whiny had knocked out a pulley wheel setup so he could hang on and ride the guy wire from the derrick to where it was guyed into the hill.

    We told him he was crazy. Something we always did when he had one of his bright and potentially dangerous ideas. He explained how it worked and how safe it would be. We saw that it had possibilities and after a while, agreed that it would work. Like we always did when he explained his bright ideas. If nothing else, Whiny was a most convincing guy. We weren’t dumb, but looking back, I gotta admit, we weren’t the brightest guys in the world. I guess you could say that danger was our middle name. Except we didn’t have a clue as to how dangerous some of our little stunts could be. Making our middle names, I don’t know what, but it sure as hell wasn’t danger.

    So we climbed up to the Run Around, Whiny lugging the cable car as we called it. Once there, we took a good look at the whole deal and figured it oughta work just fine. Doofus and I were kinda getting into it. It looked like a heckuva deal and we were ready to take a turn.

    Gotta give Whiny credit. He almost always went first. Especially when it was his wild idea. A lot of kids would try to talk you into their wild ideas, but Whiny believed in what he was doing and was the first to step up. He figured if you thought it up, you oughta be able to carry it out.
    Course, sometimes we carried him out.

    The plan was, hook the cable car over the cable, ride across, drop off and land in the soft dirt right under the guy anchor, collect the cable car, climb the few feet to the top of the hill - the guy was buried in a cement anchor right at the top edge of the flat topped hill - walk down the ridge and do it all over again. It looked like great fun. The fun accented only a touch by the small fact that we’d be traveling down the cable hanging 40-50' off the ground. For a ways anyway, once you got near the end the hill rose up steeply to meet you.

    Whiny climbed up to where he could hook the cable car over the cable, climbed back down a step while still hanging on, smiled a goofy looking smile and without a word launched himself into space.

    The little cable car worked great. Whiny started out slow and rapidly gained speed. In fact, a lot more speed than anyone had counted on. We didn’t think about the little fact that the cable ran mostly downhill and the first part was fairly steep. It was fair to say that he flew down the cable, crossing over in what must have been record speed. Provided there was a record at all. Man -- he was really flying.

    He did ok though, timed it just right, let go of the cable car at the right point and slammed into the soft dirt bank with one heck of a thud. Kinda sounded like a sack of potatoes hitting the floor.
    It knocked him for a loop and he was lying there for a few seconds. Doofus and I were about ready to climb down the derrick, climb up the hill and see what we could do to help when Whiny started coming around. He got up on all fours and was hanging his head down when he started sliding backward down the hill. He saved himself though. He grabbed an old dried root sticking up out of the ground and brought himself to a halt. So far, so good. Right up to the point where he tried to stand up and the root broke leaving him standing there with a broken root in hand and a weird look on his face. He went right over backwards and started sliding down the hill pretty fast.

    Whiny was a thinker and it didn’t take him long to reach a decision. Especially in times of danger. He was probably good at it because he had so much practice at it. It was obvious that sailing down the hill on your back, headfirst, was not the greatest idea in the world. Easily cured by Whiny’s coordinated and athletic maneuver of flopping over on his stomach. Much better, now he could see where he was going. Must have been an interesting view to say the least. He got turned over just in time to realize he had come to the end of the dirt slide and was headed over a fifteen foot dropoff.

    It was better than the movies. Even though it was real life at it’s rugged worst, it all seemed to happen in slow motion. Whiny slid over the edge, rolled over and landed flat on his back on top of the sandpile at the bottom. Once again, there was that sack of potatoes hitting the ground sound accentuated by a loud whoosh of air. Whiny had gotten the wind knocked out of him good.

    Doofus and I started climbing down the derrick ladder right after Whiny hit bottom. It probably didn’t take that long and maybe we were making good time, but it seemed like forever until we heard Whiny catch his breath. Didn’t do him much good though. The little cable car, forgotten about up till now, had partially buried itself in the soft dirt at the top of the hill. Once the dirt around it started sliding away, it wasn’t long until it was free and sliding down the hill. Whiny hadn’t even started to sit up and wasn’t even breathing all that good when the cable car handle hit him right square in the forehead. Knocked him out cold. Not to mention it put a nice little crescent shaped cut in the middle of his forehead. Took out a pretty good flap of skin.

    Kinda set us back a bit when we got there. Here was Whiny, breathing ok, but out cold.
    Scared the heck out of us. We were already wound up from watching him sail across the cable, slam into the hill, slide down the hill and fall off the hill.

    It was easy to see what happened. The cable car had a bit of blood on the end of the tape wrapped bolt handle where the bolt itself was exposed and the mark on Whiny’s forehead was a perfect match for the hex shape of the bolt head.

    We thought for a bit that Whiny had killed himself or at the least done some serious damage.
    He was lying there, not moving, not anything. The only thing we could see that was good was that he was breathing. Doofus blew up. He grabbed the cable car and threw it as far as he could. It went way out in the brush, probably never to see the light of day again. It didn’t help much, Whiny was still out, but you could see that Doofus felt a little better. Not much though.

    It was a good thing we’d seen lots of cowboy movies, we knew exactly what to do. When the good guy, or even the bad guy goes down, throwing a bucket of water in his face always brings him around. We drug our canteens out and started pouring water on Whiny’s face. Sure enough, he started coming around, coughing and sputtering. We pretty much emptied our canteens onto his face and probably came close to drowning him. That turned out to be a useful bit of First-Aid knowledge we’d dredged up out of the old memory banks. Thank God for cowboys.

    Whiny came around ok, but he complained about having a bad headache. No small wonder, getting slammed in the head by the little cable car and all. Now he complained about being thirsty. Kind of a bummer as Doofus and I had pretty much emptied our canteens onto him.
    After a bit we realized he still had his nearly full canteen and I had the never used, never even been opened up first aid kit. It worked great, we drug out a big gauze pad, a roll of tape and patched Whiny up. The bleeding stopped and it looked like he’d be ok.

    Course now Whiny looked like the practice dummy at first aid class. We’d used a whole heck of a lot of tape to stick the gauze pad on his forehead ending up with tape wrapped all the way round his head which made the injury look a lot worse than it was.

    Not a problem though. We collected the 22's, hiked out of the canyon, got the bikes and rode home. Whiny sure got a lot of attention.

    I guess it’s not everyday you see a kid bandaged up like Boris Karloff in the Mummy.


    To say we knew our way around the hills above Ventura would be an understatement. After the wild ride Whiny took down the guy cable we stuck pretty much to hiking around the hills and limiting our adventures to exploring a little farther each time we were out. We did pretty good about staying out of trouble, but sometimes it seemed like trouble was a living, breathing thing that followed us around. It’s surprising sometimes how much trouble you can get into without even trying.

    Wandering the hills, cutting through the oil fields and traveling on the edge of the oilfields saw us finding a lot of interesting stuff. Perhaps junk to some, but to us, it was neat stuff.

    Some of the old oil field junkyards were chock full of strange and sometimes very old equipment. One of the most interesting finds we made was a large cast flywheel a little over six feet in diameter. It was sitting up off the ground on a fairly large sheet of thick and very rusted steel and had it’s own coat of rust. Cast iron develops a nice patina after a while and looks much better than rusted steel. The darned thing was a work of art. Cast with five curved “S” shaped spokes we were just in awe. A piece of old world craftsmanship and a thing of mechanical beauty. Whiny wanted to take it home, but it probably weighed half a ton. Since it was obvious there was no way we were going to drag a half ton flywheel home across several ridges and down the hill into town we decided to do the next best thing.

    The next best thing being very easy to figure out. The oil field dump was situated out on a ridge and the wheel was right next to the dropoff down into the ravine. Not a straight dropoff, but a steep one. Very steep at the start and rounding out into a gentle curve at the bottom. We decided it was just right for rolling the flywheel down the hill. If the oil company thought it was junk then surely they wouldn’t mind too much if we gave it a roll. At least that’s what we figured. Little niceties like permission and simple things like that never entered our 12 year old minds. Besides, it would look cool rumbling down the hill. That was all the reason we needed.
    On top of that, it looked safe to do. There was nothing at the bottom of the hill that would be in danger and there was no reason for anybody to be down there. Plus, we could take a look before we let it go. We were good at convincing ourselves that things would be all right Course, all we usually listed were the pros and we didn’t worry too much about the cons.

    Getting the flywheel vertical was going to be a small problem. Neatly solved by finding a ten foot or so length of pipe small enough in diameter to slip inside the flywheel hub and large enough in diameter to resist the bending forces. So far, so good even if we could hardly lift the pipe and getting it into the hole was a bitch. We were pretty well set in the rope department because we’d been carrying a 50' length of 1/2" rope with a view toward exploring some of the caves we ran across now and then. With the rope tied to the top of the pipe and the pipe in the hub of the flywheel we figured we’d just walk out to the end, pull it up and brace it vertical with some old 2 x 4's.

    It was a great idea, the pipe was strong enough, the rope was strong enough, only trouble was, the three of us weren’t strong enough. We could almost get it to lift, but not quite. We were too far in to quit now. Besides, we liked a bit of a challenge. We’d read about the Pyramids in school and understood levers and pulleys pretty well. Whiny’d been building a model of the Cutty Sark, a famous square rigger and he had a good idea of what was required. All we needed were a couple of deadblocks. Deadblocks being the forerunner of pulleys and were simply pieces of very hard wood with two holes that rope slid through at a 180 degree angle giving the sailors on the other end a mechanical advantage if two or more of them were used.

    Searching the junkyard turned up absolutely no pulleys and no deadblocks. We got lucky and found some weld rings. These were nice round pieces of steel formed into a circle and very smooth inside and out. To our eye, two of them would make a fine double deadblock setup. We used some wire stripped out of some short pieces of wire cable to tie one weld ring onto the top end of the long pipe stuck in the flywheel hub. The other weld ring we wired to a big old engine on a skid. The massive engine, pretty much covered in rust wasn’t going anywhere and made a great anchor. By the time we looped the rope through the weld ring wired to the engine and went back toward the weld ring on the pipe, it was obvious the rope wasn’t long enough.

    Easy enough to fix. There was a whole bunch of wire cable laying around and it was easy to unwind some more of it from the shorter cutoff pieces. The weld ring on our engine anchor was moved about 10' closer to the flywheel, the rope looped through both weld rings and we were in business. We had a two to one advantage and figured that ought to do it. We’d almost got it up before, but couldn’t quite make it.

    This time, success. With a good hard pull from the three of us and a creak and groan from the flywheel we pulled it vertical and then it went too far over and the long pipe hit the ground. The good part was, the flywheel was almost vertical and we figured we could handle it from there with just the pipe for a lever.

    We got everything untied, stuck the rope back in the pack, found a small piece of angle steel for a chock for the flywheel and got set up to get the flywheel vertical and ready for the big roll down the hill.

    The plan was, get the flywheel vertical by lifting on the pipe, block it vertical with some old lumber pieces, slide the pipe in until it was centered, walk the flywheel to the edge of the hill, chock it, block it vertical again, remove the pipe, lever the flywheel back a touch, pull the chock, let go and see what happened. With the wide rim of the flywheel it looked like it would stand up by itself just fine.

    Everything worked just like we planned. We got the flywheel blocked vertical, the pipe centered and Whiny and Doofus were hanging onto each end of the pipe holding the flywheel back. I had an 8' piece of 2" pipe and started levering the flywheel toward the angle iron chock. It worked great. Right up to the point where the flywheel wanted to start rolling by itself.

    You could tell that gravity was calling the flywheel and calling it strongly. Once the flywheel got to the chock where we expected it to stop, it crushed the angle iron chock into the dirt and kept on going. Doofus and Whiny tried to hold it back but it didn’t do any good. Gravity, like it always does, took over completely.

    I stood back, they let go and the flywheel rolled very slowly up to the edge of the hill, seemed to pause for a moment and then dropped over the edge. Good part was, it stayed upright. Bad part was, it leaned to the left and took off in a different direction than we’d planned. The slow speed stuff didn’t last long, it was gathering speed like a runaway freight train.

    We didn’t know how fast it was going, but it was gaining speed like nobody’s business. It rolled out smoothly at the bottom and went way past where we thought it would stop and it still had a helluva head of steam on. There was no stopping this baby. To make it worse, it went up onto the berm next to the dirt road that ran up the canyon, stayed on top of the berm for a bit and then drifted back down onto the road. Now it was going downhill right in the middle of the dirt road and the flywheel was gaining even more speed on the subtle grade. The darned thing was headed straight for an oil derrick way down the road.

    It scared the bejesus out of us. We had no idea it would go so far so fast. Nobody said a word. We were totally stunned at what we’d done. Prayers and wishes and thoughts of repentance didn’t help at all. There was no calling it back and no stopping it. The flywheel was on it’s way and it didn’t look like it was slowing down at all. If anything, it was still gaining speed.

    Me and Doofus and Whiny looked at each other, not saying a word and then we looked back down the road at the speeding flywheel. You almost couldn’t take your eyes off it.

    Doofus was the only one who said anything.

    All he said was, “I guess we’ve done it now.”

    It wasn’t much, but those few words said it all.

    The interesting part was the 10' piece of pipe was still in the flywheel and wasn’t going anywhere far as we could tell.

    By the time the flywheel reached the oil derrick it had drifted off the road and was running alongside, crashing through the low brush like a herd of elephants. The sound probably wasn’t very loud, but we figured everybody in the county could hear it. That little bit accentuated by our guilty consciences. It had a whole heck of a lot of speed on too. It was way past 70-80 mph, how far past we didn’t know, just put it down as way past and way fast.

    The flywheel sailed right by the oil derrick, across the empty dirt parking area leaving little puffs of dust in its wake and went straight into a corrugated metal covered shed a little larger than an outhouse. It may have been the outhouse. God forbid anybody was in there.

    When it hit the little shed there was a tremendous explosion of noise and white dust. Not an explosives generated noise, just a really loud crashing sound with corrugated metal and smashed wood flying everywhere. The flywheel went through the shed like it wasn’t even there and after the wood and corrugated metal hit the ground, there was a large cloud of white dust floating all over the place. We couldn’t have destroyed the little shed any better than if we’d pitched a stick of dynamite inside.

    The flywheel didn’t slow down at all. It was still carrying a lot of speed and the steep hill beyond the derrick didn’t slow it down at all. It went up the hill, disappeared over the ridge top and started down the long downhill on the other side. We could hear it crashing through the low grass and chaparral for a quite while and then all was quiet.

    The only evidence the flywheel had gone by the oil derrick was the white dust floating in the air.
    From our vantage point on the hill we couldn’t see any tracks and the only way you could tell where the flywheel had been, was by the slightly flattened low grass and that was about it.

    Well . . . we figured that was enough excitement for one day. We picked up the pack, the canteens and the 22's and just like the bad guys from the cowboy movies we got out of Dodge.

    It was hard not to run. We had to force ourselves to walk. We may as well have run, we had so much adrenaline cranking through our bodies we probably could have run for a week without stopping. Even so, we were thinking pretty good. We looped around the canyon we’d come in on and took the long way out.

    I got home, put the 22 away and was rinsing my canteen out in the sink when mom came in.

    She took a casual look at me and asked, “How was your day?”

    I coughed and choked for a second and told her, “It was interesting.”

    Mom gave me a weird look and didn’t say anything. She probably didn’t want to know.
    Sometimes being in the dark is nice and peaceful.

    We heard through the grapevine that a cement storage shed out in the oil fields had exploded.
    Attributed to the small fact that dust, grain dust and I suppose even cement dust will explode under the right circumstances. Course, the question no one asked was: How did the cement dust get stirred up?

    As for the flywheel, it disappeared without a trace. We never looked for it and never wanted to see it again.

    Somewhere out there, in a California oil field canyon, sits a flywheel hidden in the brush. Well hidden for sure. The finders will wonder how it ever got there. It was up and over a hill a long ways from any oil field stuff.

    Just one of those archeological mysteries I guess....


    (End of part one.)

  2. sodbuster
    Joined: Oct 15, 2001
    Posts: 4,962

    from Kansas

    Great read.......
  3. Great read as always........


    Drewfus [​IMG] [​IMG]
  4. Great read, ya gotta get published. So real just like I remember..........

  5. chromedRAT
    Joined: Mar 5, 2002
    Posts: 1,730


    awesome, man. simply awesome.
  6. 40StudeDude
    Joined: Sep 19, 2002
    Posts: 9,464


    I like the idea of the "Monday Nite Tales"...good read there, Jay...looking forward to Part Two

  7. Thanks RJ.

    The idea unabashedly stolen from that Friday night read guy.... [​IMG]
  8. 40StudeDude
    Joined: Sep 19, 2002
    Posts: 9,464


    [ QUOTE ]
    Thanks RJ. The idea unabashedly stolen from that Friday night read guy.... [​IMG]

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Flattery will get you EVERYWHERE, Jay...

    I've written a few more stories of my youth and the 1960's in the past few months and will again start up "The Friday Nite Read" soon...

    It still amazes me that we all shared the "good ol' days" of the nineteen-fifites and -sixties at the same time, only in different parts of the good ol' United about universal consciousness...

  9. Flexicoker
    Joined: Apr 17, 2004
    Posts: 1,416


    man, I was pulling crap like that 6 years ago, except it was in Texas, and never involved real guns... but more often than not there was large amounts of fire...

    Good Story! [​IMG]
    Joined: Nov 6, 2002
    Posts: 3,410



    Cool stuff. I always love reading your stories C9!

  11. hotrodsnguns
    Joined: Apr 3, 2004
    Posts: 545

    from Fresno, CA

    [ QUOTE ]
    awesome, man. simply awesome.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    My thoughts also
  12. SomethinWicked
    Joined: Sep 7, 2003
    Posts: 114

    from York, PA

    Thanks, C9... great reading!
  13. Smokin Joe
    Joined: Mar 19, 2002
    Posts: 3,770

    Smokin Joe

    Can you imagine parents turning today's 12 year olds loose with a rifle? They'd be locked up. I remember when I was in the 6th grade mowing about 30 lawns at a dollar a lawn to save money so Dad would mail-order me a 30-06 along with his from Spiegles (sp). We got WW-I surplus guns delivered right to the door. I remember hours of sporterizing the stocks to save weight and heating the wood by the fireplace then wiping them down with a rag to soak up all that cosmolene we sweated out. Actually got my first mulie buck on my 12th birthday with that gun. I had a 22 and a shotgun before that, but this was a REAL rifle. And we were hunting real Rocky Mtn. mule deer in Idaho. No more South Carolina swamp whitetails, squrrels and bunnies with dogs and a shotgun. This was mountain man stuff! Man, I was one proud kid every time we had venison for dinner that winter. Of course I got 2 deer and dad got 2 also that season, plus all the meat we got from friends who hunted too, but I was sure every steak came out of my first mulie buck. I was Jeremiah Johnson, Teddy Roosevelt and Buffalo Bill Cody all rolled into 1 kid! [​IMG]

    Great stuff Jay! Brought back a lot of memories. [​IMG] [​IMG]
  14. The Anarkist
    Joined: Jul 11, 2004
    Posts: 82

    The Anarkist
    from Canada

    Cool stuff from the beginning I read. Now I have yet something else to get time to read. Gee, thanks a LOT!!!!!

    Thanks Bro!
  15. come on guys, I know most of you can read.
  16. If you go into Thread Tools and select Show Printable Version it may make it an easier read.

    Printing is improved and it'll probably take less paper.

    Thanks Flt Blk.
  17. shoprat
    Joined: Dec 23, 2006
    Posts: 1,109

    Member Emeritus
    from Orange, CA

    I think I used to race when Louie was doing the Nostalga deal.
    Beautiful Black with injected Olds on Alky. Always liked him and his
    wife, very nice people. Ken Brown, Jim Data and Pete Marcus were
    around at the same time. They were all fast... I just had a 11 sec.
    57 Ranchero
    Good story, Ron

  18. A pleasant surprise to see this one come around again.

    Pete passed away a few years back.
    We still miss him.

    Far as I know Kenny and Jim are doing ok.

    Louie hasn't raced for a while, but he still has the HJ.



  19. Since it's back at the top, do you have anything new you can share with us??

  20. Some photos of the areas noted in the first part.

    You probably know about the first book I posted here, The Red Roadster.
    Also written about and placed in the Ventura County area.

    Still on file I believe.

    Along with a few short stories.
    I can put a list of those together tonight if it would help.

    Gotta take granddaughter and her girl friend (both 17) shopping. :eek:

    And you thought you were brave....:D
  21. belair
    Joined: Jul 10, 2006
    Posts: 8,763


    It was/is good to be a boy. As the Germans say-too soon we grow up, too little we learn. Great read. Lots of memories.
  22. enloe
    Joined: May 10, 2006
    Posts: 9,001

    from east , tn.

    If you like this read get his book California Hotrodder it is a really good book also.
  23. Jay...........Thanks for the reading entertainment you provided me over the holidays.
    I finished Doofus and Whiny and I'm now half way thru The Red Roadster.
    I'm going to put away the Roadster story 'till next week because I need to catch up on other stuff I should be doing.
    I've got to fly from Boston to Phoenix Monday morning so it will make for good reading on that flight.
    I'm up to 1972 in the Roadster chapters. It's awesome!
    Please keep up the good work for us. Car guys just cant get enough of these kinds of tales.
    If you want to shoot me your address sometime I'll send you a copy of a book one of our club members wrote about 10 years ago.
    It's titled The Dominators, written by John Brackett.
  24. jangleguy
    Joined: Dec 26, 2004
    Posts: 2,668


    I was at March Meet when the Henry J got tangled up with Jim Datas '57 Pontiac. Got it all on video (not digital - sorry). Now I have some insight to go with that footage - thanks...

  25. I'd really like to have a copy of that if it wasn't too much trouble.

    Lemme know.
  26. hotrodladycrusr
    Joined: Sep 20, 2002
    Posts: 20,763


    This needed to come back up to the top today

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