|The Stovebolt Page||
2 Guys in search of a Truck
Episode 3 -- As Brunnehilde sleeps
Paris (as in Kentucky, not France or Maine) -- Paris, Kentucky, is a long, long way from Valhalla (or Tipperary, for that matter), but nonetheless, we were on our way home from one of those "Farm Shop" auctions we all know so well. A veritable "Lifetime Collection of Tools." Yessir, indeed. Most of the tools looked like they were collected early in the owner's lifetime and used hard and long ever after. Most looked like they should be in the basement of the Smithsonian Institution. Anyway, I had been swayed by the auction announcement into believing I might get a good air compressor cheap (oh boy, a 2-stage, 15hp 90-gallon!). Auction my foot. It looked like they raided a farm dumpster, not a farm shop.
Four hours later we emerged with two boxes of assorted junk and a router (later traded to Johnhancock for a Sawzall -- See, Barry? I'm learning). The collection of JUNK we had just seen lead us to believe we would have loved to have met the previous owner and collector as he seemed to have been one of us (4 Corvair engines??). I left the aforementioned air compressor to someone one else as it looked like merely plugging it into an electrical source could lead to electrocution. The tablesaw looked homemade. And the best part was the woodlathe. We knew it was a woodlathe because the auctioneer said it was a wood lathe. Disappointed, we decided to swing into Lexington and replenish our Don Diegos and Punch Churchills.
That's when the adventure of the day started.
Passing by the training center of the Lexington Fire Department, Johnhancock said, "Hey, there's an old truck in there they haven't torched yet." Well, THAT certainly needed no discussion. How could you pass up an opportunity like that? The gate was conveniently left open, too.
There it was -- a 1960 Semi truck -- Airbrakes and the works. Just too cool. And the pods. Those pods! Those pods that keep running through my imagination like a bad metaphor in a Stanley Kubrick movie. Pods that represent as much sublety as a horn-helmeted, animal skin-festooned, sword wielding crooning goddess in a Wagner Opera. Sorry.
Certainly this is the kind of truck you could just park in the yard to say, "Yes, I own a semi." Our imaginations ran amok.
Imaginations in check, we surveyed the truck. No intact glass (the remnants of the windshield were scattered throughout the cab). Not even the guages!. The seat was there (mostly) as was the headliner (oh joy). But what were all those shifters? The sheet metal looks okay with only a a few (dozen) rust through places, but the running gear looked a mess. And, you'd need a 2-ton hoist just to remove the tires. Not exactly a weekend project here. Besides, we weren't looking for a semi, anyway. But who could pass up the opportunity to crawl around a truck like this? The bottom line seemed to be that the nose of this truck is art and would look cool on the shop wall (it would BE the shop wall).
What would we do with a semi? What would anyone do with an old semi? Well, you could haul other trucks to shows. You could haul big loads to places (never mind top speed on this baby is probably around 45 mph -- IF it were running). You could ...
Indeed. Visions of Margaret as a helmeted, swordwielding, shrieking Nordic goddess, swooping down to collect my soul aback a flame-belching Valkyrie chilled my imagination. I had seen that vision before and didn't want to again.
And, as Barry Weeks so astutely pointed out, you can't just hop in and drive down to Mickey D's for a shake in this puppy, can you? Sure would be cool, though ....
Reluctantly, we decided to leave it to it's fate. A fate better than the crusher, though. At least the final act in the drama of this truck's life, although involving a towering inferno of a funeral pyre straight from a Wagnerian opera, would serve a more useful purpose than merely providing recycled materials from which to build more toasters and Tickle Me Elmos. Hopefully, the firey death of this truck will prevent the firey death of some trucker as the firefighters of the Lexington Fire Department train to fight vehicle fires with it (Notice the trailer attached to this truck and the power lines adorning it).
Yes, even though we wipe a gentle tear as we contemplete this truck's fate, we can be proud of her ultimate sacrifice -- pods and all. As we drive into the gathering dusk, the flames of my imagination dance around the sleeping form of Brunnehilde and the dramatic strains of Wagner's Ring Trilogy swirl.
Good night, sweet daughter of Wotan.
'Til next time -- Aloha, JC
|No parts of this site, its contents, photos or graphics may be used without permission.||