Stovebolt Sagas
  'Bolters finding trucks ... Trucks finding 'Bolters ... 'Bolters needing counseling ...
Around the 'Bolt...

Search the 'Bolt - more than 100,000 pages of info. Start here if you're hunting!

Discussion Forums
More than 38,400 registered Stovebo
lters from around the world talking old trucks, and sharing technical help.

Gallery More than 3,140 old truck stories with photos from Stovebolters worldwide! More in our DITY Gallery.

Tech Tips
Helpful tips on truck restoration, identification, preservation; project stories, Build Blogs and Stovebolt histories.

Find out who's doing what, where and when! See who else is in your neighborhood with an old truck.

The Swap Meet
FREE Classified ads for trucks, parts, truck citings, eBay / Craigslist, Hauling Board.

Nothing new under the sun ... got some good Frequently Asked Questions here, and will probably have more!

Sagas, Feature Stories and some stuff we've done here and there and don't know where else to put it!

Stovebolt Hoo-ya
'Bolter wear, calendars, bling and other goodies!

Stovebolt Office
About Us, Contacting Us, Stovebolt Supporters, and other pertinent administrivia.

Return to the home page

The Truth about our hobby!

A deal for Stovebolters

You know you do.
Be proud of it!

Check for Hoo-yah!

No parts of this site, its contents, photos or graphics may be used without permission.

Copyright © 1995-2023
Leonardtown, Maryland


Can't keep a Stovebolter still
The Corvette Adventure

Continued, part Thirteen

By Steve VandenBerg
Bolter # 6449
Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Part I
Part II
Part III
Part IV
Part V
Part VI
Part VII

  Vacation, Family, Deals, Thoughts, Troubles
Planning to bring her home
Seeing the sites
Getting into it, finally!
Let me tell you about Parts Chicks
Talk of marriage
Ready to hit the road home

Part IX
Part X
Part XI
Part XII
Part XIV
  How hard can it be ...
Doom, despair and agony on me
Good ol' bailing wire
Surrounded by help
Lord, just get me home, pahlease!
Interesting people and places
Home Sweet Home


Part Thirteen ~ plenty of interesting people and places!

      Stella has a log cabin (a real one that her grandparents built) near Keystone with a few acres. She has horses and lots of antiques that still function as part of her home. I just love being there. She works hard fencing and keeping the place in order. She works as a dietician near Sturgis.

      Stella and I met several years ago when she was attending school near Sioux Falls. She came out country dancing quite regularly. Stella was even a child actor, as was her brother, years ago. She helped me put on a skit that was a big hit with the dance club and has welcomed me to her home on several occasions. She has turned out to be a wonderful friend over the years.

      I took my bath and got my fingernails pretty clean. I sat in the tub for a long time and soaked. It was an old big tub and I had it filled up pretty good. When I got out, I had to put on my dirty clothes. That sucked! I had to work at getting the ring out of the tub. I hope I did OK.

      Stella had the steaks going when I got out and served me a salad. The steaks were great and then we finished it up with some pie. This is not the first time Stella had served me some homemade pie and I don’t even recall what flavor it was (Peach Cobbler I think). I know that when she makes pie, it is down right tasty every time, and not something I would likely turn down.

      Stella put me upstairs in an antique bed. She had all of the windows open and the Black Hills country breeze put me asleep in no time. I woke up to the sound of range cows bellowing, coyotes’ yipping and a donkey braying. That was the best nights sleep I’ve had in a long time. I usually wake up stiff and sore. This morning I felt great. I have to get myself a bed like this.

      When I got up, Stella made me some breakfast and informed me that there were men over to help her repair fence. I helped her lug some fence posts up the hill through some trees and she introduced me to the men. They showed Stella how to use a fence stretcher and how to tie the fence. She had done some fencing before, but felt that she should have someone instruct her to make sure she was doing it right. I think Stella was disappointed that I didn’t have a pair of gloves.

      I felt I needed to get going, so I said my goodbyes. I told her that I would have to take a working vacation and help her fence. I checked the oils and antifreeze and started down the road to Rapid City.

      “God, just let me get this beautiful old classic Corvette home without wrecking it.”

Another Parts Chick

      I got into Rapid City and stopped at the shop I have worked at during the Sturgis Rally for nine plus years. Porky (the owner) and I have become good friends. Porky always has open doors for me at his home, given me respect as a mechanic and given me an open door to work in his shop. He is a person who I thoroughly enjoy being around.  Porky wasn’t at the shop yet so I introduced myself to the parts girl, Dani.

      Now you know how I feel about parts girls by now and here was one that was employable in a highly competitive job market. Dani is a total hotty.

      The mechanic that was employed I hadn’t met before either. Dan was a lot of fun to talk to. He seemed to know what was going on with Harleys and had an intelligent way about him. I could talk for hours with him. I think he wants to buy a truck I have.

      Billy is Porky’s son. Billy has been around the shop long since I was working the Rally there. Billy was just a young boy when I first met him. He loves to do burnouts and wheelies on his Dad’s nitrous Harley.

      Porky shows up and it’s always good to see him. We sit around and tell some stories of times past and talk about the fall run we made through Spearfish Canyon last year. Porky can get anyone laughing along in a minute. He was very close to being selected for a Survivor series, but they apparently lost his tape and a new one didn’t get sent in time.

      I tell Porky and the others of my plight and saga of the Corvette and hadn’t decided if I wanted to nurse the water pump home or fix it while I was at my shop stop. I figured that it would be my luck that it would go out on the last leg of the trip and that a bolt may break while fixing it. Then I would really be in a fix in the middle of nowhere and so close to home, too.

More helpful people

      Across the street was a parts house. They had the water pump that I needed for around $25. So I jacked the Corvette up just to get it at a better working level for me. I drained the antifreeze into a drain pan that I had cleaned out. Everything came apart just fine. Getting it together, I think that I put every water pump bolt back in the wrong hole at least once. Each bolt was a different length and held a different bracket. I finally had it figured out.

      I noticed that the alternator bracket was broken. It was still working but I needed to get it welded. I figured that it would be my luck that, if I let it go, it would bite me in the butt on the last leg of the trip. I tried to call the welder but got no answer. I asked Dan, Dani and Billy of a shop nearby that might be able to weld it for me. I suppose I could have welded it myself as I did take welding in trade school, but that is one thing that I decided years ago to leave to someone who can really weld.

      When I talked to Porky about it, he was talking with a customer. This customer said that he could weld and that he rebuilt Corvettes back east somewhere.

      Great! Come on back. How much do you charge? Oh, buy me a Coke. You’re hired.

      He welded it up with some “CH” wire we had laying around. CH wire is a special wire used in shops when a regular welding rod can’t be found. It professionally stands for “Coat Hanger.” He welded the bracket and ground it off for me and wouldn’t even let me get him a pop. There sure were a lot of helpful people out there. I guess I can be glad I’m not working on an old Plymouth station wagon. I don’t think I would get as much attention.

Can't quite leave yet

      I got the Corvette running once again and was thinking about taking off. Here it was Wednesday and I could get back in time to save myself a day or two of vacation. I think to myself that I didn’t want to leave without getting Porky out to eat. It has started to be a small tradition with us that we at least get to go out and eat a nice steak together. I decide to sit back and take it easy for the day. I had a hard drive yesterday.

      I hung around the shop and we told more stories and Porky, as usual, had the customers busting a gut. Porky was showing us his tattoos. Porky had a new tattoo that he placed around his belly button. It said, “Oil Here”. That just cracked me up. On the inside of his elbow, he has an old barn hinge tattooed. You just have to see for yourself sometime. Describing Porky could never do the justice of meeting him in person.

      We decided to go out for a nice steak and invited Dani, Dan and Billy. Dan had to go home a little early. Billy had a date and Dani just wasn’t sure. She would let us know. I was hoping that she would come along. Nothing like a good looking parts gal to bring a sparkle to my eye. Too bad I’m such an old fart.

Interesting folks

      I hung around the shop all day. I love hanging out at Pig Performance. You never know what type of exciting conversations might come up, or what characters might stop by.

      One character that came by was Single Jim. Single Jim is a barber by trade and has cut my hair on several occasions. I would like to describe Single Jim for you a little bit.

       When I first saw Single Jim 10 years ago, he stood out from many of the people hanging around the shop. Like Porky, Single Jim has the gift for story telling. He always has a fascinating story or anecdote to share. Single Jim is a real biker. My definitions of a real biker are lengthy and belong in another leaf, so I will not attempt to define that here.

      Single Jim has tattoos all over his body, a bear claw necklace and a pierced ear. Big deal you say. Well, Single Jim’s ear has a large bullet through the hole in his ear. He does have nice hair though. I always noticed he had well kept hair.

      Single Jim’s clothing is unique, too. Many of his leathers are handmade by himself. His leather riding helmet has a plum rising up from the top and reminds me of some kind of falcon’s hood that you see falcon trainer’s use. I have shown pictures of him to some of my friends and tell them that he is my barber. They kind of think I’m crazy to let that guy cut my hair. I had my doubts at first, too. When I met Single Jim that first year, I saw him cut Porky’s hair in the shop and realized that Porky always has nice hair. Porky has since decided to shave his head bald. It kind of burns my butt when guys with a nice head of hair try to be bald when I have no choice. There is no doubt about allowing Single Jim cut my hair.

      Single Jim has Shep the Wonder Dog. Shep the Wonder Dog is a talking parrot that does all kinds of tricks.

      I have been dying to go to Single Jim's house. I have heard of the wonderful sights and monstrosities that Single Jim has acquired and built. I have even seen him on the local news during the rally discussing his stuff and views. Single Jim is by no doubt, quite an interesting guy.

Chowing down before heading out

      The shop closed around 7 or so, and Porky and I went to his home and cleaned up a bit. Dani hadn’t called as of yet, so we decided to go without her. We got a few blocks away and she called. We went to pick her up.

      We decided to go to a restaurant called Minerva’s to have a good steak. I would rather pay good money for a steak than pay little for a steak that isn’t so hot. Porky recognized one of the waitresses and requested to sit in her area. That was a good decision. That waitress could have picked out our meals for us. In fact she did pick out many of the items for our dinner. She did an excellent job.

      Dani was slightly reserved and handled herself very well. We came up with several reasons why we brought her along. The evening was filled with laughter. It is always a treat for me to spend some time with Porky away from the shop. It was really nice being in the company of pretty parts girls, too. Porky was entertaining to say the least. If you ever get the chance to stop by Pig Performance in Rapid City, stop in and say hi to Porky. Given the chance, there is no doubt that Porky will delight you too.

      The evening was too short and we dropped Dani off and went to Porky’s house. I was undecided whether to spend the night or to drive home that night. Porky and I sat around on the back porch and talked for a while. I decided that I would take off and travel at night because of the heat during the day. I was anxious to get home too. I took off around midnight for the final leg of the trip.

      I was feeling confident of the Corvette’s ability to make it with no further problems, but you never know in a situation like this. I checked the oils and antifreeze again. Filled up with gas and got another cappuccino. I just got on I-90 and it started to rain. My new windshield wipers were finally going to get their test.

      I moved the wiper lever over and the cowl moved up, and then forward, and the wipers did their thing. The rain didn’t last too long or I out ran it by the time I left the outer limits of the city. But it was cool to use my wipers and see the cowl in action again.

      Well, here I am again. Oil pressure is good, temp is good, amps are good. The clock I have tried to change the time on and get it to move, still does nothing. The windows are down. Somewhere along the way the second muffler had broken loose and the Corvette was louder than ever. I was glad I wired both of them up when I had the chance after leaving Las Vegas. The Corvette was running great. Just a few more hours of driving time and I would have this Corvette home.

      “God, just let me get this beautiful old classic Corvette home without wrecking it.”


To be continued

Home | FAQ | Forum | Swap Meet | Gallery | Tech Tips | Events | Features | Search | Hoo-ya Shop