Where the News story about Builder ended: That's one heck of a test drive and education to boot.
Builder planned in one week to get from South Dakota to Kansas City, fixing any problems that might arise, along the way. Using the Stovebolt Forum, Steve was able to line up with Bolters along the route, in case he ran into problems and needed more than just a parking spot to get it back roadworthy. We were impressed with how many Bolters offered help - from garage space to tools (and some food! 😁). Needless to say, he had a real following and a lot of supporters. A few vendors even donated parts for the truck and Builder in turn donated the cost of them back to The Stovebolt Page.
I have the last story coming up later but I wanted to add a little more before this one wraps up. (Not that more info may show up!)
I think this was the first time for us to "set up camp" at the American Inn. Had a great sounding name and a huge American flag out front. And it was a cheap motel. Fortunately, there was a nicer hotel just next door with adjoining parking lots.
Many of us headed out together for some after-show fellowship and food. It gave us a chance to still hang with the local club members, especially those that were working the show.
By the time we got to the rooms, we mostly just plopped. It wasn't until following years, we realized that the American Inn offered something very special.
The last story is one about that "after-show fellowship."
Like Peggy said, the American Inn seemed to cater more to our kinds of folks -- always were a lot of bob-tailed road tractors parked there ... lots of truckers getting to sleep in a real bed, get a shower, etc. Even the "Non Smoking" rooms had a scent of cigarette to them ...
But the place had a pool .... and bar. with a lounge area. And .... best/worst of all ...
A karaoke machine!!!
So there we were ...Cletis, Paul, Mongo, Lonnie, John and Theresa, Terry and Gloria, Galeen (the party queen!!), Steve ... And I can't remember if Scott and Sherrie had started staying with the Aldersons at this point or not, but they were probably there ... A room full of other folks, too ... the Stovebolt Stalwarts. I don't exactly remember all who were i the room... Fess up if you were!
It had been a long, fun day in the sun, going around the show looking at trucks, talking to people, meeting new friends, catching up with old ones ... So, after a quick refresh in our rooms, we all congregated at the bar for .... beer call!!
bunch of Stovebolters ... beer .... more beer .... a karaoke machine ... It didn't take long for Cletis to wander over to the karaoke machine ... like a weary pilgrim drawn to the temple of his redemption ... he made his offering ... and the devotions began ...
I don't remember the song, but Cletis poured his heart into it. Which was good because he didn't sing particularly well..... sorry old friend. But we were all fairly lubricated at this point and heart is more important than talent anyway.
It wasn't long before Cletis had backup -- like ants drawn to sugar, Mongo and I staggered over from the bar and joined in -- and just like that, the legend was made/born/hatched -- "Cletis and the 'Bolts!" We actually tried a little harmony with Cletis carrying the main tune. And while it was a valiant effort, none of us were in any danger of getting called to the Grand Ole Opry. Mongo's and my harmonization efforts were ... comical. Probably the beer. Anyway, he'd try to go high, I'd try, then to go low ... neither of us could get very far. So we'd switch -- he'd go low and I went high ... yeah, right. It was all a bunch of screeching but everyone was fairly lit so we were all having a grand time.
And then ... the magic really happened. We discovered the Stovebolt Reunion/American Inn Official Anthem when Cletis selected the next song to massacre -- Jimmy Buffet's "Margaritaville"
By the third stanza, the whole bar was on its feet (one way or another ...) bellowing out "WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAASting away again in Stovebolterville...!!!" Even Scott Ward ...
I think even the folks over at the Holiday Inn Express were joining in we were so loud.
And then .... and then... and then , frankly, I really don't remember too much about the evening after that. I do recall that it was kinda hard to get up early the next day to meet Jim Carter for breakfast ...
Looking back, I don't think we sang all that bad. We were having a good time so who cares? Things got even better the following year when we moved out to the pool and Cletis brought his guitar.... we met MexicoSab and RustyRod almost made me a quadriplegic ... But I'll save all that for later...
I miss Cletis.
"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." Will Rogers
'49 Chevrolet 3804 '73 IH 1310 Dump '14 Ford E-350 4x4 (Quigley)
What I remember is my daughter and son-in-law flying in to surprise me on my birthday. And we went to Outback Steak House for supper, where my son-in-law ate a 21 oz sirloin. Then we went back to the motel, started drinikn' and singin' and here comes my son-in-law with a bag full of goodies from Taco Bell. As if any of us could have eaten any more.
That was the year my truck took second place in its class - beaten out by another Stovebolter with a gorgeous bus...
We're going to have to have an old timers reunion one day before we're all gone. Sobering thought but time is flying by. There's no replacing the original crew but we sure could reminisce about them! Scotf
Of all the things I've lost in my life, I miss my mind the most!
1967 GMC 9500 Fire Ladder Truck "The Flag Pole" In the Stovebolt Gallery [stovebolt.com] '46 2-Ton grain truck '50 2-ton flatbed '54 Pontiac Straight Eight 1954 Plymouth Belvidere '70 American LaFrance pumper fire truck.
Well, 2007 was a long time ago but who could forget hoot nanny at the American Inn. I didn't even have to drink. Like smoking pot, all you had to do was breath and you'd get high off the humidity of the beer. Mmmm, did i really say that. Wow, what a weekend. Eating, shopping at JC and the list goes on. Was this the year Victoria and I was roaming around the show field trying to find our way back and missed the official photo? Oh well, memories abound. Like Scott says, maybe we need to have a golden oldie reunion. We've lost several that were some of our best buddies. Wasn't this year Cletis had a fuel pump go bad and as good of mechanic as he was he didn't have the right size wrench?? no matter, we had him covered.... And what ever happened to Ed Hoover, I still have the little Stovebolt Pedal car I got from him but have already passsed it on to the next generration of bolters....my 7 year old grandson. Whew, what a year to remember.
(Saturday, September 8) I wanted to wash the road grime off the truck before going to the show grounds. So after breakfast, I went to a car wash. June stayed at the motel. Then I drove to a store the waitress had told us about to get some folding lawn chairs. The truck really started acting up on the way back. It finally quit on me three blocks from the motel. I was able to coast into a convenience store lot. Looks like it’s time to change that fuel pump.
Now, I was carrying one of those Craftsman tool kits with me. This thing has everything. Half inch, three eighth inch, quarter inch sockets, regular and deep, metric and American, combination wrenches, everything I should need. Wrong! First thing I find out is the fuel line is a 5/8” nut and the combo wrenches skip from 9/16 to 3/4. Luckily, there was a shop next door to the convenience store where a couple of guys were working on a race car. I borrowed the wrench I needed and soon had the pump changed. But she still wouldn’t fire.
What now? I pulled the fuel supply line again and there was barely a trickle coming from it. Maybe the rear fuel filter is clogged. So I jacked up the truck and climbed under it. I pulled the line from the rear filter and sure enough, just a trickle there. I blew into it and gas came gushing back. But then it went back to a trickle. Looks like I need a new filter.
A customer from the convenience store came up to check out the pretty ’56 truck being worked on in the parking lot. When I explained my dilemma, he volunteered to take me to a parts store. We went and got a new filter and the guy wouldn’t even let me buy him a beer for his trouble. See, there still are some good people left in this old world.
This isn't right! He left and I installed the new filter. I made sure I had good fuel flow but she still wouldn’t crank. Meanwhile, one of the Stovebolters called to see why I wasn’t at the show. (Thanks again, Joe) I told him what was happening and he was on the way to help. While waiting on him to arrive, I pulled the pump off again to check the drive rod and I discovered it was bent!
Apparently this thing had been bent for a long time but with the old pump on it, it couldn’t fall down out of the way. Of course, when I removed the old pump, it did fall out of the way. I went back to the race car shop. Another stroke of luck. They just happened to have one they’d sell me. We'll get it figured out
About the time I was walking back to the truck with the replacement rod, Joe and the crew showed up. We got the new pump back on and the truck fired up like it should have three hours ago.
We made it to the truck show about 1 o’clock. We missed the Stovebolters group picture. (Editors' Note: So did a few others, unfortunately. And here's a bigger image with names, as you 'mouse over' the faces) and the serving of the cake. But it was a great show nonetheless. We got to meet some more Stovebolters who weren’t around Friday night. Of course, my truck didn’t win anything -- she’s a driver not a shower. But I did win a door prize -- a can of tire dressing.
We had catered barbeque at the motel that night. After that, a bunch of us invaded the lounge for drinks, cigars and karaoke. Check out the Stovebolt Trio -- KC Mongo, John and Cletis (Editors' Note: I think we changed the group name about four times.)
Thanks for sharing your experience in here, Alvin. It was a hoot nanny at the American Inn. Got better each year. As you'll see.