Scrapbook One Hundred Forty Five…

scrapbook

AUGUST 2015

 

The Bullet comes home – after sixty-five years on the road

My first car was a black, 60 hp, 1935 Plymouth Tudor sedan. It was not the deluxe model so it didn’t have a sun visor or windshield wiper on the passenger side.

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It was eleven years old when I purchased it in Atlanta, Georgia for $250. A thick book and a pillow were placed on the seat so I could see over the dash.

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I drove only at night so the police couldn’t see I was only 15. The 1,200 miles to my home in
Temple, Texas passed slowly at a top speed of 55 mph, but it was love at first sight for me. During the day I curled up on the back seat and dreamed about my beautiful Plymouth.

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It had no safety glass in the windows, no air conditioner or radio, no power steering or power brakes, & no power windows or turn signals. I stuck my arm out when I wanted to turn; straight out meant left and straight up meant right. I felt like I was bragging every time I signaled a turn. But I could lever the windshield up when I wanted ventilation.

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Peggy named my wonderful car “The Bullet” because she said it was shot. Out of respect, we never used that term when we were within earshot of the car.

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When we were in high school, in the late 40s, I’d take Peggy home for lunch, and thirty minutes later, pick her up again. We always had a few minutes to sit in the Bullet, listening to Eddy Arnold on the portable radio while waiting for the bell to ring. Gas was 11 cents and I often pulled into a station and bought two gallons for a quarter, and saved the three cents change for next time.

When Peggy and I wanted to go out on a date, like for a burger and a movie at the Arcadia Theatre, I’d pawn my two-dollar bill with Peggy’s mother. I was always able to buy it out of hock by babysitting or mowing the neighbor’s lawn. I still have that two dollar bill, but it looks a little wallet worn. I am trying to decide where to leave it when I’m gone. Can’t be just anyplace.

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When I went to Yellowstone for the summer of 1950, Peggy drove the Bullet for three months. That fall three eventful things happened, Peggy started school at the U of Houston, I joined the Air Force, and my mother did something terrible with The Bullet. When I came home on my first leave, the car was just gone, and no one was willing to talk about it. I went into mourning.

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The story is told in my book Too Far to Walk, that I’d give $250 again if anyone could find The Bullet for me. I felt outside of the hope that comes with possibility. When I mentioned it to my friend Richard Blake, who is a serious car nut and has 9 garages all in a row, he went to work. Richard is the world’s leading authority on the sun, and is a retired solar physicist from the Los Alamos National Laboratory.

It took some long months for Richard to find The Bullet’s twin brother. It was in Maryland and he successfully talked the owner into selling. With one email I came out of mourning after sixty-five years. All of a sudden, instead of feeling old, I felt like I’d ripened. It’s wonderful to refresh the memory of a friend long past.

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For many years Dr. Blake has been one of my heroes, but now I will give him a gold star to put on his bathroom mirror.

Eat your heart out, Mr. Rolls Royce.

 

 

Scrapbook One Hundred Forty Four…

scrapbook

AUGUST 2015

Dear Forrest,

I first heard of you while talking in passing to a work colleague about their personal interest.  While at first this was a way for me to network, the passion behind this story was admirable at the very least.  As time moved on, this person helped me through a difficult period of my life.

I come from a very dysfunctional background starting from birth.   The last 3 years has been shocking and tragic for me and my 7 year old son.  At the time William  introduced me to you, I was questioning me as a person and a mother.  My life has always been drama filled and chaotic and as 40 was fast approaching I felt I really needed to find my happiness for my own sanity.

See I come from a very long line of addiction.  I never got on the drug train but alcohol was my crutch.  William hasn’t had alcohol in 25 years so he quickly became a sounding board for me.  The last 6 months of 2014 I was drinking more than I ever had.  I was spiraling out of control in anger, regret, and pity.  Making the decision to change my behavior was at times painful and a reality I never had to deal with.  I masked realities for a long time.

I haven’t had a drink since December 22.  Since this time, I’ve learned to appreciate what is really important in life.  I’m learning to work to live, instead of living to work.  I understand there is no book on the perfect parent and societies label that we should be super heroes is an expectation no one can achieve.  I have learned that I am important, and no one should take my weaknesses to make me feel small or not significant.  I’m learning that I may not have received a royal flush in life but a pair of 2’s is just as good if you play it right.

George introduced me to The Thrill of Chase.  I got to know you, William and myself.  Your story has allowed me to open my mind to what the value of me is.  Through your story I have fallen in love with William – and he has since moved from Louisiana to Missouri so that we can be together as life partners – my husband.  Forrest I’m the happiest I have ever been in my life and I must thank you for your part in that.

Today, William  and I will leave Missouri and start our adventure.  Over two weeks we will explore Montana, Wyoming, Colorado and end in New Mexico.  While I think the hunt is an added bonus to keep us looking for the prize, the thrill of spending quality time and appreciating the beauty, history and what God has left for us is truly the value for me.  J

I know you get thousands of requests but it would be nice to meet you while we are in New Mexico.  This trip will be one of my legacies.

I’m expecting we will leave the New Mexico on August 14 or 15 to head back to Missouri.      We have no laid plans except where we want to hunt, and for the first four days in Wyoming and then Montana.  I must add we are tent camping this entire time!    My cell phone number is xxx-xxx-xxxx or you can respond to this email if this is an option.

Thank you again Forrest.  I hope one day I can tell you this in person.

Sincerely,

Josie