Thursday, October 09, 2008

My cars #001 -- 1949 Ford Pickup -- With my broken foot, I didn't have a car until Dad loaned me his pickup

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In college I broke my foot during my last semester, third semester freshman, at Lincoln. It was initiation night at Pershing Rifles and we pledges had to march from six p.m. until midnight. After midnight the actives couldn't do a thing to us.

At midnight it was tradition for the pledges to de-pants the actives. The fellow my friend and I drew wanted to keep his pants on so he kicked. It knocked me backwards some. (Where is this going?)

About 1:30 or so I walked the mile to my rented room out on 13th Street. The next morning I couldn't walk on that foot. I took the bus that morning to the infirmary where they discovered I had broken my foot, a metatarsal, probably the second metatarsal, (Widipedia link) (it could have been the first) in the right foot.

My dad felt sorry for me as I couldn't walk that mile any more. The first week or so I was on crutches, then on a walking cast for six more. Dad offered the loan of his pickup, a black 1949 Ford. I sure did take him up on that, fast! Dad never did know the real way I broke that foot.

That January I dropped out of college. Of course I didn't tell my parents and for sure didn't give the pickup back. In about four months I was able to get a job at the Elgin Watch Factory in Lincoln. I still didn't give the pickup back but finally I did tell that I had dropped out of school and had the job.

Working was fun for me, I was tired of going to classes. Notice I didn't say tired of studying because I didn't ever study. I didn't in high school and I wasn't about to in college. Better to tell the truth, I didn't know how to study.

That pickup even went to the rodeo in Ames, Iowa, to the beach at Linoma Beach quite often, and on some (???descriptive?term????) dating. In fact I had a steady girl for the first time in my life, she worked at Elgin too.

In another month or so, Dad had it figured out. He told me that maybe I should be getting a car of my own, did I want to do that? You see in those days, at least in Nebraska, kids couldn't buy cars until they were twenty-one unless a parent signed.

My first car was a 1950 Studebaker Starlight Coupe that had belonged to Elmer Cells, my high school principal and chemistry teacher. He was Dad's good friend as well as Mr. Morrow's (Cliff's Dad--I think Cliff's family is related to the Cells). He had traded his Studebaker in on a new car and WE, Dad and I, got this one from the Ford dealer in Tekamah.

Studebakers aren't very tough cars, that one didn't take the abuse I wanted to give it, so it gave up. Wouldn't you know it, just about the time I was trading it in for my second car? It depreciated a whole $200 in one week because it wasn't running very good when I brought it back a week later to get my used 1952 Ford.

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