2007-05-30

Reposting

I talked to Adrian recently about reposting some of the crap I wrote for the original athensworld. Here is a quick writeup on a visit to Alewine's junkyard. Ya'll let me know if you want me to stop..

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I was a grad student back in the 80s here at UGA. I had an old Ford F-250 truck that needed maintenance on a regular basis, and having no money to speak of, I became very familiar with the local junkyards. That was my source for parts to keep the old truck running. After I got into the private sector, I ended up selling the truck 750 bucks. I was a busy IT professional and didn't have time to fix it any longer. I'd give 5,000 bucks to have it back now.

Anyway, in the 70s and 80s most of the junkyards around here were owned by the Alewine family. There was the Alewine Junkyard out on the Atlanta Highway, across from where Sams is now. Back then, Sams was an empty field and Alewine's was out in the country, or almost so. I went out there one hot summer afternoon to get a part for the truck. I had called and was told that they had several 64 F-250s in the yard, so I went out there to get my fuel gauge. My truck's fuel gauge didn't work and I was tired of running out of gas. Once there, the counter person told me to go out with one of the employees and he'd drive me out to where the trucks were parked. I went out into the compound and was greeted by the sight of three big mean-ass German Shepards. They watched me and growled a little. The person I was with climbed into a Ford Maverick and told me to do the same. The Maverick was hacked on to say the least. There was no roof at all, it had been cut away with a torch. There was no back end either, just some structural steel beams onto which a tool box had been welded. There were no seats in the front of the car, just two folding chairs. The mechanic pressed the hotwire button and I discovered that there was no muffler either, not even a pipe at all, just hot exhaust blowing right out of the exhuast manifold and into our faces. Starting the car up got the dogs fired up, so they started barking like hell and off we went. The dogs were running beside the car, biting at the tires and barking. The car made a tremendous racket as we bounced along narrow dirt paths. I was hanging on for dear life, hoping not to fall off the folding chair or worse yet, fall out of the car. I thought the dogs would then kill me.

Finally, we stopped in front of three old F-250 junkers. The mechanic turned the car off. The dust settled, the dogs calmed down, and the ringing in my ears subsided. He got 'out' of the car (thats a relative term for a car with no top, no doors, and no body past the front quarter panels). It was then that I noticed, on the metal dash, someone had taken a nail or a screwdriver and scratched into the paint, the following words:

SHIT I RECKON

That summed it up better than anything I could have come up with. I got my fuel gauge and later that evening when the heat had broken, I installed it in my truck. It didn't work. Shit I reckon. I never did have a fuel gauge that worked in that truck. I wish I had that truck back.

1 comment:

Adrian said...

That's definitely a colorful story. For most of the time I used to drive a Ford Aerostar I had to keep up with my mileage so I wouldn't run out of gas since its fuel gauge didn't work either. So even their later vehicles didn't have better gauges.