Forty years ago I bought a Chevrolet. If that Chevrolet still is alive (and it probably is), it would be a half-century old. It was a decade old when I bought it. Paid $50 I made catching chickens in broiler houses. I swore I would never eat another chicken after throwing them 10 and 11 at a time after midnight into millions of chicken coops stacked on the back of flat bed tractor-trailers driven by men who dipped snuff, swilled Pabst Blue Ribbon and cussed kids like us who didn't have no work ethic any more. They did all at the same time and never, I believe, did they mix the snuff and the beer. And, never, absolutely never, did they grab a chicken.
I kept the vow about eating chicken until I was in my late 20s. That proved I made the effort. And I broke it then only because I was hungry and a lady I knew liked the stuff. How was I to know the Politically Correct Fanatics eventually would make most of the world believe chickens were the healthiest food alive while they were turning the Tyson Family up in Arkansas into filthy-rich chicken farmers.
Anyone who claims chickens are the healthiest meat to eat obviously has never met a bunch of eight-to-10 week old broilers in a chicken house after midnight in August and smelled them.
Basically though, those chickens and all the lice that infested them paid for my first car - a 1948 Chevrolet that had seen better times, I guess, but it got good mileage up to 35 miles a quart of oil.
As I recall, my brother Terry was supposed to cover part of the cost of that old Chevy. I don't recall that he ever made good on that debt. But my memory may be faulty.
That was an excellent old car. It provided freedom and fun for me until I trotted away from home and Terry took over. When Terry left, the Old 48 Chevy, still getting 35 miles to the quart of oil, went to Jimmy who took it off to the University of Arkansas where after he graduated, legend says, he sold that old Chevy for about a million dollars. But you know how legends are, I bet Jimmy didn't get a penny over $725,000. But you should never sell Jimmy short when it comes to sharp dealing. Jimmy really did sell ice cream to Eskimos at one tie in his life, I am told. I wasn't there. I couldn't vouch for it.
That 1948 Chevy, that chariot of macho, that vehicle that took us screaming out of the mountains into the delta of Arkansas, was without a doubt the best automobile I ever owned.
And that's one reason I never owned anther one, stayed with Fords and Mercuries unless you count the Bug in the 60s - until this week.
I bought it over at John Paul Jones Motors in Monahans in Texas in the late 20th Century. It cost one shiny nickel and a little bit more, a lot more than the $50 I paid for my first Chevrolet.
This one looks good.
It has the feel of the '48 Chevy.
I bet you this new Chevy of mine might get even more than 35 miles to the quart of oil.
But I'm easy to please. After 40 years, I go Chevy again..
Copyright 1997 by Ward Newspapers, Inc.
Steve Patterson, Publisher
107 W. Second St., Monahans TX 79756
Phone 915-943-4313, FAX 915-943-4314
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