Worthy to print column | Clean the Garage – The King City Rustler

It wasn’t until a few years ago when all this hubbub about masks and maintaining an appropriate distance between you and your loved ones started that I wasn’t too concerned. We Americans have gone through many difficult times over the past 200 years. This virus would be dealt with fairly quickly because we had a strong government and what we thought were capable leaders.

Well, I thought so at first. I thought I could use the downtime. This is the time when we couldn’t do anything but get vaccinated or stay away from all our friends; I was finally going to clean my garage. I’m a garage guy and Okie enough to never throw anything away.

You can never tell when you might need a speargun bought in the 70’s. It was bought when I was scuba diving at different spots along the California coast. Did you know that Monterey Bay is one of the most beautiful diving spots in the United States? The kelp forests of the bay are home to an astonishing amount of fish, and the fact that you speared your supper makes the meal better.

If you know where to look, you might find an old armored personnel carrier that was sunk in the bay to attract fish. It went like clockwork. You can use your dive knife and stick whichever one you think tastes the best. If you’ve ever consumed a fresh deer obtained from sitting in the snow, you might know what I’m talking about. At least when you’re in a wet suit you’re warm… a little.

Joe Locatelli once showed me a photo of him sitting with his back to a tree that was almost covered in snow. When I asked if he was having a good time, he said it was perfect for him, so I guess being cold is part of the hunt. It doesn’t matter where you hunt.

Anyway, back to the garage. I have lived here for over 30 years and have taken my truck apart several times. Right after destroying it, I took it apart down to the frame and rebuilt it again. In all this time, I haven’t thrown away any parts that I might use if I ever do it again.

I kept telling my personal nurse that all we had to do to clean out the garage would be to have a garage sale. I don’t know many people who live in South County who own a 1956 Ford truck, but I know two who live here in Gonzales. Admittedly, there are a lot of jetsams and wrecks. Things that could be of no use to anyone for any project, but to me every piece seems to be gold.

Once, when I needed some pocket money, I sold a pair of alligator cowboy boots that were brand new. I thought I would never wear them again and got a good price for them, but I really miss them in my closet. That’s what I think of the parts for my truck. Fifty years ago when I first bought this truck, I could stop at any wrecking yard and usually find a few old F-100 trucks to add to my treasure pile.

Nowadays, if there is a wrecked truck, it will cost you a royal ransom just to buy a part. There are even companies that have made a lot of money by frequenting these yards and buying everything they have to sell. I know three who have built serious businesses around this model. They even have catalogs of these old pieces for sale.

I am putting a new steering wheel on my old truck. If you can’t make it go faster, just make it prettier. Buying the steering wheel is not enough. Then you have to buy the mounting kit, and don’t forget you have to have a horn – more money. My truck’s steering column was from a 1975 Chrysler Cordoba. It’s pretty hard to find wrecking yards with 1975 year old cars.

I found a place where I can buy a new steering wheel, so this will be my next project. If you have old Cordoba parts let me know. I’m sure I can find something in my garage to trade them to you. I actually just walked into the garage to see if there were any treasures I could convince someone to buy for me. No chance.

I can’t believe how much money I invested in this old truck. I’m sure I could have made payments on a new F-150 for about 10 years and it would be paid for and I wouldn’t have to spend all my time finding a part I sat somewhere and now I have no idea where it is.

Not all my problems come from the trucks. A lot of my problems are about… let’s see now… hmm… I forgot. In fact, that’s the main reason I’m having trouble is that I keep forgetting and then finding out, after emptying the bin, that I can’t find the part.

My neighbors are no longer surprised when they come out and see my trash cans waiting for the truck and the only thing in my trash can is two feet sticking out while I’m moving things around to see if I can find that washer or that bolt or whatever either I can’t find it. Of course, my neighbors are used to me fixing my horn while it blasts the melodious tones of an air horn.

Well, stopwatch! I have a collect call from a place in Montana where I heard they have some old Chryslers waiting to be crushed…ah shit! They probably won’t have a new horn button for a 1975 Chrysler Cordoba. You wouldn’t know anyone who would part with that, would you?

God protects you.

Comments are closed.