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Thread: So... Once Upon a Time...

  1. #121

    Default Re: So... Once Upon a Time...

    The Honda Prelude horde:

    When I was a little kid there were neighbors with teenage boys who were always driving around some really cool cars. The gas crunch was in full effect so there were other neighbors trying to keep their Simca's and Opels running. Another neighbor drove dragsters at a local race track when he wasn't driving his proffesional motorcycle racing kids to race tracks across the state.

    The common thread was a NASCAR race blaring out of portable AM radios every Sunday.

    I think the day I saw a neighbor pull up to his son and roll down the electric window of his air conditioned Camaro revealing the smell of leather seats.. that was it... a luxury hot rod was the ultimate idea of a perfect car for me. But I was like 8 years old.

    Enter adulthood and I began restoring old Fords on a low budget. I was raising kids on a low end government wage while paying for a money pit old house I could barely afford. So even though my cars were 'cream puffs' at 25+ years old, they were also prone to frequent breakdowns as they were cars that had sat idle for a decade plus and were mostly original parts.

    Time passed and reliable transportation took precedence. But my oldest was ready for his first car. Now I remembered riding in cramped little riding lawn mower sized Hondas that never broke as a teen. And my son had set his sites on a compact sports car for his first. At that time it seemed every small car of any stature had watermelon shooter sized tail pipes spewing out burping sounds while duct taped parts n pieces flopped around in the breeze. So I tried diligently to convince him the luxury hot rod was the way to go. Zooming in comfort and style is cool. One day he bought a 1991 Prelude that didn't run. The day it was trailored to the house changed his life and mine. It was a beautiful car. Shiney black metal flake, electric windows and air conditioniing. Hmmmm

    Armed with a small sack of bicycle tools quickly resulted in hiring a tow truck to a place where a cracker-jack mechanic got it going by replacing an alternator installed backward. We had replaced fuses and when the car was fired up the alternator caught fire in like 3 seconds. For clarity, to this day I do not know howthehell the op had installed the alternator backwards... they only fasten one way but anyway...

    The car was quickly becoming a money pit. My son had a low wage job so 'ole pop' was paying for repairs all too often. Together we set out for better. I found an imaculate Prelude that had been completely restored stem to stern with super nice upgrades. The owner was in a hurry to sell and when I waved a stack of $100 bills in his face he quickly signed the title.

    I used to ride in the 91 listening to sounds and noises my son was concerned about. After driving pickups and vans for a decade getting in and out of the Prelude was difficult for my aging-fat carcass. But the day we bought Prelude #2 I had ridden with my son. So I had to drive Prelude #1 home while he drove his new one. Man it was like my first go kart ride as a kid. "I want one of these." Well being I had bought Prelude #2 and my son was going to pay me back I just traded his for mine after driving #2 a few minutes.

    A few months later Prelude #2 was murdered by a red light runner who hit the rear end with a brush guard clad flat bed tow truck. We coulda (and now woulda) fixed it but had no clue how to nor the tools to do it. So he drove Prelude #1 while searching for Prelude #3. One night he asked me to go with him to look at one. We met the guy and my son wanted the car. It was a radical-ized version that was in my view too hot for him to handle back then. So I bought it. Not long after he found Prelude #4. Another restored version of Prelude #2. Only this one was even better equipped with authentic JDM goodies and tasteful mods.... and a pickup load of extra parts. Then I was graced to find a lifetime garaged 91 that needed an engine. Prelude #5. Shortly after a neighbor was selling her one owner 91. Prelude #6.

    Content with Prelude #4 my son was asked at a car show if he wanted to buy a 2001 loaded with nice parts, but a botched engine rebuild. The freakin' hood was worth more than the owner was asking. Nobody at the show would even take the car for free. At 10 pm I'm at a car show telling my son "if you don't buy it I am". Prelude #7.

    I was the owner of three, working almost constantly and they were falling apart faster than I could fix 'em. Not satisfied with paying a shop to keep them going I decided it was time to thin the herd. I had traded my Prelude (#3) to my son for Prelude #1 again. I had given it back to him between the murder of #2 and sourced #4.

    I gave him Preludes 5 & 6 for #3. He needed capital for another engine for #7 and #4 was fine for transportation until then. #3 just sat collecting bird poop. He sold #6 for motor money and mothballed #5. Remember #5 had always been garaged and I had set about doing a makeover to that one.

    So I resumed restoring #3 finding all those radicalized add ons were haphazardly installed. I was going back factory with some tasteful sleeper mods. My son was methodically learning how to pluck an engine from a car about a year after learning how to change his own oil. He was an electrical whiz, but lacked the raw strength to unfasten stuck on bolts. I told him I'd break loose the hard stuff if he'd allow me to restore the engine bay once the motor was out. My goal was to have it appear like it had just left a race shop with lots of dark grays and flat black faces everywhere.

    One day we plucked the old engine out. I cleaned that engine bay to a sparkle but there were lots of broken fasteners and rusty screws. It took me about a month but it looked great. Meanwhile we rebuilt the replacement engine leaving in the stock pistons and rings. Compression was like new so we left well enough alone. Then one weekend 2 friends pulled a marathon assembly process of installing everything on the motor with a new clutch and such.

    A couple of things went wrong, but being we'd been going 30 straight hours at the end it was bound to happen. Once the motor was planted we took our time ensuring everything was torqued proper, fastened correctly and shined up all spiffy and new looking. Prelude #7 was on the road.

    When that one was done I spent about a hundred days on Prelude #3 fixing all those rigged items. But soon after a mystery coolant loss developed so #3 is mothballed until..

    Lately we've resumed a methodical resto of #5 affectionately called "Lucky". See the owner rescued that one from the hauler taking it to the junkyard. A blown head gasket was the reason. So he replaced that and soon after it was plagued with 2 busted main bearings. I paid a guy to swap in a running engine and now we are doing cosmetic improvements to the outside of the engine along with chasing an idling issue. See Lucky is one of those cars that when something goes wrong it's never textbook.

    So we'll solve that mystery and complete the process of electrical restoration of Prelude #4 after the original owner had done some shortcuts when installing all those JDM goodies. Most of those were sold to pay for stuff #7 was going to receive as part of the motor swap. Instead it's getting more stock as time goes by. And I'm so dang anal about properly replacing stuff it takes a lot more time fix things, partly because... frankly I'd never done it before.

    Now my son has his sites set on Honda S2000's while I contemplate installing a turbo charged Ford 5.0 in a Mazda Miata...

    The red arrows point to cars bought by neighbors shortly after beinging home #3.
    Last edited by bykfixer; 10-23-2017 at 04:03 PM.
    John 3:16
    " If you can see on & off engraved on it you don't need a flashlight" -PK

  2. #122

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Penn's Woods

    Default Re: So... Once Upon a Time...

    I have fond, but short memories of a dark grey twin to your #6, assuming it has the flip up headlights. I think I recognize the rest properly. What a sweet ride. I had my ex in it one day on the NYS Thruway, and slowly got it rolling at quite a bit over the posted speed limit. Okay, more than quite a bit. It was so smooth. It was a couple miles at speed before she said something like "how fast are you going?" I normally drive like an old man, but that car just purred... She flipped when I told her, and I had to slow down. Sold it to a neighbor whose wife needed wheels, she got rear ended by a Mercury station wagon. Poor Prelude was toast.

  3. #123

    Default Re: So... Once Upon a Time...

    Yup #1, 5 & 6 all have/had pop up headlights.
    #1 is a parts store house and last I heard #6 had a busted engine is why I say "had".

    Yeah, smooth they are. Luxury hot rods in their era. Weak and underpowered by todays standards. What I liked Scout was how even at 35mph they seemed to be moving fast...
    #3 & 7 have 150 on the speedometer. They reportedly don't quite make that number. (I've never broken the speed limit in any of mine) But folks who swapped in an Accord 5th gear have been clocked at 199 on race tracks.

    Mr. Honda did a car called the 1300 in the 60's. Air cooled hot rod that he said was his dream of a car that handled like an Italian but rides like a German.

    The Prelude was the 1300 re-invented. However Mr Honda was not involved.
    Last edited by bykfixer; 04-10-2017 at 06:36 PM.
    John 3:16
    " If you can see on & off engraved on it you don't need a flashlight" -PK

  4. #124

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Penn's Woods

    Default Re: So... Once Upon a Time...

    You're correct by mine anyhow- it didn't make that number.

  5. #125
    *Flashaholic* Chauncey Gardiner's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Pacific N.W.

    Default Re: So... Once Upon a Time...

    That was a fun read. I'm amazed by your ability to recall all their history.

    The first month of owning a 09 STS V8, I spent some extra money on gas. Now after a year of driving her, I'm again in Old Man mode when driving. And yes, it's a blast to drive at 35 MPH, too.

    Thanks for a great history-story.

    ~ Chance
    Never point a flashlight at anything you don't intend to illuminate! Never buy a flashlight you have to make payments on.

  6. #126
    harro's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Northern Victoria, Australia

    Default Re: So... Once Upon a Time...

    Great read bykfixer. Are any of them the All Wheel Steer versions? Australia got quite a few AWS Hondas. I think we were used as a bit of a testing ground for that technology. AWS versions had the strange habit of dropping in value like a cinder block does, when dropped from the top of a 9' ladder. Front end mechs didn't want to know about them because of the complexities involved in maintaining the system. Didn't alter the fact that they were a nice vehicle though.

  7. #127

    Default Re: So... Once Upon a Time...

    None are harro.

    We considered doing that to Car #1 and even sourced the parts, but after my mechanic spoke of potential alignment issues front to rear we opted not to.

    See the first 4ws system (89-91) was all mechanical. A simple set of gears and rods was all it had. Genious!
    But Honda decided to take it a step further with the next group (92-96) and add electronics to the mix. Not only that but the system itself was changed to independent from the front end. The electronic gizmos were not reliable over time, very rare to find when they did fail and it left the car very unstable at the rear when the electronics weren't operational.
    The next group (97-01) were even worse. Road debris that collects under cars from driving in rain etc would blind sensors. Again causing the rear end to be unstable.

    I used to geek out on the Prelude since it was Hondas R&D car. Numerous things from the Prelude are still being used. Most are not. lol.

    Through the internet my son and I (along with 2 other Aussies) were able to diagnose, solve and source parts for one poor chap trying to get his 1993 4ws correct. One day he responded to the forum we frequented "success". No more warning lamps on the dash lit and the car handled perfectly. Soon after somebody crashed into him. Ugh!

    Another Aussie ripped all that crap from under his 94 and now races it.
    They were great cars but nowaday they are falling apart all over the planet and being they were R&D cars repair parts are getting pretty scarce. That's why we practically lived at the junkyard 2 years ago.
    John 3:16
    " If you can see on & off engraved on it you don't need a flashlight" -PK

  8. #128

    Default Re: So... Once Upon a Time...

    Haven't done one of these lately.

    Soda bottle hunting.
    Today I found myself looking around my home at all kinds of trinquets with all kinds of stories and suddenly was flashing back to a time I hung around with a guy named Bud. Bud and I did a lot of trading back then. He was a heavy drinker with a blinded eye and a caterac in the other and I was his chaufer of sorts... more like designated driver. We'd go to flea markets. He drank on the way there and back. Antique dealers, same. Other traders homes where he'd consume more alcohol than a top fuel dragster. Enough to kill many people. But I didn't touch the stuff back then. It was between my extreme athelete days and mid-life crisis days when my boys were young and my 1920 something house was falling apart almost as fast as I could fix it.

    One day another friend told me about a 19th century dump he had found in an old part of a nearby city. Old districts have them scattered on hillsides as back then folks buried their trash on hillsides, in abandoned wells and that sort of thing. But this was a city dump from between 1800 and 1900. Acres wide, about 2' below a gravel parking lot were thousands upon thousands of glass bottles, perfume vessels and broken dishes. Anything else had long since rotted... well there were bazillions of ceramic clothing buttons and old marbles too.

    Bud and I visited the place in January one year when it was too cold for most folks to go outdoors. Afterall we were in a high crime area in a point in time where folks were murdering each other over this new thing called "crack" cocaine. We were visited several times by locals who reminded us we were not welcome. We returned anyway, and noticed after like the 3rd visit were left alone. See we'd dig up dozens of bottles and leave a few along the brim of our holes. Locals would gather them up and take them to nearby antique dealers for a few dollars each. We were after a few certain local brands of soda and beer bottles. Bud wanted beer bottles and I wanted soda bottles.

    We scored a few nice medicine bottles with local stamping on the embossed glass. A few perfume bottles, numerous poison bottles (highly prized in the 80's) and some other stuff to trade at flea markets for stuff we wanted.

    There was a developer who was expanding an abandoned factory to turn it into apartments and had scraped the top off of various areas to see just how big this dump was. Areas about as big as an automobile at each location. Idea being that all that garbage had to go, but he was entertaining prices and developing designs to build his project so Bud and I were on the clock so to speak before giant Tonka toys began removing all that garbage. We had about a month as it turned out but each time we returned we expected the treasures to be gone.

    Each hole had been dug to good earth and the garbage removed but Bud and I tunneled sideways into the bank of several holes until we discovered which ones had the oldest glass. One day we were tunneling near each other and low and behold had reached each others tunnel at a real pretty aqua blue bottle. We flipped a coin and I won. I unearthed a beautiful, pristine beer bottle stamped with that town on it. That brewing company was out of Richmond but this one had Petersburg. Bud quickly offered me $3 for it. (Bud was a cheapskate). I declined.

    We ended up going there one day to find the treasure was gone, but had our fill of old glass bottles so no tears were shed. Plus the murder rate was escalating to broad daylight shootings by a local gang who had moved in from New Jersey and made it known that "Battersea" Petersburg was their turf. One day I had to pull my gun on a guy but that's for another time.

    With all of this nice old glass stockpiled Bud and I began trading at local flea markets. He traded stuff for old war books and I for still full soda bottles. Being Bud was a cheapskate he usually ended up empty handed as he wanted to get $100 worth of stuff for a $5 bottle. Me, I ended up with still full soda bottles in droves as I didn't mind getting the short end sometimes.

    Well one day a guy I traded with often mentioned he was acquiring some still full beer bottles from that Richmond brewer from the 1930's, shortly before they went out of business. Bud was too cheap to buy any and I didn't normally collect beer bottles. I said no thanks and began walking away... then I returned and said "hey, ever heard of a Home Brewing from Petersburg?" He said he and his club had never heard of one but there was a rumor a guy found one digging trash at the old Brown & Williams factory. Walking away Bud says "holy ****! How'd he know about that bottle?"

    To this day this is the only known one.

    That was about 1986. Sometime later Bud and I had a falling out over 25˘…
    A few years ago I saw Bud in a grocery store. We had not spoken for years. He approached me and stated he was now sober and regretted our friendship had ended over such a small amount of money, then says "if you wanna sell that bottle my offer for $3 still stands" lol.
    I quipped "she got it in the divorce"....

    RIP Bud. He recently succumbed to liver cancer.
    John 3:16
    " If you can see on & off engraved on it you don't need a flashlight" -PK

  9. #129

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Penn's Woods

    Default Re: So... Once Upon a Time...

    Always an interesting ride, Mr. Fixer. Thanks for sharing...

  10. #130

    Default Re: So... Once Upon a Time...

    But for the Grace of God, I wouldn't have made it out of my 20's Scout.

    Everyday after the 40th birthday seems like a bonus day. 13 bonus years later I suddenly got word that Bud had gone to meet our maker.
    John 3:16
    " If you can see on & off engraved on it you don't need a flashlight" -PK

  11. #131
    ven's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Manchester UK

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    Awesome read as always, in fact i could read your posts all day long

  12. #132

    Default Re: So... Once Upon a Time...

    Enjoyed reading your life stories bykfixer, thanks for sharing part of life memories with us.

  13. #133

    Default Re: So... Once Upon a Time...

    ^^ Thanks fellas.

    Here's one from my youth:

    I was a skrawny kid who grew up in a neighborhood full of jocks and athletic kids. I was not the last to be picked. I was that kid when there was one kid left the big kid picking would say "no thanks, we're good" lol. I watched a lot. Man I loved baseball. Watching the 73 A's take the penant (or whatever year it was), Reggie, Rollie, Catfish etc... they were my idols. So in the afternoons instead of being humiliated by the big kids again I stayed home and threw a tennis ball at my parents cinder block garage. Man I pitched I don't know how many (imaginary) no hitters... struck out Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle, you name it. But dammit Reggie hit a grand slam every time....

    Well after a few years of that I got pretty good. I'd wet the tennis ball to see spots on that wall. I got where I could paint a dot on any cinder block anywhere I aimed and as many times as I chose to.

    I played little league because if you signed up you got placed... no matter how bad you sucked. I was always on a team of misfits who were sacrificial lambs for those "hand picked" teams to beat up. But their coach always made them run laps before and after games. My coaches bought us a cup of ice cold soda after each game.

    Being a care free kid I was more concerned about a butterfly flittering past than the action in the infield. I was usually right fielder but one day a coach noticed I could catch a fly or a bouncer back handed, between my legs, or while never taking my eye off that butterfly. Afterall 3 or 4 years of throwing a tennis ball against the garage summer, winter, spring or fall I had learned a trick or two.

    One night this giant bully who lived down my street was pitching his usual 135mph fast pitch (or what seemed that fast to a 12 year old)... striking out batter after batter...
    My coach says to turn my torsoe about 10 degrees towards the pitcher during my stance waiting on a pitch. "Man, are you kidding?" I thought. That means he'll bean me in my jewels instead of my hip with a baseball going 199 mph... I sighed and did it. Pitch 1... Strike 1. The coach said by rotating it'll take less time to swing... Pitch 2 "POW!!!!" HOME RUN!!! That dude was pissed that the skrawny kid had ruined his 3rd no hitter in a row.... next batter up POW!! We ended up winning that game.

    All star time;
    It was time to pick the all star team for a tournament my city hosted where us skrawny 12 year olds played the best kids on the east coast. Giant kids. Some had beards!!! These kids are 12?..... So they do all these practices and the kids I played beside were busting their hump to make that all star team. My thoughts were "they have to instill the slaughter rule for us every year because we get beat so badly"... "heck with this, I could be skateboarding"... so every two hours we practiced for all star try outs and after they kept calling my name to go to the next round. CRAP!!

    Finally like 6 practices later they didn't call my name. By then I was sunburned and too tired to skateboard...

    Next year yours truely landed on that "hand picked" team. I played two games, got tired of being one of the members of the team that was beating those misfit teams so I stopped going. They had me as a starter pitcher. I fanned a few of my friends (again tennis ball against the garage thing)... after the 3rd inning I told the coach "later gator" and walked home... that was that. The team went undefeated and when the coach stopped at my house to hand me a trophy I told him "no thanks".... it was little league baseball where fun is rule 1. They had win at all costs mentalities and I won't playing that game nor did I want any prizes from the little time I played on that team.

    I didn't touch a baseball again until my kids were little. But in high school PE softball did enjoy burning the palm of a jock kid playing first when I'd throw a caught grounder from 3rd base.... a couple of the kids would just step aside when I threw the ball their way yelling "@#%$ that I aint catching that" lol.

    In my 30's I had to do physical therapy a couple of times because doing stunts on bmx bikes kept tweaking bone spurs that had likely developed from all those days of throwing the tennis ball against that garage (according to the therapist).

    I was audited in my job by an internal affairs type tonight. He told me I had been hand picked for this assignment by an engineer who is a friend of his... an engineer who had been drafted by the San Diego Padres after college but stopped having fun so now he works for the highway department that hired me as a consultant. So finding that out caused some friendly ghosts to stir after the audit was over.
    Last edited by bykfixer; 07-27-2017 at 01:09 AM.
    John 3:16
    " If you can see on & off engraved on it you don't need a flashlight" -PK

  14. #134

    Default Re: So... Once Upon a Time...

    Quote Originally Posted by bykfixer View Post
    Another great story from a "good joe"...

    My first grandkid is a boy. My wifes oldest and I had a big blow up a few years back. He's still mad at me. I drew a line in the sand and he crossed it.
    Long story, but suffice to say I don't see this guy taking the boy camping unless his pop gets his attitude right.
    This one is a kind of update with a good change.
    Shortly before Easter this year I got word that my wife's son wanted to make amends. Skeptical, I agreed. The meeting was to take place at his living quarters located in a not so freindly territory of a city long since past its prime. Ok I'm in.

    The meeting took place on Easter Sunday in a house full of tatoo clad, dred-lok headed thug-nasty wanna be's. But it was Easter Sunday and I was... eh hem... prepared for the worst.

    After the initial intro to the "family" I was invited to take a walk... down an alley.. Well it had been a while but I'd been in similar situations in my younger (dumber) days so I dusted off my "spidey senses" and took that walk. To my surprise I was not acosted but instead received a hand shake, an appology and an invitation to play the roll of grandpa in a little kids life by a once wolf in sheeps clothing now a neutered individual who has been living a life where he plays nurse maid to a bunch of lazy bums and a very strong will'd girfriend. He pays all the bills while the "family" lounges around smoking $7/ pack cigarettes, drinks hard soda and plays video games on giant screen tv's. Turns out the house full of thug-nastys are just "dumb-lazy". That's too bad but...

    Still far from a perfect friendship, the wife's boy and I have a peaceful truce based on the desire to seek a bond between an innocent little kid and his grandpa. Last night I was feeding the little dude mashed potatoes in a crowded restaraunt while his parents enjoyed a rare evening away from their home filled with strife. Expecting to pick up the tab they had ordered the cheapest stuff on the menu since dinner-out was coming from their rent money. I picked up the tab and slid the girlfriend a few $ saying "go buy my grandson some toys".....
    Last edited by bykfixer; 08-13-2017 at 12:48 PM.
    John 3:16
    " If you can see on & off engraved on it you don't need a flashlight" -PK

  15. #135

    Default Re: So... Once Upon a Time...

    In post #101 I mentioned telling the story of riding to the skatepark with a guy named Paul.

    Well recently I worked on a re-hab project where one of the "death curves" between home and the skatepark was being removed.

    Looking at it south to north

    From north to south.
    Man, that day stirred up some ghosts as I was filling in for the inspector for a couple of days. The county utility guy hangs out with this Paul character these days it seems. I'm telling the utility guy about the adventures of riding with Paul and he quips "man, that guy is a nut so riding with him in 1980 musta been pretty scarey" lol.

    It's 1979 or 80: Elvis is dead, but not quite; enter Elvis Costello. Music was changing from Fleetwood Mac and Foreigner to Iggy Pop & the Stooges or The Cars... skateboarding had hit the east coast of America like an atomic bomb. I was about 15 years old and had been skateboarding since late '76 so I had gotten pretty good at it, compared to my peers. I was one who was "allowed" to hang out with the L Skates team, which was like being a made guy to folks in Hells Kitchen somewhere.

    Back then minimum wage was like $1.65 or something and to ride a skatepark was $2.00/ hr. Yeah. A good skateboard was between $75 and $100 depending. But I was sponsored by the L Skates team for decks (later Powerflex then Kryptonics hooked me up), kryptonics for wheels and Bennett for trucks. The L Skates team consisted of guys who ranged from 17 to 25 years old. Now the L in L Skates was an east coast surfer named Joey who still surfs the outter banks of NC nearly every day. His pop owned a wood shop and Joey was a cracker jack board maker. He only made a few and I was a "test rider" for one of them. Woohoo!!

    See, back then the boys as it were had testosterone in 55 gallon drums. A bunch of jocks who played hard and partied harder. I was a scrawny kid who stuck to myself mostly... largely because I was scared to death of these guys. Seriously. Yet they thought I was some kinda radical dude who always stayed calm. Every session with these guys was pure stoke as they'd always be trying to one up each other. I had a smooth and casual style that kinda melded into the back ground, yet stood out when the contestants had all given out.

    At one point Joey was a surveyor and his company laid out a not so distant skateboard park. Being a skater, he helped the designers and over saw the shaping of the concrete riding areas. That was before L Skates in about 1977. One Saturday morning I was at the park when Joey and his pals showed up. I had the place wired and some of his pals knew me from school. I was like a freshman and they were juniors or seniors or something... but anyway I got invited to session with them at Joeys ramps the next day. Later on Joey arranged for us to skate the park on Tuesdays, all you can skate for $1 after 4pm.

    Now by then there were about 15 of us. Joey had a Toyota Corolla station wagon and Paul had a Plymouth Fury III. Joey's best buds rode in the Corolla and about 8 people (including Paul rode in the Fury. That was week 1 and I wasn't cool enough to ride with Paul so I got squeezed into the Toyota. We get to the park and Paul was already there.

    Week 2 folks are asking to ride with Joey. I got squeezed in again... this time in the rear part.
    Week 3 Joey says the Corollas full, people have to ride with Paul. People start trying to buy a spot in Joeys car. lol. Now at this point I always rode with Joey. Oh, and I met the Bones Brigade on week 2.
    Week 4 I'm out unless I want to ride with Paul. Eh, how bad can it be?

    First thing I notice while walking towards the Fury was that Joeys car had like 11 people in it. It's just Paul, me and a kid my age named David who don't even skate. We leave Joeys place in this batmobile of a car and head towards the country... whut-thuh? I thought.... farm roads with tractors going to fields, dogs and deer and chickens dotting the edges and Paul driving like 75 mph the whole time. Holy Crap!!! Up ahead a sign at a hairpin says 35 and this guys kicking in the 4 barrel. Now back then only sissys wore seat belts... but after sliding back and forth across those vinyl seats and crashing into the doors... call me what you want I'm buckling up baby. Oh, and he had Judas Priest blaring from sound really distorted speakers (which I suppose meant he never heard me scream thank goodness)....
    That curve in the photos above was called "the Roller Coaster" and had a reputation as a dead mans curve. Pffft that didn't phase the mad man. Nor did the flat hairpin about a half mile past it. Everytime I looked out the back window I'm see-ing dust where we had literally been skirting the edges of these curves then this David guy decides to put his freakin' hand over Pauls face as we entered another deadly hairpin lined with giant oak trees with chunks missing from all the wipeouts...

    We get to the park and I swear I thought my life was over. I was so scared I couldn't skate for like an hour. That was when Joeys car came rolling in the parking lot with the fenders dragging the tires from being so loaded.

    Later I learned that it was an average hour and 15 minute commute to the park. Paul made it a 45 minute death trip.

    Joey made the bigger people ride with Paul after that and because I was a scrawney kid I always had a spot in the Corolla after that day. We probably went there like 10 times and the park closed thanks to some dork sue-ing the place after an injury. Late that summer I wrecked my knee for the 3rd time. This time a tendon that keeps the kneecap in place was torn and required surgery. 6 months of down time that time. That was it for me. I hung up my boards and gave away most of my stuff.

    I did skate a little here and there a couple of years later, but it caused considerable pain in my knee and by then nobody my age that I used skate with skated anymore.

    I did win a skateboard while rehabbing though. I had one good board with some wear and tear left over and had loaned it to a school mate to ride in a local contest. My leg was casted hip to ankle and crutches were the norm. After dude had finished his run he handed it back to me. The city had closed a road and kids were lined up on each side while the contest took place in the middle. Somebody yelled to me from the other side asking if they could borrow my skateboard. Back then I could do all sorts of wheelie tricks called manuals these days.

    "Ok, here goes"... I plopped the board on the ground and placed my good foot on the rear. I launched like skiers do using my crutches and did a one foot wheelie to the other side of the street, placed my crutches on the ground forward, kicked the board to op and walked it off like I'd done it a thousand times. Not giving it much thought I hobbled over to my brothers girlfriend and we left the place in her car to go meet my brother.

    They announced a winner of the slalom contest after we had left, then the freestyle, then apparently created a best trick award in honor of my 1 foot wheelie. lol. I won the grand prize skateboard.

    My parents got a phone call that night that I had won a skateboard contest and told them where the prize was. I arrive home later and my parents are all yelling "when are you gonna ever learn" and stuff. I'm like "what are you guys talking about?" not knowing it had happened.

    It's the silver one. Still have it.

    In my late 30's during my divorced period I took up surfing again. Work eventually prevented me from getting to the ocean often enough to suit me. One new years day I found the board in my dads attic and took up slalom at nearly 40. By 41 I was riding giant slalom, which is barreling down a paved hill side swirving around cones at 25mph. Tricky stuff for an old guy, but it didn't bother my bad knee one bit. (By mid-30's doctors were talking fake knee nonsense due to arthritis). At 43 I had met my wife and gotten married. Her middle son wanted to experience downhill skateboarding as he was really good at ramps and all those flippty stunts. So I took him one day. It was the day I retired for good this time.

    Santa Clause had brought me this thing.
    It was a 44" giant slalom board I whacked down to 35" and reshaped it to suit my style. Super swirvey trucks, ceramic core wheels with a rubber ball durometer and super fast bearings.
    The wife's son was super thrilled as he rode one of my other boards. He was fast, fast, fast and was beating me every time. So at one point I decided to let it all hang out like some kinda youngster and I wiped out. Trouble was by the time I knew I was falling I had already hit the ground, bounced and was about to impact again.

    I have tried to give that board away to younger folks who stand on it, push off and quickly give it back saying "no thanks... this thing'll kill ya"....

    That was 10 years ago and I have no urge to ride skateboards at all. Nope. But speaking with that utility guy sure stirred some Caspers that day.
    Last edited by bykfixer; 10-24-2017 at 05:07 PM.
    John 3:16
    " If you can see on & off engraved on it you don't need a flashlight" -PK

  16. #136

    Default Re: So... Once Upon a Time...


    My gosh has the day of turkey feast changed over the years.
    I'll start by saying my 80+ year old neighbors George & Stella still do the same thing every year since the early 1960's. They eat at noon. They picked noon because the number of their kids, grandkids all the way to great grandkids that participte could fill up a school bus. So they eat early and send folks on their way by 2:30 so that the rest of the neighbors families for the next several houses can have a place to park after 3Pm. Divorce has never rained on George & Stellas family either. The only one absent is George who went to be with the Lord about 3 summers ago.

    I live near the house I grew up in. Probably 60% of the homes in my neighborhood are occupied by people who grew up in it. Some who have lived here since the 1950's, but mostly ones who left and came back.

    I met my wife when living out of town and brought her here. Her and the boys at first were like "whut-thuh?" My wife is now a member of the community and glad to be so. The boys are grown and stay close by, but are spreading their wings like typical young adults. Well as typical as you get in 2017's America anymore.

    A lot of my wifes life was a daily train wreck before we met. I brought her here to show her a bubble that time forgot. Kinda like Atlantis... rumored to be real, but kept a secret by inhabitants. It's a D shaped neighborhood smack dab in the center of a metropolis that seems to have a force field around it. And people pass through on a regular basis without noticing. On Thanksgiving day nearly every street is full of cars for a few hours as the traditional celebration takes place while outside of the neighborhood thousands travel to and from the mall, in and out of town doing the hussle n bussle thing or sitting in their home alone waiting for life to come to them.

    Last night after folks were gone my wife was sitting quietly with a sense of peace on her face as she croche'd something or other for a friend at her work. I enjoyed watching that look of calm and sipped on some lemonade that tasted just like my grandmother used to make for Thanksgiving every year. That's another story for another time that will explain why today I sit in peace & quiet listening to wall clocks and regale of days gone by. Not all happy, but they led up to what was probably the most enjoyable one... at least in a long time if not ever. Same for my wife who is probably as I type this thinking "Calgon, take me away" at her job in retail on black Friday....

    Basically as a lad my folks hung out at my grandmas tiny house. Little house, big yard. So if the weather was good it was great. If not, well she had the kinda furniture you don't sit on. But life was simple. Life progresses, death does its thing, and in my family so did divorce. At one point we had the George & Stella thing. Then at one point it was my pop, my 2 brothers and I all away from each other, and all living solitary lives due to said death and divorce. That was a short lived period and except for my pop (RIP) we all do Thanksgiving away from each other, but in phase 1 of what George & Stella still do.
    We have Grandkids now! Woohoo!!

    Now my sister has lived in a utopia for the last 25 years yet has ended up bitter and jaded. Death and divorce have barely touched her life except for the inconveience of having to attend an occasional funeral. My twin remarried a whack-job so he's not allowed to hang out with us anymore. I think they do their dinner at his mother in laws, these days. My other brother hangs out his boys house all filled with a bunch of kids and neighbors where they do things the country way. They eat what they killed. lol. Theirs starts at 4:30am with some hunting, some fishing. But they feast every year, enjoy home made bourbon and by sundown have a giant bon fire going. I heard this year bear meat was on the table. I think my sister and her husband had some kinda turkey flavored tofou and vegetable medley as part of their efforts to save the planet. His wife (my sister) is a vegan now which pretty much makes him a vegetarian... but they swear deviled eggs is not meat.

    As a kid I ate turkey, ham, venicine, fish, mashed potatoes, green beans, lima beans, mac n cheese, stuffing, etc and there was always cranberry jelly on the table but nobody ever touched that. Yet every year there was a log of sliced cranberry jelly. I think next year I'll restart that tradition. This year minus venicine and fish we had all the goodies my grandma used to fix. But my youngest son adds chocolate pudding to her pecan pie recipe and holy cow is that awesome...

    Our home was faced with drug addiction and strife for a couple of years. This sobriety was the norm and the by-gones were water under the bridge. People who were mad at each other hugged and spoke as if none had ever happened. It was the most satisfying one for me in quite a while and I think perhaps the best one ever for my wife. There was no football on tv, no talk of divisive issues, and smiles abounded. It was pretty much an afternoon where everyone in attendence was participating in an event that was exactly what George Washington had proclimated so long ago, and pretty dawg-gone close to what happens next door at George & Stellas every year since the 1960's.

    RIP Ray. It aint the same without you.
    Ray passed away suddenly from heart failure. A gentle giant of a man who had the mind of a rocket scientist and the gift of being able to make us mortals understand very complicated things on our level. He was the kind of guy who brought out the best in people, and his dry Minnesota wit is sorely missed. (Man tears welling up)
    Last edited by bykfixer; 11-24-2017 at 10:21 AM.
    John 3:16
    " If you can see on & off engraved on it you don't need a flashlight" -PK

  17. #137
    Join Date
    Feb 2003

    Default Re: So... Once Upon a Time...

    Just read this bykfixer. Awesome reminiscing. Please do more.


  18. #138

    Default Re: So... Once Upon a Time...

    Thank Bill. I have been blessed with the ability to squeeze 99% out of what life has to offer within about a 100 mile radius of my upbringing for 5 decades (so far). Also being blessed with my mothers positive spirit and my pops ability to watch the world from the outside looking in have been a boon as well.

    I copied a portion from a post I made at a facebook page where it was asked what year our local lake froze over...
    It froze over twice in my lifetime. Once in 1980 when I was a teenager. And again in 2000 when I got to play in the snow with my son's for the first time. My oldest was 15 and had never played in the snow with "dad" who drove a snowplow every time it snowed... sometimes being gone from home 2-3 days instead of at home making snowmen and all that stuff.
    I was recently divorced from their mom and my boys revelled the oppotunity to live with dad for more than a weekend at a time. I no longer drove a snowplow and Lord willing never will again. They arrived day 2 and were back at their moms 15 fun filled days later as our area was in a deep freeze and their mom was off on a tropical vacation paid for by... you get the point.

    Anyway below is the post...

    "It froze over in 2000 also. Not at the thickness of 1980, but still pretty sturdy.
    During the afternoon of day 1 of the blizzard of 2000 myself and 2 buddies were on the steps of Lakeview Terrace watching it freeze. One tossed a bottle cap onto the slurpee looking surface and the splash froze. ⊙▁⊙
    After that we started tossing objects onto the water to watch the splash freeze.
    It was like being in a National Geographic episode as the snow froze to our day old bearded faces and borders of the hoods of our heavy coats. A surreal event taking place on the bank of Swift Creek lake.
    Next day my sons and I slid down the hillside onto the frozen lake on chunks of vinyl flooring cut into 2'x3' strips. About a week later the edges were thawing out and we were so battle weery from sliding on ice we didn't let it bother us.

    If I recall correct it was night 3 that the blizzard of 2000 dumped an inch of sleet on our S shaped groove in the 2 feet of snow. It had an S to avoid losing a limb from crashing into a no trespassing sign about 75% down the 100 yard long hill. That layer of ice made the channel like a bobsled track. It was on then. Running start of a few steps on flat ground then hurl yourself over the edge landing on your favorite ride... the vinyl was like wet glass on the ice... Sometimes you'd be halfway across the lake before stopping.

    Extreme sledding, no doubt. And word got out. By day 5 folks were travelling from outside the city to either watch or play in the X Games Colonial Heights style. It was epic. Everybody behaved and not once did the cops get called....

    Unlike in 1980 when there were times the island had like 500 people on it. I was dating the girl whose face was on gas pumps across Va for a few years. We hung out on the island often. The trouble began on that one when kids started swiping neighbors Adorandack furniture for bonfires and local John boats. One night I found myself sitting on my mom's John boat converted to a bench.

    At the Lakeview X Games we shut things down at 5 pm (when the outside lights came on). It was alcohol and drug free family fun where the 1980 freeze was a free-for-all."
    Last edited by bykfixer; 01-07-2018 at 03:47 PM.
    John 3:16
    " If you can see on & off engraved on it you don't need a flashlight" -PK

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