Henry the Truck - Issue 3
Last updated 4/22/2016 at 4:19am
Vol. 6 , No. 6 Borrego Springs, California December 19, 013
By Henry the Truck
Varrrrrrrmmm!!!!!!!! Denny brings my sleeping self to life in the early morning of May (2001). He has a car trailer hooked up behind me, with a very dilapidated '35 Ford humpback sedan, that Denny's Mom and Dad bought in 1936. This car looks WAY worse than I do. As we head out for the interstate, Denny pats me on my dash, and tells me we are headed for his daughters in Bellingham, Wa.
He tells me, "This will be a great trip to break in your new motor." Oh great, I think to myself, just 3000 miles on my new motor, and now I get to grunt all the way to Bellingham. Hey Denny, how 'bout I weld a trailer ball on your rear end, and YOU pull this rig up the Grapevine, and let's see how good YOU do!!! No rest for the weary!!!
Hmmmm, and why is he heading for LAX? "Oh, by the way, we're stopping by Lissa's (his other daughter) to haul a 300 lb. cement Gargoyle up to Bellingham too." A 300 POUND,WHATTT????? WHAT THE HELL IS A GARGOYLE", AND WHY DO I HAVE TO CARRY IT!!! HEY!!! I'M BREAKING IN A NEW MOTOR HERE!!!! My screams go unheard – .
We get to Lissa's, mid- day. Denny, and friends get the gargoyle loaded on the car trailer, in front of the old '35. Oh, did I mention, they dropped the gargoyle, in the loading process, and broke one of it's wings. NOW – I get to carry a 300 pound – mutilated gargoyle!! Denny, being the humanitarian he is, wraps the gargoyle in a blue plastic tarp, and tucks the broken wing under the '35. We rest for a few hours, and then we are Northward bound.
Denny works me through the L.A. traffic, we pick up I-5 North, heading for my first 'test' – The Grapevine! For those of you who don't know, it's over 20 miles of grade up to six percent or better. I should also tell you that at 60 mph, I'm only turning 2000 rpm. (he's running me five mph over the towing speed limit, so I can be at 2 grand) What a Guy!!!
Well, hell – here comes the grapevine!! Denny eases me up to 2200 rpm, to get a run at it. It's warm enough outside, Denny's been running the A/C all day. HEY!!! You comfy in there, we've got a grade to clime here!!! At least keep an eye on my temp gauge!! For 2 cents, I'd - what's the use, he can't hear me. Hey this motor's got some guts!!! We're cookin'!!
This motor kept pullin' down to 1200 rpm. The last third of the grade, Denny slips me in to 3rd, and runs me at 2500 rpm.
I get to the top, never got over 200 degrees, and Denny got to keep the air on. I'm Liking this new motor, real well!! OK, Show me the next grades, I'm loaded for Bear!!
We breezed through Northern California, and slept over night in a 24 hr. restaurant parking lot in Eugene, OR. for our first leg of the journey.
The next morning, Denny eats breakfast where we stayed over night. He heads me out to I-5, and we continue on towards Bellingham. I'm really diggin' this new motor!! I've climbed most of the grades in high gear. The really long ones, Denny dropped me into 3rd, for the duration of the clime. We loafed along at 2500 rpm, no pain, no strain!!
Now I gotta tell ya, that every time we stopped for fuel, food, or at the rest stops, we were inundated with curious people, who wanted to know all about me, the '35, AND the gargoyle!! Every stop would take an hour or so of Denny yakking about all of the above. Not to mention all of the 'lookers' that passed us along the way. They would run along side of us, drop back and check out the '35, do a double take on the gargoyle, and then, continue on past us.
On the morning of the third day of our journey, we stop just into Washington state for fuel. As Denny is filling my tank with high test, a well dressed American Indian walks up to Denny, and begins talking to him, about me, the '35, and of course, the gargoyle. I look over our new friend, he has long, salt and pepper hair in a single braid that goes down his back, almost to his waist. By the feathers and other Indian things he was wearing, I believe he must be a Medicine Man. This topped off by a very nice '70's, leisure style suit.
All of a sudden a very scary woman appears. She looks to be a cross between 'Tug Boat Annie,' and Mick Jagger. She is quite large, and has a very strange voice. "What happened to the gargoyle's wing?," she croaks in her strange voice. Denny hadn't seen her until she voices her question. I see the surprise in his eyes!! THINK up a GOOD explanation Denny, she's liable to turn you into a frog, and me into a Yugo, if you don't come up with a good explanation!!! JEEESH, the situations you get us into!!!! So there I sit, waiting for the clap of thunder, and the
flash of lightning, that will surely seal our fate!!
Thankfully, Denny is blessed with a 'golden tongue,' and quenches all of her concerns, as to the fate, and the future repair of the gargoyle. As Denny finalizes our friendship, the Indian asks Denny if he can Bless us, Denny smiles and says, "That would be great!!" The majestic Indian, stands next to us, raises his hands, and asks that the "Great Spirit" bless me, Denny, the '35, and the gargoyle, and to get us to our destination safely. I feel a warm glow surround me, and I know, that we will arrive at Michelle's safely!! Denny, fires me up, and turns us towards the freeway. I glance back towards the station, and see the Indian and his wife waving at us. Hmmm, you know, she really doesn't look as scary now. I make a mental note to ease up on the 'human emotions,' and not to judge other humans, quite so quickly.
Denny runs me up to three grand through the gears, and we blend into the traffic. We throttle back to two grand, and continue Northward. The vision of a 'Yugo' fades from my mind, as I go over the events of the last hour.
We conquer all of the grades in Washington too. About two hours shy of Michelle's, my clutch master cylinder starts leaking a little. Denny has to 'pump' my clutch pedal to get me into first gear at a stop, and continues through the gears, shifting me with out using the clutch. And, my right rear axle bearing begins to make noise. The last ten miles before we get to Chelle's, my axle bearing is really screaming. Denny pats me on my dash and tells me, "Just a little further old friend, you can make it!!" I wonder if he remembers all the other times over the past forty-plus years I've limped in to get us to our destination. Ooohh well - even so, we arrive at Michelle's safely about 4:00 p.m. Denny orders my new parts, and puts me in the barn to work on me. Wheww, a chance for me to rest!!!! And so we have another journey under our belt!!! The "Great Spirit" looks down at us, and smiles!!!