The first car I ever owned was a 1951 Dodge Club Coupe with fluid drive transmission. I guess you’d have to say that my dad owned it, but I paid for it. I guess you’d have to say that me and my brothers paid for it. So, I guess I didn’t own it or pay for it. I guess you’d have to say that I had the illusion of ownership.

The one we bought was light blue or maybe gray.

It’s funny how certain things stick in your mind and others don’t. I remember going to the “junk yard” down the road and my dad negotiating with the owner about this car. There were several cars sitting there awaiting purchase. There was a 1956 Chevy that was very expensive. The asking price for it was $75.00. A little out of our range. We had just over $50.00 between us. The owner said the reason he had to have $75.00 for the Chevy was because it would part out much better than the Dodge. He said he would take $50.00 for the Dodge and my dad said ok.

We were so excited that we could hardly contain ourselves as we drove the old beater home. It had the Fluid Drive Transmission which meant that you could put it in gear and it would shift itself or you could shift it if you wanted. The clutch was required to stop regardless. Very fancy.

We had labored several weeks to save enough money for our ride. We had done several extra jobs around the farm, for our grandparents and anyone else who would listen to our story and put us to work. My mom delivered us to relatives who had little jobs we could do. We might make a few dollars for the work we did.

I spent a day at the old Honda shop working, cleaning up bikes and sweeping the floor for $5.00. I thought I was underpaid for that one. The shop was owned by a family friend and they were just doing me a favor. We saved all the money we could and when dad felt like we had enough to buy, we headed to the junk yard.

We weren’t old enough to drive so the car mainly sat in the driveway. But, when dad was home we would take a spin. We had to wait till we accumulated enough money to put gas in it. We had spent all our operating capital on the purchase.

My younger brother was the best driver, and I think put the most money in to the car. He was used to driving tractors and the pickup truck around the farm. He spent a lot of time with dad fixing equipment and just hanging around. He was always available to dad for help. My twin brother and I were more play oriented.

It was all I could do to get the car moving and keep it on the road. My younger brother could do that, shift and stay calm all at the some time.

Dad finally got rid of it saying that it used to much oil. I didn’t even know it had oil. I don’t remember what happened to the money we got for selling it. At that time in my life, everything turned into an adventure.

Later in my life, dad told us if we wanted to drive a car I had to take care of it. I had to clean it, wash it and take care of it. I learned a lot because my dad wouldn’t cater to my laziness. We had to fix anything that was wrong with our cars. Dad would help if we ran into things we didn’t know or things we couldn’t do by our selves.

I learned that you can do almost anything if you really want to. You will find a way. I recently read a book by a local guy named Brad Hurtig. The name of the book is “Find a Way” He lost both of his hands in a manufacturing accident. It’s a really good story with a lot of punch.

Brad wanted to play football again, even with no hands. One day, on the practice field, he got thirsty and asked one of the coaches to help him get a drink from a plastic water bottle on the ground. The coach told him “find a way. When you get thirsty enough, you will find a way.” That coach set in motion the philosophy for Brad’s life…and he’s never looked back.

Great words to live by. I think I would have given him the drink, but that would have been the worst thing for him. If you have a big issue in your life, get thirsty enough and you will find a way.


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