Journal-Times (Grayson, KY)

Wednesday's Post

January 15, 2014

A dollar down, a dollar a week…forever

Jan. 15, 2014 —

What is it about having your own motor vehicle that makes it so important, even a rite of passage, for teenagers?

I was almost through high school when that compulsion overpowered me. I begged and pleaded with my mother to help me buy my own car.

At 17, I knew I was underprivileged because

my best buddies had their own wheels. They were cooler than me because they didn't have to use a four-door family sedan for dating.

One of them had an old Cadillac with impressive power windows and seats. Another had a red Chevy with sharp fins and spinner hubcaps.

A classmate told me about his uncle coming back from the Army with an English Ford. It was a tiny car that didn't cost much but it was too small for his growing family.

What he didn't tell me was that it was almost impossible to get parts from England and that the car was badly under powered.

  It got great mileage but gasoline was only 30 cents a gallon in those days. In fact, no one ever talked about fuel economy.

I had the little car for several weeks but it sat in the driveway most of the time while I waited for a new starter to come from England.

A visitor spotted it one day and offered to trade me a customized light purple Ford coupe that looked good and seemed to run well.

I never thought to ask him why he kept a case of oil in the trunk. I soon realized that it leaked more oil than it burned. I had to park it in Granny’s gravel driveway to hide the oil stains.

I finally traded it for a convertible which looked bad but didn’t use any oil.

Winter was coming on and I quickly realized all too soon that a shabby ragtop with a bad heater was not too impressive to the ladies.

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Wednesday's Post
  • Old hospital is gone but not the memories

    Today’s concern about the fiscal health of Kentucky’s rural hospitals reminded me of one of my assignments as a reporter many years ago. I was sent by the Ashland Independent to Grayson to write a story about the closing of Stovall Memorial Hospital, the place of my birth some 24 years earlier.

    July 30, 2014

  • ‘Who’s gonna fill their shoes’ a key question

    That question was the title of a great country song released in 1985 by the legendary George Jones. That scenario also applies today to the communities we call home and our local organizations that make life better for all of us.

    July 23, 2014

  • When neighbors were really neighbors…

    Lately I’ve been remembering why I’m glad I grew up in a small town where neighbors were really neighbors, not just someone who lived next door or across the road.

    July 16, 2014

  • I don’t have a pet animal but I do have pets

    After a lifetime of listening to friends and co-workers talk incessantly about their pets, I have decided to share some words about mine…my pet peeves.

    July 9, 2014

  • I make no apologies for loving my country

    Friday is the birthday of the United States of America. As an American, I’m incredibly proud of that fact.

    July 2, 2014

  • Can’t everyone grow their own vegetables?

    The sight of home vegetable gardens brings to mind a gardening adventure worth sharing. My friend and I heard someone say at church that growing your own vegetables could save money while providing your family with better, fresher food.

    June 25, 2014

  • ‘Let’s go fly a kite’ is more than a song title

    Are you concerned that too many kids today are preoccupied with handheld electronic devices and don’t know how to play outdoors? I, too, shared those feelings until a recent visit to the seashore with my grandchildren.

    June 18, 2014

  • Old ways, old days sometimes look better

    Dr. Jack Ellis, Morehead’s senior resident historian and a dear friend, sent me a copy of a clipping from the Jan. 24, 1935, issue of the Rowan County News, now called The Morehead News. “Woman fined in county court for gossiping” is the headline.

    June 11, 2014

  • Where do we find such men…and women?

    The tiny American flags fluttered in the breeze of a beautiful day. The hillside cemetery outside Grayson seemed to be covered with them like spring flowers. Again, I was awestruck by the sight of so many red, white and blue symbols of personal courage and patriotism.

    June 4, 2014

  • The ups and downs of a political journey

    In the spirit of this political season, I am recounting the tale of an affable chap who loved politics but found the winner’s circle only once.

    May 28, 2014

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