("You'll never be a man, George. You'll always be just a little boy.")

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The Amazing Carb Kit

Trading a 1973 Cheverolet Vega for a gold-colored '76 Plymouth Duster, I attained a vehicle with four forward gears and reverse that were shifted manually. Shifting those gears of a manual transmission was a pleasure learned during early driving ex- periences. I enjoyed that feeling of control over a vehicle's acceleration rate. Ahead should have laid promises of good fuel economy and one-hundred-thousand miles of use. In words of the salesman, "maintain this car, and it might take you around the world." Those were Mr. Todt's words, but my '76 Plymouth Duster was to suffer a pre-mature death at the hands of some of those characters comparable to those made famous within William Shakespear's plays. ("You too, Brutus.") Then there was Judah and Christ. Those villians make their appearance in many stories, and they've played parts in many of my personal life experiences. While I've tried to avoid them, they're in many places.

None of my contemporaries or those of the future should decease or enter into this life without gaining knowledge of the Earth's pirates, villians, and quislings. Learning to choose legitimate, reputable mechanics, and automobile dealships are a key to mechanical survival. It is my opinion that the term "reputable" is one synonomous with a pistol loaded with intrigue. Large numbers of Earthlings apparently pride themselves in their skills at swindling those who depend on their mechanical skills and knowledge for survival. Who knows what treachery lurks within the hearts of those whom we encounter?

After shutting-off my Plymouth's ignition switch, the float within its carb would stick and continue pumping fuel into its carb; resulting in a condition known as "flooding." That's a mechanical malady that can be a fire hazard. A local mechanic determined that the cure was for him to install a carb kit; rebuilding that part. Requiring less than one-hour of labor, the parts and labor were quoted as under $50.

After I had left my automobile at that repair shop, Mr. Smith, my neighbor, provided me with transportation back to my residence in Harvel, Illinois.

Receiving a telephone call from that repair shop an hour or so later, his communication was "your car is ready." That word as applied to this case meant "ready for the salvage yard."

Paying those mechanics for that work, I started the Plymouth Duster; intending to drive it back home. But upon engaging its ignition switch, I noticed an odd rattling emerging from under the hood. Immediately turning-off the ignition, pulling the hood latch lever, and opening the hood, I found that the airfilter housing unit and carb cover; along with the hoses intended to compliment the air-circulation were all laying loosely atop that vehicle's valvecover.

Securing those parts, the mechanic examined my reaction closely and hatefully. That was surely for the purpose of provoking me into an angry reaction and a brawl within the service station in the presence of two witnesses. Instead, I remained calm and drove the three miles back to Harvel. The car did not overheat until the following day.

While I'm not certain, I suspect that engine head had been stolen. Not understanding why the engine overheated as I drove the vehicle from Harvel to Farmersville and back home on the next school day, I amde a stop at Mosby's Auto Repair Shop in Raymond. Thanks to Mosby for bringing my dead Plymouth Duster back to life. Mosby was an expert at overhauling the automobile engines of those times; one of the best. That mechanic had knowledge of what had been done to the Duster. While I'm still somewhat "in the dark" forty years later, I left the vehicle there, and it was repaired during three hours of the next day.

Paying Mosby just $50 for the repair work, I was happy to have reliable transportation again. I had not suffered bodily harm and was still a daddy with three children to support. I continued to use that vehicle for driving back and forth to work until 1978. But efforts to wreck that vehicle were continuous. There was one collision with a Taylorville teacher; another with a trailways bus, and a forced off a roadway experience.

Selling that Plymouth Duster for cash, I used the money as trade-in for a 1975 Ford; a Crown Victoria that had just fifty-thousand miles. It was comfortable for the family and lasted for a long time.

Pirates still roam among the high-seas and on the highways of this nation; and all around the world. Be on the alert for them. They're not the "Hell's Angels" I've had the good fortune to meet. Those kinds of folks don't qualify as humanitarians. There's no way one can get along with those kinds of people. I loathe them; for they know not honor or honesty. I'm sixty-eight years old now, but I image you down-under. I'll feel more secure when I learn that you're there. I'll smile.

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