Dad's Memories

- 08 September 98 - 08 September 98

Car Trouble - Bringing Home "Mr. Big Buck"

On the same trip when Bill Hall & I brought home Mr Big Buck, we'd shot a smaller deer early in the week, so the second deer completed our "season" for the year. Actually when we checked in the smaller deer the Warden passed a rather sarcastic remark -- "You have to be a good shot to hit one this small." We were not overjoyed at taking such a small deer ourselves, it only weighed about 60 or 70 pounds. As we could not hunt any more, we spent Saturday visiting with the Stulpins, had supper with them, and started for home in the evening..

Going over the bridge connecting between Maine and Portsmouth New Hampshire on US#1 there was a loud "clunking" and the motor stopped. Bill quickly shifted into neutral and we coasted off the bridge, saw a gas station, conveniently right near the end of the bridge, and drifted into the station. It's after midnite, the station is closed, nothing to do but wait till morning and see what we could do then.

Bill had removed the rear seat, to make room for shipping his Mums. His hobby was growing Chrysantheums. It had grown to the point where he shipped Mums to florists, and he needed the extra room to handle shipments. We had "Mr Big" and "Little Joe" in back of his Chevy Wagon. To make room for us, we pushed Mr Big to one side, on his back, all four legs sticking up, and set Little Joe on top of him, sorta resting in Big Guys open chest cavity. Now we have eight legs sticking up -- but room for us both to lay down in back too. Had to open the windows for fresh air --them deer smell like **** --, well deer do smell, 'specially in a closed car.

Went sound asleep in a jiffy - woke up with a "deppity" banging on the window . Checking out the car parked crooked in the station, with all kindsa deer feet sticking up, and two "bodies" on the floor in back. Think we spoiled his party when we were alive. Had to show our I.D., drivers license, and hunting license -- all legal. He said the owner opened the station early, maybe he could help us, and left -- think we made his nite.

The station owner arrived at 7 AM, checked out our cargo, heard our sad tale, said he did not do mechanical repair but would call a mechanic friend - who "might" come down on a Sunday morning. Made the call, and said the mechanic would be along -- after he'd finished his breakfast. When the Mechanic showed up, a middle aged wiry guy (50-60-70 yrs, couldn't tell) we 'splained how it sounded as the motor quit. He said - "Don't sound like it froze up, probably valves, I'll take a look".

He took off the valve cover, started to take things apart, and had parts of the engine spread about on the garage floor in short order. The six valves looked like mushrooms, with the round head, and long stems - and sure enuff there were bent stems. "No way to get new ones, I'll try to straighten these -- and he layed each on the floor, hammered a bit, eyeballed them, hammered some more, and finally said "thats about as good as I can get them" and reassembled the engine. Checked the oil level, said "musta not had enough oil for these valves" and started the engine -- let that run awhile to warm up, sounds OK now - made some adjustments to the carburetor -- sounds better --- orta get you young fellers home alright.

Bill & I watching the operation, wondered if we had enough money for a big engine repair job, especially having pulled the man from home early on a Sunday morning. When Bill asked how much the repair cost, the mechanic said "Oh, ten dollars will be enough, glad to help you boys out today !!" We looked at each other, talked on this turn of events, and said - that's less than we expected, how about we leave the small deer here for you two to share also, and - thank you both for helping us in distress.

The garage Sunday morning customers looked, and marvelled at the big deer in the station wagon, and a few "word of mouth" customers came along while the work progressed to look and buy gas also. The Chevy ran fine on the way home. Bill kept it for a few years with no problem from the "eyeball" repair job.

Nice helpful people, them country types.

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