A while back an old classmate of mine, Buell Olmstead from Covington, Okla., wrote to National Driller to advise that Porky should write a story about himself and Porky racing his dad's 1947 Lincoln. I don't think my sons or grandchildren have even heard this story. My Dad is gone so I can now reveal this story.
This four-door Lincoln had hydraulic-powered windows and seats, a big V-12 cylinder engine and standard three-speed transmission. It was about the biggest car in the area in those days, and it was impressive. I think the speedometer registered to 120 miles per hour.
As I remember it, Buell and I were driving the Lincoln up and down the dirt road from our oil lease in Lovell, Okla., to Roxanna, Okla. Both are ghost towns now; Roxanna is gone completely. We were trying to see how much speed we could get from one highline (electric) pole to the next from a standing start. I think it's kind of like what we know as drag racing today. People who drove Lincolns back then usually didn't race them; they were known as luxury cars. Anyway, I do remember it did pretty well.
My dad, living on an oil lease, had free drip gasoline (right out of the oil well separator). Using this high-octane fuel, the engine ran much hotter and you usually had to put it in gear to get the engine to quit. It also was prone to vapor locking. Many times we had to pour water or ice (if we had it) on the fuel pump, on the top rear of the engine to get it to run again. Back then, people using drip gas added food coloring and mothballs to their drip gas to give it color, and I don't remember what the mothballs did.
I remember that I was only about 12 or 13 years old, driving my jeep and an old International pickup all over the county on free drip gas. At that age, I was even plowing with a John Deer model D tractor and drove a 11¿ton truck hauling wheat to town.
Later on (in about 1953 Buell reminds) I didn't want to go to school in Covington. So I rode my Cushman Motor Scooter to school in Marshall every day. A roundtrip distance of about 26 miles. Buell says that arriving at Marshall school early each morning, my face would be beet red. Buell further reminds that they didn't call me Porky back then as I was of a slender build. However, with me being bundled up for the trip on winter days, I was almost as wide as I was tall.
My dad traded my old International pickup with me for a jeep for me. With it, I graded the oil lease roads, ran errands and drove the jeep to grade school in Lovell and later to Marshall. I drove the jeep on good days. . . on bad days, I would tear up the muddy roads to our house with the jeep then go back home and wait for the bus to pick me up. The bus driver would see the bad road to our house and take a bypass around our house. This way, when the bus didn't come by to pick me up, I wasn't counted absent in school. As we would say today, "pretty cool" -- until dad found out what I was doing.
On days that I drove my jeep to school and my dad had other things for me to do right after school, instead of leaving me a note or telling my teacher, he would just remove the bug (rotor) from the distributor on the jeep engine. The jeep wouldn't start and I couldn't go anywhere until he showed up with the bug. Even the best mechanic wouldn't think of the bug being missing from an engine that had been running fine. These kinds of tricks made me a better mechanic.
On days that the Highway Patrol was going to be in town giving driving tests, the superintendent, Mr. Shades of Marshall School would tell me to take my scooter or jeep home. Since I was underage, he preferred that I didn't get caught and kept me from being absent again.
I'm sure many of my other classmates in Covington, Marshall and Lovell could add to my future stories.
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