Saturday, September 4, 2010

My daddy bought a New Cadillac from your Daddy every year.

One day, I got a telephone call from Roy Perkins.  He ran the body shop at Charles Maund Olds-Cadillac.  It seems that Mark Maund (Charles Maund's youngest son) had a Corvette and the T-Tops had been stolen.  Roy wanted me to find some T-Tops and find some used ones if I could.

I called around to all the junkyards that I normally dealt with but couldn't find any.   I finally called Frank Smith Jr's junkyard.  I can't remember the name of the yard anymore but it was out off of Howard Lane.  I had never really had any dealings with Frank Jr, but I had heard that he was kind of crazy.

At this time, Frank Smith Sr, was in prison.  I don't remember what he went to prison for, but it had to do with his bail bonds business, I think.  The shooting at the Salvage Pool is another story altogether.

Well, Frank Jr., had some T-Tops  that fit Mark's Corvette.  I went out there to look at them and talk to Frank Jr, and try to make a deal on the cost of the T-Tops.

My first impression of Frank Jr, was well, let me put it this way.  He laughs all the time while talking to you.  That makes old South Austin boys nervous.  What was so funny about T-Tops.

After awhile as we were sitting there talking, he gave me a price for the T-Tops.  I don't remember the price but it was no bargain.  I sat there and tried to get a better deal.  And this is what he told me.

Tell Charlie (Maund) to buy these T-Tops.  He said, laughing all the time, that his daddy bought a new Cadillac from Charlie every year and that now his daddy makes license plates for them.

I didn't know whether to laugh or not, although I thought it was funny as hell.  Frank Jr. was laughing.  I finally told him that I would give the price to Charlie (Maund) and I left.

I called Roy Perkins at the body shop and told him the price and said that he had to deal with Frank Jr..  I was out of it. 

I don't know the outcome of the deal and I didn't care.  That was the last time that I have ever seen Frank Jr.

I just have always remembered, Frank Jr. talking about his daddy making license plates.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Today, I pulled a Leroy

Today, I pulled a Leroy.  Today would have been my dad's 88th birthday, so it is only fitting that I pull one like this.  I guess the acorn doesn't fall far from the tree.  The picture to the left is me, my dad and my oldest grandson when he was about 3 or 4.  One of my favorite pictures.

For those that didn't know my dad, you missed a character.  But for all his great qualities, he was quite dangerous to be around.  I have seen him almost blow up his bbq pit using gasoline as a starter, he shot the end of one of his fingers shooting a 22 rifle, he either sunk or was thrown out of several boats.  But he laughed all the way doing it.

One time at the lake while working on the boat dock in the dead of winter, he slipped and managed to get me thrown in the freezing water.  He put me on the plow behind the tractor at the deer lease when I was about 12.  The purpose was to hold the plow in the ground.  I swear he ran that tractor at full speed.  If you knew him, you had your own story.

But I think he  was looking down on me today and laughing.

I was going to fix some fajitas on the gas grill on the back porch.  I started out as usual and started the burners to burn off the grill.  Usually let it get to 300 degrees and clean the grill.  Got distracted today and forgot that it was on.  My wife came in and told me the grill was smoking really bad and there was a fire in the bottom.  Well, when I got there the temperature gauge was past the 800 degree mark.  It was hot.  My wife said the window behind the grill was extremely hot.  I just turned off the gas and went back in the house.

A few minutes later, I came back out and the temperature was at 500 so I cleaned the grill.  I decided I could cook these fajitas with the gas off, it was still that hot.  I put the meat on and went back into the house.  There was still some fire at the bottom of the pit due to old grease.  I wasn't worried as I thought it would burn out. I went back into the house.

A few minutes later, my wife said that I had better go look at the grill.  There were flames everywhere and a wire was on fire.  I said the gas is off, so there is no problem.  She insisted and I went outside.

I quickly realized that I was in trouble.  The heat was over 500 degrees and the wire that she was talking about was the rubber hose that went from the propane tank to the burners.  Yep, even though I had turned the gas off, it was burning from that hose.  At this point, I told my wife to go get the water.  Instead of going for the hose, she went inside to bring me a pitcher of water.  It was getting worse.

Now I have forgotten to mention at this point that I had some blue jeans on that are a little too big for me.  I need to wear a belt with them.  I wasn't wearing a belt.  Now back to the story, I ran to get the water hose to spray on the fire that was getting bigger.  On the way back to the grill from the water faucet, I lost my pants.

They fell down around my ankles and I almost fell down running with the hose that was blasting water.  I managed to kick the pants off and start spraying water on that burning hose.  There I was in a shirt and my underwear fighting a propane fire with a water hose. My wife didn't know whether to laugh or cry or run for cover.  I had some of those thoughts myself. After about 3 or 4 minutes, I managed to get the fire out, and then I could shut the valve off on top of the propane tank.  Those were a tense 3 or 4 minutes.  I was afraid I might burn the house down.

I got the meat (of course) off of the grill and took it inside.  Leroy would have done that too.  I sat down and remembered it was his birthday.  I pulled a Leroy and I know that he was laughing at me from heaven.

I decided to tell this story because of self defense.  My wife promised not to tell anybody until she saw them.  Anyway, it's not all that bad, it made me remember a great man today and one that I loved dearly.  Even if he was dangerous to be around.


I always like to include a video to go with my stories.  The only fitting one I could find was Leroy, the Redneck Reindeer by Joe Diffie.  My dad in later years always wore suspenders and a Caterpillar hat, not a John Deere.  My brother in law works for Holt.

Leroy, The Redneck Reindeer    Watch this video, Leroy the Redneck Reindeer and my dad were a lot a like.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

I just wanted to tell my daughter that I love her.

Every so often you need to tell the ones that you love, just how you feel.  Well, Christi, this is for you.  I love you and you will always be my little girl.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Tales of the Highway Patrol, The Wreck on the Highway

State Trooper Leonard Vaughn had picked me up in the late afternoon.  It was in the early '70's.  It was a pretty non eventful time that afternoon.  He was patrolling Hwy 71 from Oak Hill out to the lake.  Dinner time came around and we decided to eat at Cowtown BBQ.  It was about 5 or 6 miles down Hamilton Pool road from Hwy 71.  It's a Mexican food restaurant now.  Sonny and Ruth Heffington owned the place.  We were about through with dinner when Leonard got a call.  It seems that there was a wreck on 2222.  Now I got to tell you that was a long ways from where we were at.  Leonard was the only State Trooper west of I-35 that night and he had to respond.  The wreck was reported as serious with mutliple injuries.  At that time, 2222 was pretty far out of the city limits.

Well I went on the ride of my life.  We tore out of Cowtown BBQ with lights and sirens.  It was just about dark, so he had his headlights on too.  Now 620 was just a 2 lane road back then and quite curvy.  Leonard was pushing that old Plymouth for all it was worth.  This old car was not in real good shape.  We had stopped earlier in Oak Hill at the County Barn and filled it up with gas.  He also had to fill it up with motor oil.  DPS was testing some of these cars with a synthetic oil and it wasn't working out too well.  When Leonard filled up with gas he also has to fill up with oil.  That car used more oil than any car that I had ever seen.

I got real quite while we were traveling down 620, cause at times I would look over at our speed and the old needle was as far to the right as it would go and that was past 120 mph.  We flew across Mansfield Dam. I had gone fast before but not for an extended period of time and at this point I was white knuckled.  Just hanging on to anything that I could grab on to. 

We got to 2222 and Leonard did not slow down.  We were flying.  Then it happened.  We topped a hill and was headed down the hill.  We used to call that hill, Tumbleweed Hill, because the steak restaurant at the top of it was named Tumbleweed.  The speedometer was buried.  Does anyone remember this hill?  At the bottom of the hill on the right heading into town was a little gravel place on the side of the road that people used as a turn around.  Remember we were going over 120 mph with lights flashing and the sirens on.  Guess what?  Somebody decided to turn around at the bottom of the hill.  Now that's a big hill and it's a long way to the bottom, but not at over 120 mph.  I remember looking at Leonard and all he said was "Oh, S$#^.  I was so brave that I covered my eyes.  Leonard kept going straight and thankfully the car at the bottom of the hill didn't stop.  We flew right beside them.  I could feel my heart beating in my fingers.  When I was finally able to talk, I told Leonard to slow down.  He did, but I think it was because it scared him too. 

We finally got to the accident and some Travis County Sheriff's were already there.  It turned out to be a minor fender bender and there were no injuries.  I rode with Leonard many times, but that was by far the scariest ride of my life.  Well that's my first story of the Highway Patrol.  My road trip at over 120 mph in a gas guzzling, oil leaking old Plymouth. 

I thought the following song was appropriate for this story.. 

Monday, February 15, 2010

The Birthday Cake, Mom gave to Carla and I on our 40th Birthday

This was the birthday cake that my mom got for Carla and I on our 40th Birthday.  It was actually about a week before our birthday.  I was going to leave town because of the practical jokes that Mom would play on special birthdays like the 40th.  I am one week older than Carla, we got this cake together.

I remember calling Mom and telling her that Chad Hudson's band was playing at the Little Wheel (think it was called something else by this time) and that we were going to go watch him.  Mom said, "Oh, okay but I don't know if we are going to go." 

The Little Wheel is only about 5 1/2 miles from our house so we were a little late getting there.  When we drove up, I saw the black ribbons flying from the posts outside.  I told Carla, we ought to go back home.  Well, when we got inside, there was a surprise birthday party waiting for us.  Lots of our friends and family were there.  The normal party stuff was there too.  "Over the hill" posters and Ben Gay.  I thought to myself, well this isn't so bad and started to relax and enjoy myself.  All of a sudden someone shows up with our Birthday Cake.  As you can see, it was a white sheet cake with a black padded potty seat on top of it.  In silver ink on the top, it said: "Happy Birthday, Mike and Carla".  You can see what happened when we raised the lid.  There is a white plastic bowl under the potty sead and those are either Baby Ruths or Butterfingers floating in beer.  Needless to say not many people ate any cake.  It stopped the show at the Little Wheel as people from everywhere were taking pictures.  Mom had gotten me again.

Well as the party went on Mom wanted me to dance with her.  I told her "No" because I didn't trust her at this time.  She kept on and on until I finally said "Yes".  I told her that she had to behave herself  while we were dancing or that I would just leave her on the dance floor.  Well we had danced a couple of times around the dance floor.  We got right up in front of the band.  Chad Hudson was about 6 feet away from us.  Mom started pulling tube socks out of her bra and was tossing them at Chad.  Well, that's what she was doing the last time I looked because I was high tailing it off of that dance floor. 

It was a good laugh and now a great memory.

Saturday, February 13, 2010


Click on the Title (Gran) to see the video of Beverly's..

Gran (George Christopher Callan, Sr.) was my mom's dad. We called him Gran. We lived next door to him and as kids got to see him and Nannie almost every day. We had a trail that went from our house through the vacant lot between us and right up to their driveway. Gran was wonderful to us kids, but mom says he was a stinker.

She told me this story about Gran. I must have been a very small child at the time.

My grandmother (Nannie) and her sister went to New Mexico to see her Uncle Fred White. He was her mother's brother. At one time he was the sheriff of Tucumcari, New Mexico. He's another story.

We lived on the north side of my grandparents and my Uncle George lived on the north side of them.

My Uncle George called my mom one afternoon and asked if she had seen Gran. He told Uncle George that he was going to the store for a loaf of bread and that had been several hours earlier. Mom said no. They went looking for Gran and my mom's other brother (Uncle Dan) found him at Beverly's on South Congress.

Uncle Dan went in and found him flirting with some woman at the bar. He was dead drunk. Uncle Dan basically drug Gran out of the bar. Gran was about 5'6'' and my Uncle Dan is 6'6''. Well Uncle Dan finally got Gran back home and put into bed. Gran was cussing and fighting all the way.

Mom and Dad, Uncle Dan and Uncle George were standing around in the backyard, just wondering what was going to happen next. It was quite for a good while.

As of a sudden they heard thrashing and crashing coming from the house. Then Gran, still staggering burst out the back door waving a set of keys. He said; "You dumb son bitches, I got another set of keys" and he was intending on going back to Beverly's.

After another struggle they finally got Gran to sleep for the night. Mom tells me this story but it doesn't sound like Gran to me, but mom swears he was a toot.

Attached is a link to a video of Beverly's by WiseGeorge. Mom thinks it was called Beverly's back then and that had to be over 50 years ago.