Michelle valles

Henry's Life Story

2023.03.20 10:24 SnooHedgehogs2356 Henry's Life Story

Written from the perspective of 'Henry the Panel Truck' for Denny DuVall
I was born in 1950! Yes, I was shiny and new once upon a time. No one kept track of my first ten years of life. I was 'just a truck' to my previous owners. I ended up in Ocotillo Wells, California, run to death, with my old flathead six motor froze up. My owner at that time sold me to Denny DuVall for $35 in 1960, and thus begins my story.
Now as you look at my old primer paint, with my dents and rust, you might believe that I am still on my death bed. However, if you look under my hood, you will see a new 350 horse GM Crate motor. I'm also sporting a Cadillac clip, with disc brakes, power steering, tilt wheel, and an aluminum cross flow radiator. Topped off with a rebuilt Chevy truck transmission. A "Vintage Air" a/c unit, and tempered glass in all my doors!! OK, now back to 1960. Denny's original plan was to go in with a friend of his, buy me, resell me for a couple of hundred dollars, split the money between them, and run.
Now I must tell you that Denny's friend was not able to come up with his half of the $35. (That's $17.50 to those of you who are paying attention!!) Now Denny, being the "Financial Wizard" that he is, took another two weeks to come up with the kings ransom of $35 to rescue me from certain death!! I almost signed up for counseling on that one!!
Then – Denny buys an old wrecked '51 Ford for $15.00 (money is no object to him) and installs the flat head six motor in me. I didn't realize that he cleaned swimming pools, and he would drive me 100 miles a day, six days a week. So, a year and a half later, that motor gave up the ghost, and I limped home, with my rods banging, two cylinders gone, smoking something terrible, and no oil pressure. In spite of my internal hemorrhaging, I got him home!
And so, began the legacy of a total of ten used motors, that Denny would install in me, over the following forty years of continuous service. Not to mention the million miles that went along with that! It's a miracle that I look this good!!! In 1961, Denny got married. They had Michelle in '63; Lissa in '64, Ben in '67, and Matthew in '69. Life in Borego was good. I was into motor three by then. This family life is pretty cool. Once when Chelle and Lissa were still quite small, maybe five- and six-years- old, they were playing, "drive the panel truck." Somehow, Chelle got my motor started.
Lissa sat on the floor and worked the pedals, Michelle steered. Wegot about 150 feet on our journey, when "fleet foot" Denny caught up with us, and brought our adventure to an end. Perhaps the girls and I will continue our journey at a later date.
In '73, Denny's Dad passed away. He and his family moved to Escondido with his Mom, so she could be closer to medical facilities. She passed away in '74. Three months later his fourteen-year marriage came to an end. This was not a very happy time for him, or me. All I could do was take him from place to place, and give him shelter.
For the next five years or so, (in Denny's quest to find his 'center') consisted of going from place to place. He would stay long enough for the wind to change direction, and we would be off, again!!
The hum of my motor, and the changing scenery, would comfort him, as we headed out on a new adventure. I guess I should also tell you that his other, "source of comfort," was his lady friends. We would all take trips to the redwoods, Oregon coast, the desert, etc.
Not to tell stories out of school, – Denny went through more, "relationships" than I've gone through tires and oil changes combined in my forty plus years with him!! Oy Vey, the sacrifices I've made!!!
Read more: https://henrythetruck.weebly.com/henry-the-truck.html
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