Saturday, March 30, 2013

driver's license and road repair

I live in this sub division on the lake.  When the original guy built the sub div he put in no roads - that is good roads.  I understand there were just dirt roads.  Eventually homeowners pitched in and helped the guy build paved roads.  Well this was all well and good except  he put little to no base under the road and forgot to actually use an appropriate amount of asphalt on top of the forgotten base.   Now, I understand what I just wrote.

No base (little to none)
insufficient asphalt  (not thick enough)
equals roads that die over a short period of time.

Downtown Corsicana is rebuilding Hwy 31 with the help of the State.   They put down the rock base, crushed and packed - some lime - a layer of asphalt - probably 6 inches or so  - and finally what looks like 8 to 10 inches of concrete,   That road is sturdy.

Our roads are not.  Road assessments again and again.  One mile of new road was put in 2 years ago by the homeowners - mostly doing all the work except laying the hot asphalt.  No government program here.  Now we are doing another section of road.  The rock base is down - Wednesday comes the asphalt.   There will not be concrete on top.  Bunch of old guys and a few knowledgeable middle age guys - putting in roads.  My shovel is ready.
Today, I was talking to one of the midd-guys about his kid who has just turned 16 and will be taking his driving test next week.....    that is the headline that reminded me of my youth.   Youthful stone to follow.
 My father worked for Amoco for many years - BP bought Amoco - Amoco put me through college, not directly, but because my father worked for them.   An aside:  my wife's father worked for them too.

When I was in the 6th grade, we moved to Levelland where my father was named "Head Roustabout" for the Levelland Gasoline Plant.  His title changed often over the year - Field Foreman, etc.  Because of his position, we lived in the Plant Camp.   5 houses set in a semi circle were lined up near the gasoline plant.  The Plant Manager, Asst, asst to the asst...I am sure they had real titles, and we were in the camp.   5 houses, we were in #4.  These were nice 3 bedroom homes with massive yards opening up into the wilderness around the plant.

There were several oil coated dirt roads crisscrossing the prairie which was about 5 miles or so square. Sometime in the 7th grade, Dad bought two small cars - 4 cylinders stamp sized cars.  One was a British ford, 2 door, green if I remember correctly.  I had a floor shift and must have been war surplus.  The other was a Crosley pickup.   At one time or another, we had Crosley station wagons too.  But this pickup - blue - and the English Ford were available for my brother Jim and I to drive around the oil lease.  And we did.

Daily we would go out to drive - one of us in the Crosley and the other in the pickup.  We tore up and down those back roads.  It was a wonder we weren't killed.  Levelland, being flat, allowed us to see the entire lease and dodge any workers.  Up and down, Around and around,  left then right,  all around - I suppose my father put gas in the 4 burners cause we never did.   I was about 12 and Jim was 13.   Nowadays kids have video games, we drove our video games.

I have been racking my brain to remember the name of our dog - mutt - he would run after us all the time.I don't think that dog ever got tired chasing these two cars.  Over time he did develop a bit where he would rest one leg and run only on 3 - then, switch legs.  Good dog.  I wonder why one of us never picked him up and let him ride in a car.

Nuff of that.  In those years in Texas, we got our regular driver's license at age 14.   We took our driving tests in those little cars - there was some muttering about making us drive real cars.   Parallel parking was a breeze in those little things.  I bet they weren't 8 ft long or so.   I would love to own one now.

One last stone on this subject - it is merely for myself - not truly interesting.   When I got my license, I was a Freshman in the high school band.  The band sold what we called Gyp Books .... it was one of our major fund raisers.   These were those little books of coupons - buy one for $5 and get $25 of free services and stuff.   We, the band, would scatter out all over town on one Saturday and canvas the place till we sold out.  Different groups had different student drivers.

Jim and I had a crew - dump em off on the corner, pick em up at the next lonely lot.   It is amazing the little unimportant things you have come back to you.   On that selling day, the first day after I received my license, I drove the car and was so frustrated and nervous, I ran my first stop sign.  See, it is not that big a deal - but at the time, it was to a 14 yr old new driver.  I panicked.   Jim drove most of the rest of the day.

So as the sun slowly sinks in the west, we leave this old guy's memories to fade back into oblivion. Not much here for sure.
Oh, be sure to check that box on the right and sign up to have my pitiful writings delivered to your doorstep.
and a P.S.  there are 2 Crosley station wagons for sale on the loop around Athens, Texas.  They are just setting there in the cow pasture, rusting, waiting for someone to rescue them.  I wish I had the money and time to save them.  But as my father use to say, "You can't save every Crosley in this World."  Yep, that's what he use to say.
It is time to take the dogs to the Pit for relief.  Y'all take care now.

No comments:

Post a Comment