March 01, 2007

Sunday Drivers

Although the license plate in the photo is from Wyoming (I found it on the banks of Palisades Resevoir on the bordeer of Idaho and Wyoming in 1965), here is a true story from the Salmon River country of Idaho. If you have read Back to the River of No Return from a previous post, you have somehwat of a feel for the color and character of the people and places around Salmon, Idaho. They are in large part a very colorful bunch. I remember when I spent time there as a teenager, working away from home during the summer, that there were Indians living south of town, cowboys everywhere you looked, river rats plying the river tourist trade, itinerant authors retracing the trail of Lewis and Clark, poor white trash just barely scraping by and then of course the hillbillies. The couple mentioned in this poem would have belonged to this latter category. So poor were they that they changed their family name to the same name as the richest man in town with the hope of a hefty inheritance once he passed on. It didn't work, but they still carry his name. So, enjoy a bit of mirth for a moment.

Sunday Drivers
by Paul Kern

At the bottom of Lost Trail Pass,
Where you can fill up with gas,
Some good ol’ folks live there still,
In a little place called Gibbonsville.

One Sunday we were out for a ride,
Taking a gander around the countryside,
When what to our wonderment did appear?
That old jalopy we gave away last year.

It was free you know, it cost not a dime
To Ma n’ Pa Riggin who’d had a hard time.
They could have it as long as they’d please.
Beware the motor had a snort and a wheeze.

As that bucket o’ rust rounded the bend,
Hangin’ out of the hood was someone’s back end.
And to boot and by golly it was still movin’ along,
With a pitch and a roll like an out of tune song.

A stranger contraption you’d never seen,
With Ma at the wheel behind the windscreen,
Those two legs dangling out of the hood,
Came dangerously close to the spokes of wood.

That old sedan would slow near to a stop,
Then with a burst take another hop,
And now with a jerk it started to slow,
Then a burst of speed, and off it would go.

But not too far before Ma n’ Pa saw,
They were watched a bit further down the draw,
From the looks of things as we came to pass,
The root of the problem was a leak of gas.

The gas line had busted completely in two,
But that ol’ Pa Riggin knew just what to do,
Suck up the gas and a split second later,
Turn and then spit it into the carburetor.

It was by this method under the hood,
They managed to move along pretty good,
By a suckin’ and a spittin’ with Ma at the wheel,
And Pa workin’ the gas and a draggin’ a heel.

We stopped and offered to help if we could,
Pa was still poking out underneath of the hood,
Ma just said “no thanks” as her eyes came alive,
“We’re just out for a Sunday drive.”

Sunday Drivers

free hit counter script

No comments:

Post a Comment