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Good old days, Days gone by as a kid


We used to get way down on the ground and drink from crystal clear, ice cold springs coming out of the rock in the Wasatch Mountains of Utah.

Early on, dad, being the frugal child of the Great Depression he was, and uncle, fabricated their own "Tote Goats",
Commercial version.
View attachment 638911

from the ground up, bending steel pipe and welding, and putting together and creating everything you see below. All in his and/or uncles garages.

View attachment 638892

Yeah, that's me, 1962 at 7yo. These things were used for deer hunting. Dad wasn't hunting after I was born I don't think. As far as I know he only ever shot one deer. He used a pattern 14 Enfield he personally sporterized around 1949-50 AFAIK. I have that gun in the safe.

These would get loaded in the back of a pick-up. I remember riding with him, just like that, in the hills and mountains surrounding the Salt Lake Valley. When we had to climb he'd tell me to "LEAN FORWARD!". Later on when Honda came out with the Honda 55 around 1964 he musta got rid of the his tote goats for one of them. For those that aren't familiar with these bikes, the Honda 55s had a large sprocket bolted to the rear hub behind the drive sprocket, a tool kit in a side compartment and an extra length of chain in the swing arm cross over tube. When you got to the point of needing a lower gear ratio to get into the hairy stuff on the trail you would park the bike. Get out the tool kit, find the master link in the chain and break it there. Remove the four bolts that held the sprocket to the hub and bolt it over the smaller drive sprocket. Add the extra length of chain and you would now have a very low gear ratio for slow climbing/crawling. When the Honda 90 came out dad got one of them, and I got the 55. I was probably 10. We had a 1964 Ford Econoline that would fit the two bikes comfortably in the back.

It was a pretty regular thing going on the weekends to the mountains somewhere and exploring all kinds of dirt roads and trails. There were hundreds of old abandoned mines in the mountains surrounding the valley. Mining was so big the Salt Lake Valley had it's own powder manufacturer. "The Bacchus Works" produced Hercules powder in the 1930s. Some small mines were still being worked though. You could tell from the claim nailed near the entrance with the date and yardage worked. You had to work a mine so many yards a year to keep the claim active.

After awhile dad got a new Honda 90 and I got his old yellow one. I still had the same Honda through high school. Though I wasn't allowed to take it to school, I road it all over otherwise. To work and back when I turned 16 and got my DL, and all over the hills and open areas in my free time. After high school I took some small engine school where I rebuilt the badly worn motor on that Honda 90 and rode it a bunch more. I worked at a couple of Honda shops wrenching for ten years. I got an XL 250 right off.. Built it for trail riding and really ran around then. A 90 mile ride starting before day light and ending at dusk, over paved, dirt and trails wasn't uncommon. I rode that bike until i moved to Portland in June 1983. I never rode it here because they were going to make me get insurance, put the turn signals back on and take a special drivers test. It wouldn't have worked anyway, I wouldn't have been one to drive 30-40 miles just to get to a dirt road.

Please forgive my LOOONG arsed ramble, and the less harp grammar and punctuation. It's what happens when someone brings up the topic. :D

Remember small engine and. auto shop in high school ?
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Remember small and. auto shop in high school ?
I never took auto shop in high school...Hmmm. I DO remember being a person that would take things apart, and not necessarily get them put back together when I was younger. My interest for mechanical probably bloomed with my first job, at 16, at the gas station. I learned tires, balancing/brakes, lube/oil, hose/belts, generator/alternator, plugs/wires etc. Split ring truck tire repair. :eek: No pneumatic powered dismount/mount equipment at "Vine Street 66"!
Over half a century ago, paper routes were great for learning to earn (I was terrible in the berry fields, eating half of whatever I picked).

My father didn't readily grasp the logic of a one-speed Schwinn Stingray with ape hangers and a banana seat... "It's like a chopper Dad!!!" But it was my money so that's what I bought. I did, however, allow myself to be influenced on the big day, opting for a "more practical" knobby rear tire. Quickly realizing the error of my ways, I skidded that one bald in weeks and replaced it with a proper drag slick - because, obviously, that's what everybody needs to get off the line in a hurry.

Didn't quite have girls under my skin yet. So, for a year or two anyway, it was all about Ed "Big Daddy" Roth and Don Garlits.

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I got mine in 75 for $675, paid $75 a month. Mine also had a 289 C4 auto, was in great condition with 56k miles and only one dent in the top of driver's door (couldn't figure out how that happened either)... I drove it like I stole it!!!;)
HAHAHA..I got mine in 75 as well. I've had 6 other Mustangs since..including a 1965 GT350 clone I built from the ground up


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