Magazine

Runabouts to Rockets

President's Message

 

Runabouts to Rockets
Volume 41 #7-8
July-August 2022

Stacy and I just got back from a car show at a town not far from Lubbock named Floydada; one of the local members of our mixed make car club hails from there and they were having their annual Pioneer Days celebration. We had about 15 cars there in total but the camaraderie was evident and we had a great time. We and another friend caravanned back; I was having some mild vapor lock issues due to the 100 degree heat. Was not exactly comfy inside the ‘52 without A/C coming home either. The wind was like a blast furnace. The comforts of modern cars become very obvious when challenged in this manner. Later that evening when I drove to put the car to bed it ran flawlessly when it was 85 degrees.

Floydada is an interesting place with its old school Texas charm. The community was hammered pretty hard, however, due to an auto group originating in Lubbock that bought the car dealership (other small towns’ dealerships as well) which had been in continual business since the 1930s selling Chevrolets and Oldsmobiles. This auto group then perpetrated the largest auto fraud in US history primarily against Ford (they “borrowed” a boat load of money from them) and was ultimately shut down and the perpetrators were convicted (the ring leader got 14 years in federal prison). The major raw deal was felt by the individual car buyers who were left with trade ins that were never paid off and new cars that were repossessed or that they cannot get titled and registered. Also the car dealership in Floydada is now completely shuttered which really hurt the community. Sometimes jail time and fines do not seem appropriate; public whippings, etc. might be better but not in today’s world.

As I sit here writing this I am reflecting on gas prices at $5.00 a gallon and remember when I was in high school in Tucson during a gas price war and gas was 13 cents. When did all the gas companies and local service stations collude to control gas prices? It must have occurred sometime around the Arab gas crisis of 1973 probably but I do not know the answer. I can picture, in my mind, the smoke filled room of “executives” with Marlon Brando running the meeting. JP Morgan and John D. Rockefeller must be smiling from wherever they are. Seems anti-competitive in our country to me. State gas taxes also drive the prices into the stratosphere. With that in mind how does California always seem to be going broke? Of course everything is relative. My parents house cost $27,000 in 1967 and the interest was 4.5 % which my dad was furious over because the interest rate had just gone up. Hard to not get riled up! On the other hand baby formula was easy to find and multiple viruses were not threatening the world. 

Am planning on attending Homecoming very soon and it will be over when you are reading this. I am driving of course; getting on an airplane with obnoxious other passengers and being completely out of control with operating the plane has never made me a happy camper. If I die while traveling I would rather have some control over the situation. I hope my loan comes through so I can pay for the trip. Why are all these car shows at least 1000 miles away from me? I always revert to my observation that it isn’t a car show without cars there….but I just keep going and enjoying it. Life is short, eat dessert first! Remember that the money you made by busting your rear end in this life should be spent by you; the goal is to run out as you are breathing your last breath.

Stay well; stay safe and I hope to see you in Lansing soon.

 

 

—Rick Winn (#914)
Slaton, Texas​