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Figbuck Chronicles...


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#21 Figbuck

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Posted 22 March 2008 - 07:49 AM

Thanks for the encouragement guys. hang_510, yeah Isla Vista, how could I ever forget?

I guess I should have tried to write these stories in chronological order, but I only remember some of this stuff when I come across old photos, or somebody asks if I remember something that happened. This story happened about 1977 or so.

I lived with a girl named Susan. We grew up on the same block and were friends but never hooked up until we were in our early twenties. In the spring, we decided to drive to Phoenix, from the San Francisco Bay Area. We left in the evening and drove all night so we wouldn't have to go through the heat of Mojave Desert during the day. On Interstate 40 east of Kingman we turned southeast on Highway 93 and pulled over into a rest stop out in the middle of the desert. It was still dark and we climbed into the camper and took a nap. Just as the sun was coming up we got up and made breakfast and dripped some coffee for the road.

The desert scenery was just spectacular in the early morning light and there weren't any vehicles on the road at all. I had driven all night, so Susan took the wheel of the Datsun and we put on some music and sipped our coffee. She knew that the truck would just hum along at about 73 MPH and get good gas milage, so she was in the groove. I did this thing when I rode shotgun, where I adjusted the mirror on the passenger door, so I could look back. She still had the driver's side mirror and the rear view through the camper.

We are just cruzin' across the desert all by ourselves, digging the scenery in the changing morning light. The music, coffee, the road straight, flat and eventually vanishing in the distance. I look back and see some headlights way, way back. I look a couple seconds later and they are gaining on us. A few seconds later, I notice Susan glancing on the mirror and she says, "That guy is hauling butt". A few seconds later and I can make out a tractor trailer. The truck starts to pull out to pass about a half a mile behind us. He blows by us at probably a hundred. Susan gripped the wheel a little harder as the truck passed and the Datsun moved over in the lane a little bit as it went by.

It was a flatbed trailer with what looked like six huge steel dinner plates chained down on edge, in two rows of three. They were what I think are called "Dished Heads" and were about ten feet high and an inch thick. They would be welded onto ten foot in diameter steel tubes to make storage tanks for propane or something.

As the trucker pulls back into the lane in front of us, it looked like he hit a chuck hole or something, because the trailer shook violently. The last pair of disks snapped the chains, then rolled off the end of the flatbed in slow motion.

Really this happened so fast that we didn't even say anything. I was trying so hard to process what was going on, that I was speechless. I couldn't even get a word out. In a split second, Susan never flinched, she drove right between these two huge steel disks.

I looked into the mirror to see the disks continue to roll for a while, and then start to wobble, finally falling over in the middle of the road. I look at Susan and she looks at me. It happened so fast that all we could saw was WOW!!

The trucker kept on going, obviously not aware that he lost his load. I tell Susan to catch him. She puts her foot to the floor and pretty soon the speedo is buried. We run like that for many minutes not really catching him up very fast. She starts to flash the headlights and after a while the trucker must have slowed, because we caught him and pulled up along side. I'm frantically making hand gestures and pointing to his trailer. The instant he got that something was wrong, he hit the brakes so hard that we just flew past.

I wish I knew what happened after that, but we just kept on truckin'... so to speak. Were we ever lucky.

"What ever you do, don't add up what you are spending! :D
J2eDeYe

 

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#22 ]2eDeYe

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Posted 22 March 2008 - 08:30 AM

Wow. ya, wow. :blink:

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Whenever I think that I'm out of my mind for putting this much time and money into an old Datsun, all I have to do is look some of your threads to know that I'm not nearly as whack as you are.

You're going to skin a few knuckles, stand up too fast and bump your head, hunt around the floor for the nuts and bolts you dropped, invent a few new cuss words and when you're finished you'll say "That wasn't so hard after all!"


#23 datzenmike

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Posted 22 March 2008 - 09:37 AM

I've witnessed this phenomenon, as most have,... the slowing down of time in stressful circumstances. Or perhaps the mind speeds up in response, but plays it back at regular speed. Either way, more 'time' for a fateful decision. Do I lock the brakes and try to avoid, or the harder choice, be cool and do nothing?

Great story! I'll bet the colors were brighter and the coffee tastier after that.
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#24 djlotus

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Posted 22 March 2008 - 02:25 PM

Holy crap! That's one hell of a story there man. That's one of those things where you might need a change of underpants afterwards.

#25 Figbuck

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Posted 12 April 2008 - 07:30 AM

Forgive me if I ramble, I know there is a point to make, sometimes it's hard to narrow it down. The view throught the datsun windhield has been constantly changing through time.

There is an enigmatic little community called La Honda, California. It appears to be not more than a 25MPH speed zone on Highway 84. La Honda Road is pretzel, tied in knots. It is a snake through the Santa Cruz Mountians in San Mateo County that will bite you if you don't pay attention. I believe that this place is an unlikely vortrex of energy that has changed our society and the world we know.

For a number of years, I knew every inch of every corner on Highway 84. Many trips up Woodside road from the mud flats of the San Francisco Bay and the working class barrio of Redwood City, through the pass at Skylonda, winding down the ocean side of La Honda Road, to the abandoned stage coach stop of San Gregorio on the Pacific. I wore out at least one set of kingpin bushings navigating this 30 mile ribbon of asphalt patches. La Honda sits in what is left of the primeval Redwood rain forest that once carpeted this land. There are still towering examples of these ancient trees around but they are barely representative of what was.

I was a City kid. I grew up on concrete sidewalks with cars and telephone poles, bus and streetcar traffic. I thought that the whole world was covered in streets, buildings, noise and people. When I was about ten, I belonged to the Downtown YMCA. The "Y" owned a summer camp down in La Honda at a place called Jones Gulch. So in 1962, I got my first glimpse of the rolling Santa Cruz Mountians and the Redwoods.

My initial impressions were of a real life fantasia fairyland. Bright rays of filtered sunlight pierced the enormous green canopy of gingantic trees that created their own ecosystem. A sticky sweet smell of decaying plant material, fed by pristine creeks and dense coastal fog, synthesized into an oxygen rich elixer of new growth that made you high. Instant uncontrollable addiction to air. How can you not breath? The strangest impact on my sensory awareness was the relatively deafening quality of the ambiant sound. No fire engines, cable car bells, fog horns or screaming schoolyards, just a lush tapestry of quiet.

In the Carlos Casteneda books, the sorcerer Don Juan talked about places of power. Big Sur, Yosemite, Death Valley and the Golden Gate are local examples of places with extraordinagy energy. La Honda draws people somehow too, but there is a different vibe that doesn't make this apparent right away.

It is deceptively beautifull drive and I never fail to wonder if the native inhabitants knew they were living in paradise. I wonder what the Spanish explorer Gaspar de Portola thought when he first stumbled through this area after missing his target of Monterey. My second memories were my family driving down Skyline Drive from the City to stay at a friends rustic cabin on a duck pond in La Honda proper. There were no freeways in Northern California yet and this little vacation enclave was one step above camping out. It was a hard place to get to, "Away from it all", as my Dad used to say.

Later as teenager, I remember seeing the Hell's Angles rumbling in outlaw formation down the 101 Bayshore Highway and up over Woodside Road to hang with Ken Keasey's Merry Pranksters and the Greatful Dead Family. Keasey's A-frame house is still visable from highway 84 and the trees are still painted day-glo as chronicled in Tom Wolfe's classic Electric Cool-Aid Acid Test.

I believe that whole scene was the genesis for more social and political change in this country than anyone remembers or will admit. 1968 was a pivotal time for our country and the Bay Area was a hot bed for revolution. Adults were thinking the country was going to hell in a hand basket and we kids were united behind the anti-war, free speech, tune in, turn on and drop out that was the Woodstock generations mantras. I could talk at length about our pure intentions and naivete', but Peter Fonda's Captain America said it best in Easy Rider, "We blew it."

The original hippies in the Haight-Ashbury were already migrating north to Marin, Sonoma, Mendocino counties and Oregon. They could see the handwriting on the wall. The dopes that were left, were what the media had to sensationalize and exploit. The Acid-Tests of '66 and the Summer of Love in '67 were replaced by heroin, coke, speed and those idiots the Rolling Stones of Altamont!! By 1969. Every disafected, snot nosed, runaway kid that bailed out of their uptight Judeo-Christian homes across America, was looking for nirvana on their pilgrimage into the sunset on the western edge of the continent. FREE Sex, Drugs and Rock 'n Roll!

My class were those kids too, except that we were already here... but we wanted to leave too! Quite a few of my high school friends ended up moving to the relative isolation of La Honda. It was artificial at best, but the thinking was that we had the best of it all. Two bucks worth of gas would get you from La Honda to the City and back. A bunch of them still live in the ramshackle farm houses and vacation cabins today, that they started out renting in the early '70s.

Like the Beat and the Hippie generations before us, the Class of '70 made the trek from the City or the South Bay 'flats' over 84 to La Honda. One of our friends had a very old house just up from the duck pond. Henry was a guitar whacker and carpenter apprentice. We could go up there and make all the noise we wanted any time. There were guys that played in five or six different bands who all hung out up there partying and jamming. I'm sure much like the scene a couple of canyons over at Neil Young's Broken Arrow Ranch property. OG hippies, just a little older that we were.

The old timers in La Honda were loggers, truckers, farmers, fisherman, millwrights and tradesman. Probably descendants of the pioneers that maintained the stage coach stop and the road from the harbor at Half Moon Bay, to the County seat of Redwood City. Most of these guys were rednecks and had seen it all already with Keasey's pranksters and the hordes of Angels. There wasn't much to do in La Honda. There was a cafe, volunteer fire department, general store and three bars.

Because we were all young, drinking in bars was cool. It made us feel like we had grown up. Henry used to spend a lot of time drinking in these dives and got to know all of the locals. There was The Boots and Saddles Lodge, Applejacks and Venturi's. Venturi's used to be a little resturaunt/cafe that was attached to a quaint 50s style motel. It was right in the middle of 'town', and had been converted into apartments and the cafe into a bar.

Venturi's was classic road house tavern and a real hot spot on the weekends. It sported a landmark Dutch windmill, covered with half lit neon lights on it's broken propeller. At night, it was a goofy looking place to roll up on, after driving through the mountians in the in the pitch dark. Henry began playing his acoustic guitar down there at night. Not for money or anything, but just to get a buzz and hang. At some point this grew into us going down there and jamming. It got to be a Wednesday night thing and I remember the first time I played there, it was Henry and another guitar player, a Fender bass player, a guy on Fender Rhodes Piano and me on sax, no drums or PA.

They bought us free drinks and we closed the place. We didn't have a drummer for a long time and then a series of drummers with the rest of the lineup changing all the time. The place was packed and so the 'band' got drinks on the house. It was never really a band, but a big loose group of friends having too much fun. I remember making the long dark drive back from La Honda seeing triple many nights.

La Honda Road had a long reputation for horrific fatalities. I had the road dialed from so many commutes but the Datsun lacked any kind of power with band equipment in the back. Maybe that kept me alive. One night I got passed like I was painted on the guardrail, by a local that drove like he owned the road. He still does. A few corners later he went off into a steep ravine and died. I vaguely remember seeing a cloud of dust on the shoulder as I passed the spot, heard about it much later. I can tell so many horror stories about all the bizzare accidents I have seen throught the years up there, but that is a subject for another time. Let's just say that we are all very lucky... young, stupid, foolish and LUCKY.

We started to get some songs together and bartender ask if we would play on Saturday nights for $50 a man. One evening we went down there to set up our drums and PA about five 0' clock. Right in front, were parked three ratty looking Harley knuckel heads dripping oil. Henry and I went inside to move chairs and tables in the back so the musicians would face the front of the bar and be clear of the pool table. There were three Hell's Angels sitting at the bar drinking fifty five cent Budwisers. Do you remember those brown glass 12oz barrels they had for a while? I think they were the first twist off bottles.

We went back up to Henry's place to eat and when we came just before nine, the parking lot was packed and the joint was jumping. The three Angels were still there drinking Bud barrels and were pretty loud and obnoxious, making the atmosphere a little uneasy. The piano player starts to play a boogie woogie blues figure a little self consciously and a jam starts, that eases the tension. We play for a long time and take a break.

"What ever you do, don't add up what you are spending! :D
J2eDeYe

 

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#26 Figbuck

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Posted 12 April 2008 - 07:48 AM

Now let me pause here to give a little back story. When my parents moved to the suburbs in San Mateo County and I was a new kid in school, I was an obvious target. I stuck out. In the City, we wore slacks and arrow shits, nice sweaters and shined our shoes. We used Alberto VO5 or Vitalis to comb our razor cut hair. In the 'burbs there were basically two cliques of kids that were seperated along geographic and class lines. On one side of the tracks were the middle and upper middle class families who seemed to be all surfers. Maybe three quarters of the school were these kids that rode new Schwinn Stingrays and wore white Levi's, blue Keds boat shoes and white T-shirts with a solid stripe. Everybody sported the requsite surfer mop of hair and never owned a comb.

The greaser kids used Dixie Peach Pomade to slick their hair back. They wore black Ben Davis work pants and White Duck brand pinstripped work shirts and pointy black boots they called nigger stompers. Most of these kids took the bus up from across the tracks and had attitude. It was funny to me, because the groups of kids I came up with in city schools grew into gangs that formed along racial lines. Any of the number of white, black, Asian, Mexican gangs could lay any of these suburban wannabees to waste. But, they were still intimidating to the even more lame rich little white kids living in the hills.

I got put into a French class that was taught by an unbelievably hot young teacher named Miss Waldren. She drove a '65 Mustang convertible and showed cleavage that just made the guys crazy. In that one class were the biggest fuck-ups in the whole school and they would continue to hold that position through highshcool graduation. These bullies were what the surfers called hard guys. I guess they never got attention at home and they acted out at school.

In any other class I might have got my ass pounded by these guys. Miss Waldren knew how to wrap them around her little finger like nobody else could and actually got us to speak some French. One kid named Eddie must have been held back a grade... or two. He was the only kid in Junior high that shaved. When we started eighth grade he and another kid had grown their hair long over the summer. I mean it was like half way over their ears, think early beatles. This was so outrageous in 1965 that they got sent home the first morning for hair cuts.

Eddie was the first kid in our class to get a drivers license and have a car a year before anybody else. It was a primered '64 Falcon that was jacked way up and had a big block with glass packs poking out behind some "cut out" racing headers. Seeing Eddie and his long sideburns cruzin' the main drag, made mothers clutch their small children. He was never a friend of mine or anything, but at least he didn't harass me like everybody else.

Eddie had this mannerism that hope I can decribe. I think it was copied from a TV character that appeared on Saturday afternoon wrestling. This guys name was Ray Stevens. Think of Hulk Hogan only old school 'Rastlin'. Ray Stevens talked out of the side of his mouth in a raspy gutteral tone. He had these phrases that became part of his TV persona. "You pencil neck geek" and I'm gonna break your pencil neck", he talked out of the side of his mouth with his jaw way off to one side, and then finished every phrase with a kind of grunt. Eddie had it down perfectly as kind of a Urt or Ert. There was a sort of quick R sound like Rurt. Sometimes it was more like a Rort or Roeett, with the inflection going up at the end.

Eddie was not the brightest kid in school. He had the dumbest sense of humor if you could call it that. When ever he made a funny comment or some kind of condesending cut, after a slight pause, he would follow it up with a quick gutteral, Hutt, like he was laughing at his own joke. Funny how everybody laughed, stupid as it always was. I did, I didn't want him to pick me up by my ankles and shake the change out of my pockets.

When we were like juniors, all of us were sitting around getting wasted and somebody started to do Ray Stevens and somebody else started doing Eddie. This little retort out of the side of our mouths and facial mannerism stuck for a long time. It was the smilely face of that time, letting others know we were exagerating or being ridiculous. As the years went on, the rUrt morphed into a kind of Reet. You could say it staight with clear enunciation. Reet was even funnier if you were in on the inside joke. It got to the place where this got picked up buy other kids at school. They had no idea how it came about and before we knew it, you were hearing it in the halls. Nobody thought this was funnier than Eddie. He pluged right into the new style. First time we heard him say Reet in a high little voice like a girl, I almost died laughing.

Back at Venturi's road house... we go outside to get some air and up comes two brand new, Arlen Ness styled choppers, parking right in front of the door and up along side of the Angel's rat bikes. You see choppers everywhere now. In the seventies this was totally cutting edge stuff. Painted murals and every part tricked out of billet. They didn't build them for show. They were for launching fast and loud in a straight line. I was amazed that they were able to ride all the way out through the twisties in the dark!

Lo and behold it's Eddie and GT, unreal. Eddie, goes."Henry, Clary, what the fuck y'all doing up in here... Hutt ? "Henry, "Oh man, just jammin' and doing our thang, you know." Eddie says, "All right, we came to the right place... rURT!"

They go in and join the crowd. We look at these bikes in amazement. There is some serious time, money and a real unified statement of modern chopper style. It's cooling off, and we go back into the hot smokey bar to freshen our drinks and play some more.

Through most of the set, Eddie and GT are playing pool right near where I was. I move my mike stand back into the corner of the room so my horn doesn't get dented by a drunk cue stick. I remember Henry was learning how to play slide really well, and had a Les Paul Custom that he played though a 100 watt Marshall. We were so loud in this little dump, but the crowd absorbed it and the PA and amps were only on seven.

I have a total view of the whole bar. I see the Angels finally get up and leave. In the middle of an Allman Brothers tune, some girl comes running up to Eddie and GT very animated. She is waving her hands and pointing to the front. All of a sudden they bolt out the door. I couldn't tell what that was about, but these drunk Angels had gone out front, seen these choppers parked with their rat bikes and kicked them over.

A minute or so later, I see the front door explode open with a virtual ball of fists and kicks bowling into the crowd. Everybody presses back to give them room. Henry looks over his shoulder at me. I have the horn in my mouth playing backgrounds, so I raise my eyebrows like Whaaat? Henry mouths, "TURN ME UP!", and nods his head toward the amp. I crank it all the way open as the other guys do the same thing. We all keep playing, Henry's slide sound soaring about the mayhem.

Most of the crowd had moved outside and then the brawl with it. I can see the bartender on the phone to the Sheriff. The place had emptied out. We finish the set and go out for some air. There are two Sheriff's cars, a CHP unit and the three Hell's Angels are sitting or laid out on the ground all battered with blood everywhere. No sign of Eddie and GT.

The cops are trying to get the story straight. The girl that came in to tell Eddie and GT their bikes had been messed with, points towards the coast and says, "They went thatta way". The HyPO jumps in his car and tears off. Somebody else says to her, " Hey, you know they went back up the mountian to Skylonda right? She says, "Yeah, I know".

Eddie and GT beat the living daylights out of these three Hell's Angles. The Sheriffs are now patting these guys down and pulling all of kinds of guns and knives from everywhere. An ambulance has shown up and medics are patching these guys up so they can go off in hancuffs.

Reet!

I've seen a couple of little skuffles in some of the sleazy clubs I have gigged in, but nothing like this. At our thirty year highschool reunion there was a small group of very nicely dressed folks that I didn't recognize, but we had 600 people in our graduation class, I didn't know most people. Later I ask a gal friend that I had seen talking to the group who they were. She said, the distinguished looking guy with the gray beard and hair wearing a three piece suit, was Eddie. No way!! Never would have guessed. I would have loved to hear the other side of that story...

Reeet!

"What ever you do, don't add up what you are spending! :D
J2eDeYe

 

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#27 fiveohthree

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Posted 31 July 2008 - 01:39 AM

Man... I just wanna sit down for hours and read mounds of your stories.

I understand Hypo stands for police, but I don't FULLY understand it. What's the deal there?

#28 moparvwfreak

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Posted 31 July 2008 - 02:30 AM

Man... I just wanna sit down for hours and read mounds of your stories.

I understand Hypo stands for police, but I don't FULLY understand it. What's the deal there?


if i am understanding correctly it means highway patrol.

good story though.
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#29 Figbuck

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Posted 14 December 2008 - 11:47 AM

I been a little side tracked lately. I forgot about this thread. After I wrote the last story, nobody replied to it and I figured you all must think I'm crazy. One time I checked back and the reader count was at 620 and stayed that way for a couple months! Too bizarre! I was surprised to see the comments about my word for CHIPs. Arnold's private army!

The times we live in are getting pretty strange. Just when you think things are going to calm down, the next batch of crazy stuff happens.

We woke up this morning and got a foot of snow in an hour. It is snowing like crazy and even though it is a Sunday morning, all the freeways and surface streets are completely stopped with people that got caught out without chains. Just sitting here watching the live news coverage of idiots trying to drive in the snow. A couple hours ago it was clear, but they have been talking about this arctic front moving in for a week. Glad the Datsun is in the garage, it's a winter wonderland! :D

Yesterday I was going through this big box of photographs that I have been dragging around with me, every place I have ever lived. I came across these photographs I haven't seen at in a long time.

I was in the Army Band and stationed at Fort Ord in Monterey, California at the end of 1974. My roomate was a really good piano player that grew up in Topanga Canyon. He drove a Datsun 1200 and we were pretty tight. His sister was a ski bum and had a job working at the ski resort at Mamouth Mountain. She said we could come up and stay at her place during the Christmas holidays. We had some vacatation time saved up so we took off on a road trip.

For the most part there wasn't very much snow and all the roads and passes were still open. The second day we were there, people started talking about a big storm that was moving in. In the afternoons, after the ski lifts closed people either used to hit the bars or else drive down a couple miles into the desert, east across highway 395, to a place called the Fish Hatchery.

There is a gravel road off 395 that ends in a big parking area for the hatchery tours and there is also a trail head where you can walk down to a big creek that drains off the mountians to the west into the flat desert to the east. It is ice cold, crystal clear snow melt, except that there are hot springs all over the area. There are a couple of fenced off places where there are swiming areas for the public and signs warning of deadly hot scalding areas closed off for sarety.

The creek is only about three to five feet deep and anywhere from twenty to thirty feet wide. The bottom is fine sand and hot water bubbles up out of the sand heating the creek to over a hundred degrees. Depending on where you swim, you can pick the temperature you want. If you get too hot you can float over a few feet into ice cold snow melt. It is like the ultimate hot tub. Great views of the sun setting over Mamouth mountian to the west and the surrounding desert.

I have been out there in the summer and it was totally deserted the whole after noon I was there. During the ski season there can be a hundred or more people soaking in the hot water after skiing all day. It is the biggest naked party I have ever been to. Hot chicks and hunky guys, buck naked, smoking bongs and drinking ice cold bottles of champagne chilled in the snow banks around the creek. Pretty wild place every afternoon.

We are sitting in the hot water watching naked girls and the sunset. Slowly it looks like wind is whipping the top of the mountain. Some people are starting to talk about leaving so they don't get caught in the blizzard. Bilzzard? There is blue sky and a full moon rising. In just a few minutes Momouth Mountain is covered in a snow storm. We just made it back to the little house we were staying at when the blizzard hit.

The next morning we woke up with everything covered in snow.

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They closed the ski lifts because of high wind, so we decided to take our tobogans over to the closest ski lift and have some fun. This was early in the morning. Later in the day the truck was not even visible any more. I'm going, WOW SNOW!!

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My friend and his sister...

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Every run we were hiking further and further up the hill until we were completely out of control at the bottom. I actually crashed so hard that I dislocated my right shoulder. My buddy had to pull my arm to get it to pop back in. It's been messed up ever since. It was snowing so hard that we got a little turned around trying to find our way back to the house. We got snowed in for the next two days.

We needed to drive back and report for duty right after New Year's Day or risk being AWOL. It stopped snowing during the night on New Year's Eve and so we decided we needed to dig the truck out, chain up and drive up to Tahoe and go back over the Seirra Nevadas on Interstate 80. The weather was clear but we were driving pretty slow . It had been plowed but there was virtually no other traffic and it was a mess.

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Late in the day, between the failing light and the returning snow, we were not really sure how close we were to the turnoff to Tahoe. My windshield wipers were starting to freeze up and I wasn't alway sure where the road went. Finally we we came up behind a big truck that was cutting a great path for us and could actualy see where he was going. This was very encouraging for like twenty miles, until he puts on his turn signal and turns into a little side road. :eek:

It is dark now, snowing like crazy. We are running out of fuel, getting cold and having a really hard time seeing through the frozen winshield. At one point I just stopped because I was afraid I was going to crash. The situation was getting pretty sketchy, when my friend said we got to keep going or we are going to die out here.

We scraped the windshield one more time and made it up another mile where the intersection to the short cut to South Shore Tahoe was. I can't remember the name of the grade. It is really steep and long, but way shorter that driving all the way up to Carson City and then over 80, plus we were out of gas. There were two snow plow trucks that came down the grade and we followed them back up the grade into Shouth Shore. Pure dumb luck or we woud have been a Datsun-sickle.

We hit the buffet at Ceasar's Tahoe and then drove all night to make it back to Monterey.

You know, I used to think nothing about taking road trips all over the place. Gas was $.48 a gallon and we would run down to LA on Friday night and come back on Sunday night. Or run to Tahoe or go up into Northern California and camp in the Redwoods or Lassen, Shasta or Yosemite. I used to drive the Datsun thirty or forty thousand miles a year. The last few years I was lucky to drive it three or four thousand miles a year.

It's time for a road trip again.

"What ever you do, don't add up what you are spending! :D
J2eDeYe

 

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#30 ]2eDeYe

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Posted 14 December 2008 - 12:14 PM

Road trips rule... :D

Wish I had more time for them these days...

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Whenever I think that I'm out of my mind for putting this much time and money into an old Datsun, all I have to do is look some of your threads to know that I'm not nearly as whack as you are.

You're going to skin a few knuckles, stand up too fast and bump your head, hunt around the floor for the nuts and bolts you dropped, invent a few new cuss words and when you're finished you'll say "That wasn't so hard after all!"


#31 slodat

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Posted 14 December 2008 - 02:03 PM

I love reading your stories!!

There is talk of a Datsun weekend meet in Eureka, CA this summer. It is happening, but the details aren't sorted out just yet. 400 miles down 101!!
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#32 mklotz70

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Posted 15 December 2008 - 05:17 AM

Fig......great reading!! :) Thanks!

Slo...now that sounds like fun! :)
Don't have to be too bright to be me!! :D
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#33 LeDevil

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Posted 15 December 2008 - 12:38 PM

Another good story :thumbsup:
Quote Datzenmike: I like 'em round and in pairs too. :D

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#34 Phlebmaster

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Posted 16 December 2008 - 12:44 PM

I like your stories. :)
Thanks, Aaron
Life is about making dreams come true, stop dreaming and make life happen. ;)
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#35 Figbuck

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Posted 16 December 2008 - 03:00 PM

Yeah, I read about that Datsun Weekend. It sounds like it would be worth doing. I know most all of the Northern California back roads. I will have to look for some pics of my excursions for those stories! It ain't a thread if it don't have pics... right?

I'm still rummaging around in the big box of photographs and I came up with a few that brought back great memories. I'm not complaining, but 2008 will not be a year that I have especially fond memories of. When I look at these pictures, I am reminded of particular days and times when things were good and everybody seemed to be doing well.

I got turned on to sports cars and racing when I was about 9 or 10 years old. I belonged to the Central YMCA in downtown San Francisco. I was a member of the Swim Club and our sponsor was young Chinese/American guy named Boni. He lived in Chinatown and spoke all these dialects of Chinese but also grew up on the streets and spoke english like we all did with no hint of an accent. He was about 21 or so and had a brand new Austin-Healy 3000.

One time, another kid and I went with him up to Sacramento for some Y Club deal. Driving up Highway 80 out past Vacaville, maybe by Dixon, he rolled it on and we were wide eyed as the speedo went past 110 MPH. That thing was so low to the ground, and the howling dual exhausts were right under the floor, it made your heart pound from adreniline. Ten years old and I was hooked on speed!

On Saturdays after our swim club workouts, we used to go up into a room with no windows that we used for our club meetings. Boni set up a 16mm movie projector and we cut the lights off. Every week Boni brought these films about cars and racing. We used to watch black and white documentaries of vintage Formula One racing in Europe. There were color films sponsored by Miller High Life Beer, The Champagne of Bottles Beers... If You Got the Time We Got the Beer!! They were films of the first NASCAR races, only they called them stock cars. Film of the first Daytona 500s run on the sand at the beach and later races with Richard Petty and Fireball Roberts at Talladega, or The Lady In Black, Darlington. The stuff I liked the most were the yearly documentaries of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

When I was in the Army, stationed in Monterey, I got turned on to Laguna Seca Raceway. The first races I saw there in the '70s were early IMSA (International Motor Sports Assn.) races and the CanAm Series. In the '80s I got hooked on AMA Motorcycle Road Racing and the CART IndyCar series, but still sports car endurance racing was it for me. Through the years I was very lucky to ride fast motorcycles at Laguna and then Sears Point Raceway in Sonoma. After racing bikes I lost all desire to have or drive cars. Motorcycles feed the need for speed for way less money. The Late Great IMSA champ and Indy veteran, Al Holbert used to say: Horsepower equals cubic dollars. Unless you can afford 600 or 800HP, we are not really talking about going fast.

So here are some photos of a couple cars that I followed for all the years they ran them until the IMSA sanctioning body got sold. Some of my track rat buddies and I use to have a saying: The worst day at the race track is still better than the best day at work. I used to drive my truck to the races for Friday Qualifying and sleep the camper all weekend, engaging in the important things in life, watching hot girls, fast cars, drinking cold beer and hanging in the pits watching teams thrash on their machines.

These were some good days and good times. I wish I could convey the sound of twin turboed Porche sixes screaming down through the world famous corkscrew at Laguna, or the chirp, chirp of the waste gate on the Nissans backing into the slow corners at Sears Point Raceway. These pictures don't give you the smell of race gas, castor based race oils, scrubbed in sintered brake pads or toasted clutches.

Here is a series of pics from some of the best days of my life. Great days with no bullshit, only sunshine, racing drama and knowing you witnessed a little part of history.

I think they ran a prototype of this car in '83 with no sponsorship, white paint with numbers and no stickers. It qualified but blew up early in the race. In '84 they had a sponsor with California Cooler. This car used a part of the rules to exploit a four cylindar turbo with a ton of boost. This car was bloody quick and so freaking loud. The first races it qualified on the pole and ran away from the field until it blew up. Still it was an awesome car.

Posted Image

The paddock at Sears Point.

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Rolling out of the paddock at Sears.

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Screaming down through the old turn 10 at Sears point, full throttle.

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The 1984 year, Electromotive Engineering fielded this car. I believe Jeff Brabham drove. It was the first version of many Nissans for years to come that would re write the record books with number of pole positions, race wins, driver and race win streaks as well as championships.

Shot in the paddock at the spring race at Laguna.

Posted Image

Rolling out of the paddock at Sears to qualify on the pole.

Posted Image

Now this is an historic shot from the outside of the track, top of the hill at the Corkscrew at Laguna. This is the little short shoot right at the top before you hook a blind hard left into the Corkscrew. You are hard on the gas probably in top gear after charging up the hill, only to drop 800 feet back down the other side. The next year after this, they completely reconfigured the infield section where the lakes are in this photo to change the length of the track from 1.87 Miles to Grand Prix length at about 2.43 Miles.

Posted Image

Another hundred feet up the track, hard on the brakes, waste gate chirping and carbon brakes squealing, a split second before diving into the corkscrew.

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Crossing the start finish line at Sears Point. Flat out!

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Up the hill through the old turn 1 at Sears. The cars were not only quick and fast but they built them to live for three hours of racing and spank the Porche 962s.

Posted Image

I panned this one right at the stripe to take the checker flag and race win.

Posted Image

These shots are the short uphill section after the Carousel, hard on the gas in fourth with the turbo lit.

Posted Image

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OK Motorsports fans, I don't know how to embed YouTube so you are going the have to click on this link...

dA2Eq7uwY_8&feature=related

_M2ibevE5PU

Edited by Figbuck, 05 January 2012 - 12:04 PM.
embeded video

"What ever you do, don't add up what you are spending! :D
J2eDeYe

 

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#36 Phlebmaster

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Posted 16 December 2008 - 03:12 PM

You know what? I feel the same way about 2008, but I like the way you are able to turn your (and our) attention to the better years. Thanks!! :D

I wish I could drive one of those race cars. :lol:
Thanks, Aaron
Life is about making dreams come true, stop dreaming and make life happen. ;)
MY_YOUTUBE_VIDEOS :D
To keep an opened mind- speculation is devine.
Assumptions always lead to a dead end!

#37 slodat

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Posted 16 December 2008 - 04:26 PM

Figbuck, thanks for sharing these stories!
:|: '69 521 :|: '78 KC :|: '92 SE-R :|:

#38 ]2eDeYe

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Posted 16 December 2008 - 06:12 PM

Those are some badass racecars :cool:

Smokin' Joe's House of Datto's

Picture004-5sml.jpg
Member- *Japanese Trucking Association*

**DATSUN FAQ** ~ If ya know it, post it ~ If ya don't know it, learn it ~

ratsun.net rising sun stickers                     ratsun business cards order thread

620 KA24 Motor Mount Swap Brackets

1977 620 KingCab Deluxe KA24DE Swap - Refresh and cleanup
1978 620 kingcab 4x4 - KA24E SAS w/Dana 44 front and Toyota rear

1967 RL411 Station Wagon

 

Whenever I think that I'm out of my mind for putting this much time and money into an old Datsun, all I have to do is look some of your threads to know that I'm not nearly as whack as you are.

You're going to skin a few knuckles, stand up too fast and bump your head, hunt around the floor for the nuts and bolts you dropped, invent a few new cuss words and when you're finished you'll say "That wasn't so hard after all!"


#39 cheg

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Posted 16 December 2008 - 06:28 PM

figbuck you should write a book.. i would buy a copy :lol:

#40 Edz280zx

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Posted 16 December 2008 - 07:19 PM

I agree man. I'd buy you're book.
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