Our camper, in better days

We had graduated from travel trailers to a slide-in camper for our pickup. The kids loved it because they could  enjoy the freedom of moving around and doing things as we drove. When not in use, I removed it from the pickup and had it setting on four 55 gal drums. In1970 we had a small tornado come across the farm which did a lot of damage. The storm picked up that camper and rolled it all the way down to the lake. It was totaled, so we purchased a small motor home to replace it. For the next fourteen years it was the recreation vehicle we used. It was fully self-contained. We could stop in a Wilderness area and have a hot shower, cook supper and have our own bathroom. We went to the coast and camped on the beach, we went to Florida for a convention, it took us to all of the telephone campouts and we just went everywhere in it. We even used it as a moving van when Sus and Bruce moved back from Albuquerque. The trip to Florida was during the gas shortage and I installed an additional 50 gal gas tank, which gave me a range of 1000 miles. I was not going to get miles from home and run out of gas. It was on a Dodge chassis and got 14 miles per gallon which was tops for a motor home.

1936 Ford at the ranch

My interest in antique autos continued, I wanted to have an early V-8 Ford and heard about an original 1936 four door Ford for sale in Fort Worth. I went over there and could not find it. I went up and down North Main in Fort Worth, asking about the car at every used car lot and no one had seen it. Finally at one place a black man who was wiping down the used cars, came over to me and said he had seen it and a man a few blocks away had it. He described the house but did not know the address. I went over there and at the third house I hit pay dirt. Mr. Harris said,yes he had a 36  Ford and he would sell it. We went down to the garage where he opened the door, and there sat a perfect original 1936 4-door deluxe sedan. There was a metal sign on the back license that said “Remember Pearl Harbor.” He started it and it fired off right away and sounded great. Even the old tube radio worked fine. The body was without a dent. We went back upstairs and sat at their breakfast table and negotiated price. We talked from about 11am until about 3pm. We finally struck a deal. I paid him $85 for the car and he gave me the title. Charlotte drove me over the next day and I drove my prize back home.