by Nelson Holmes
HUERFANO- If you’re reading this it means that I’ve successfully flown this little piece under the radar and gotten it into the Huerfano World Journal. This modest feat has become more difficult since Mr. and Mrs. Orr (prior to moguldom known simply as Brian and Gretchen) have established themselves as the media kingpins of the county. There was a time when I could walk a self-serving bit of grammatically hobbled journalistic drivel in the front door; Brian would greet me with an inky handshake, his eyes hidden by his green visor, and he’d run to Gretchen yelling “stop the presses!” Now, on occasion they remember my name. I don’t fault them though; I know it’s hard keeping that folksy, personal touch, thing going when all but four or five county residents now write for the paper. I just miss those good old days when stopping by to say “hi” didn’t require that I have my people talk to their people. As for why this article is self serving… just note the last paragraph following this sad and tedious saga.
I have come to understand that Huerfano County can be a little hard on vehicles. Mud, snow, and small knife-like stones can beat anyone’s automotive budget into submission. And, unfortunately, I suffer from a genetic syndrome that causes me to be the last owner of any vehicle I buy. I swear that I’ve heard autos whimper and cringe the moment I set foot on a car lot. Well, it seems that the old Dodge Caravan I was driving decided that suicide was preferable to logging more miles with me so she let her oil pump stop and she expired with knocks and clanks. The old girl now sits as a lawn ornament on Hwy 69; calling attention to the plight of mistreated mini-vans everywhere.
My buddy, Paul, then lent me his Saturn. Alas, we went to high school together so he’s aware of my “condition” and he made sure that my hands of death didn’t linger too long on his steering wheel.
I’m currently commuting in a 1973 Mini Winnebago which might meet the mileage standards of Brunei or Saudi Arabia. Driving this behemoth into the wind, with its cinderblock-like aerodynamics, and you can actually watch the gas gauge sink inexorably to empty. I have also found, to my bank account’s dismay, that it is likely that the tires on the old RV were the original rubber. There is, however, a supply to be found at the Valhalla Wall Mart, right next to the Holy Grail display. I do have an old truck, lingering in an automotive coma. I love her and, with any luck, I’ll be driving her soon. It’s just that she, too, is a gas guzzling gal and I worry that my lucky neighbors (roughly a mile away) can hear her every time I start her up.
So, my self-serving plea: if any of you dear readers happens to have an aesthetically challenged vehicle (preferably front or four wheel drive) that runs but looks like home-made sin, is capable of gas mileage that approaches the double digits, or even a running vehicle that you’d take pleasure in knowing would suffer a cruel, slow, tortuous demise… please call my people at the World Journal. Price is not an issue (as long as it’s under $100 and you’re amenable to terms) and donations are, gratefully, accepted.