Sitting at their campsite, Frank and Jack talked the day over. “we agreed no weapons with” said Jack. They wondered what they would do if the local boys came as told they would. We’ve got the tent poles that we aren’t using tonight! Jack could not believe this was Frank’s solution. “We can carry those poles under our right arms so that only the metal Farrells show! They will think we have shotguns” Jack wondered if this was possible. “Is that the best idea you’ve got?” It was settled and the young men settled in their sacks under the stars on this moonlit night.
Sure enough, around midnight, the sound of slamming pickup doors was heard from the parking lot of the campground. “Well, here we go” The boys started walking towards the young toughs side by side on the pathway. Their tent poles pointed at the ground and the moonlight reflecting off of metal exposed. The metal that was just meant to join one pole to another. “ Don’t shoot till we’re a little closer” Frank said in a very loud whisper. Those small town punks took one look at us and those pickup doors slammed shut again. There was a roar of a small block engine, and the townies were gone.
Not long afterward, the town cop showed up with his squad and somewhat surprised asked: “You boys ok?” Sure, quiet night officer they answered. Puzzled and perhaps baffled that weren’t a couple of bodies lying about, the town cop nodded his head and drove off. Perhaps tipped off by the townies, perhaps just checking for the carnage. Frank and Jack decided to break camp a bit early and they stole off around midnight. Headed for the Oklahoma panhandle and close to the famous route 66. Seemed a fair and promising thing to do.
The next town was indeed in Oklahoma and it was a bright Sunday morning when Frank pulled over to the side of the road with his engine racing up and down. “What’s going on Frank?” asked Jack. It seemed the BMW did not want to connect the engine with the desired forward motion. Sitting next to one another on the ground of the well groomed grass, the boys began to disassemble the drive train of the bike. They were getting pretty good at those sorts of things. A short time later Frank announced: “It’s the woodruff key on the driveshaft, it’s sheared off!”
Looking at the Sunday afternoon one horse town was not encouraging. There seemed to be tumble weeds blowing down the short main street angled off the highway, no one was in sight and there was no traffic heard nor in sight. Great. Suddenly, A tall young man was in back of them asking “What’s the matter boys?” They looked at the young man and said rather sadly, “sheared a woodruff key on the driveshaft.” The man didn’t even blink about a motorcycle having a driveshaft and in a calm voice said: “My father owns the hardware store and I’ve got the keys, lets go see what we can do”
Astonished, they followed him and his keys as he walked down an alley to a door and opened it. Turning to them, he said: “go to that Graymills cabinet over there and pull open that top drawer. There, back in the third compartment, 8 millimeter.?.take a few” They took about three of them. Back to the bikes they put the key in the driveshaft and fit with a perfect ‘snick’ They turned to eagerly thank the tall young man and he was nowhere in sight. It came out as: “Hey than…were did he go?” It wasn’t until decades later Jack laughed and finally got the line “My father owns the hardware store and I’ve got the keys” Of course, He owns everything!
(To be continued) Jack Gator