For those who have warmed there weary bodies here for some time you will recall Carl Edwards and his virus laden computer. I said these were chapters from an unfinished book. After digging through my enormous pile of unpublished debris I found more chapters. This is one chapter given in two parts
Carter Edwards sat himself down on the last porch step that wasn't cracked, splintered or broken. The proverbial black cloud of self-pity and despair floated lazily about Carter's head. He felt downright helpless.
When Carter last thumbed his way to town he noticed an ad in the window of The McComb County Bank & Savings Depository about the big dance in Berferd coming up soon and as usual, Carter had no money, no car and of course no date.
Frustrated, he stared at the pile of dilapidated cars strewn about around the Edward's homestead, thinking if just one of the vehicles would run, just one, he could take care of that all too illusive rendezvous with one of the local gals.
"Cars, cars, cars," Carter moaned to himself. "All these stupid cars, you'd think one of them would run. I should of stayed in that stupid school and learned me how to fix ‘em."
The young man realized there had been more years of his life without school than there was with and at his age that didn't carry any bragging rights. After he dropped out of Slim Whitman Industrial Arts School, Carter reasoned he had done well to learn to spell his name and count money, so staying around made little sense to him.
Life around the shack was driving him mad. The autumn wood had been cut and piled, there was little need for cleaning granny's room since she died and gramps still had not returned from his walk last spring. Carter thought long and hard about driving gramp's ‘54 Studebaker pickup, but he recalled the whack up the side of his head laid upon him several years ago for moving the truck away from the path to the back house. Carter knew if gramps ever returned it would be as soon as he touched the well worn truck. Besides, hornets had made a nest under the dashboard.
Across the backyard and down the quarter mile driveway sat about every kind of car imaginable, most stripped of one or more major part, making the vehicles useless. Half of the junkers were rolled over on the roof, resembling a field of dead bovines set out in the sun to bloat. Chevy's Fords, Plymouths and a few Ramblers filled the yard and it didn't make much difference what make they were because not a one of them served any useful purpose.
An idea suddenly grabbed Carter. He remembered seeing an ad above the pop cooler down at the filling station for a man who bought scrap metal. A dealer from Gradyville would come and pay top dollar for old cars, lawnmowers, washing machines, certain bathtubs and all things metal. Carter yelled through the screenless-screen door not to fix lunch for him and hoofed it up the driveway so he could stand out on the highway and wait for a ride. Webster McCarver just happened to be heading to Gradyville and gave him a lift.
"I'm going to sell everyone of them stupid cars back home," Carter said as he slammed the truck door, "and maybe even that stupid pickup of gramps. It'll serve him right for walking off like that. The old geezer even took the keys with him."
Webster just listened to his frustrated passenger, knowing Carter had not the sense given to most at birth. "So watcha gonna do when ya git all that money little buddy," Webster asked.
"What else. I'm going to get a car that runs and looks good too, then I'm going ta ask that Phelp's girl out. I sure had been thinking a lot about her lately," Carter replied.
"Got your eyes on anything yet, Carter?"
"Nah, but when I do, It'll have all four tires that match and I'm going to make sure the transmission is bolted down. Last pile of junk I bought lost the gearbox, still sittin' there too, right in the driveway."
"Well Carter, tell you what, if you get enough money I'll sell you my old ‘72 Buick. They're gitten a right fair price for them older cars nowadays, but I'd just as oon sell it to someone who could use it."
The two worked out a deal by the time they got to the fillin' station across the bridge that cuts over to Gradyville. Carter gave Webster a high five and slammed the door. He was sure he'd get a date now. Carter reached in to the cooler, grabbed a 7-Up and made his phone call
Melvin Bradley showed up early the next morning with his tow truck and after seeing the pile of cars down over the hillside and throughout the yard decided to return later that day with a forklift and a flatbed and proceeded to haul every last pile of automotive junk from the Edward's estate. Most of the cars died right where they were parked while the more mechanically endowed autos made it to the yard. Very few cars that entered made it back out on their own.
After twelve hours of hauling Melvin pulled a roll of twenties and peeled off 2,540 bucks from his chain drive wallet. Carter nearly fell over dead. He had never seen that much money in one pile, at least not around his house. After bills were paid, granny's stone paid for and his parents taking in account his room and board for his 20 some years he was left with nine hundred dollars and figured it was truly a gift from above.
Early the next morning the money had burned a hole so deep in his pocket that the very skin below was red and itchy so he dressed, gulped down coffee and toast and out the door he ran to catch a ride to McCarver's place. He knew exactly where he was heading after he bought the Buick.
Settle in, grab a cup of coffee and enjoy your stay here at Shelly's. The pie is great, the coffee pot is always on and soon you will find this to be the best place in town. SOON TO BE AMERICA'S MOST READ BLOG