"(My dad) was always reading pulp western and science fiction magazines and in the process came across a story that said located way out in the middle of the desert wasteland near Lovelock, Nevada, there existed an ancient cave that had at onetime within it's cavern depths the skeletal remains of giant humans, red haired humans of a huge size, eight or ten foot tall or more. He said the women would have been twice as tall as my mother at 4 foot 11 inches who also had red hair. My buddy and I, the near to graduating and deeply educated super-bright intellectual powerhouses that we were, after hearing the story, like someone driven to see the world's largest ball of yarn, decided we couldn't live quietly the rest of our lives if we didn't go see the caves and its contents ourselves. So, with no real clue as to what we were doing, off we went, using the camper for comfort and the jeep to traverse the wasteland to find red haired skeletons twice the height of my red haired mother."
Paragraph five. below
"In February, 1931, a Lovelock resident informed Reid of a large skeleton and Lovelock Cave. (The skeleton) was excavated with great care and all the bones were recovered. Before removing it, Reid measured it in situ and it proved to be '7 feet 7 or 6 inches in height. The difference of one inch is due to the matter of being unable to determine if the toes, lying upward, had been bent or were erect.' It had been buried in a shroud and covered with a dark substance, perhaps charcoal, which had been mixed with 'some balsam or oil.' Lying supine, the body lay with its head to the west, with the feet pointing North 77 East (MS June 1, 1931)."
The Case for the Redheaded Giants (page 166)
A few years out of high school a buddy and I went on an all summer long excursion through Mexico. We bought a used 1951 panel truck that was in pretty good shape and fixed it up inside like a camper with bunks, a portable toilet, and a nice little cooking area. We ended up seeing the pyramids in Mexico City, the Great Pyramid of Cholula, Palenque, and a whole bunch of Maya ruins in the Yucatan including Chichen Itza and the it should be famous but unheard of and seldom visited Maya ruins of Oxkintok. We stopped whenever we wanted and stayed as long as we wanted. Compared to most of the people in the countryside we came across, as well as the locals in the towns we went through, we had all the money we needed to spend on anything we wanted including gas, food, lodging, girls, and beer. Days turned into weeks, weeks into months. Eventually we made a decision to return home. We headed north along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico through Vera Cruz then westward inland toward central Mexico turning north along the spine of the Sierra Madres crossing into the U.S. at the Nogales gate. By then the summer was all but gone.
Several years before, around the same time my high school days were getting numbered, that is, on a count down to being just about over, but well before my buddy and I decided to go on our road trip to Mexico together as attested to above, the two of us began laying down the roots of our friendship. As a precursor to that Mexico trip, one day we borrowed his father's pick-up truck that had a camper on the back called a Telescopic Tuk-A-Way. What a Tuk-A-Way was, was a fully equipped camper with a stove, sink, table, lights, bunks, and fridge. It was built in such a way that the height could be adjusted up or down by using a crank. When driving the top could be kept in the lower position, the same height at the truck cab. When parked the camper could be cranked up creating all kinds of comfortable interior living space and head room.
After borrowing the camper we stocked up on every imaginal piece of pre-quickie mart junk food that we could find, then drove up to the high desert ranch owned by my Stepmother to borrow the ranch jeep. Originally my buddy and I were hoping big-time to snag-off my stepmother's early model 1940s four wheel drive Ford wooden station wagon she bought brand new back in the 40s from the factory to use for our whole trip, start to finish. It had been in storage for years and I had been bragging about it over-and-over to my buddy, at least since I bought and started restoring my own woodie between the 10th and 11th grade. I told him the last time I saw my stepmother's wagon it was just sitting around in a garage some place gathering dust. Because of that dust it was washed and waxed on occasion, otherwise, it went unused and unmoved. However, when push came to shove, I was told somewhere along the way the woodie had simply just up and disappeared and unusual in my stepmother's actions toward me, mum about the whole thing. That was a real loss, and for me, with my stepmom's silence and the woodie gone, it hit both ways.
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After arriving at the ranch and my buddy and I playing a few of the two dozen or more slot machines with little or no luck that my stepmother had stashed away in a secret hidden room associated with the bar and dance hall, having lunch, and talking with some of the Hostesses while taking in a lot of cleavage, also with little or no luck, we removed the front driveshaft from the jeep for easier towing per the ranch foreman's suggestion and hooked the jeep to the back of the truck. Then, without staying overnight or availing ourselves with any or all of the ranch amenities offered by my stepmother, and as much as my buddy would have liked to have done otherwise, i.e., hostess availing, we took off, I think with my buddy sporting a bump in his pants for the first hundred miles of our drive northbound upwards through the state of California along the east side of the Sierras.
Our destination? Lovelock, Nevada, about 80 or 90 miles east of Carson City. Why Lovelock? Because of something I overheard from my dad one day. He was always reading pulp western and science fiction magazines and in the process came across a story that said located way out in the middle of the desert wasteland near Lovelock, Nevada, there existed an ancient cave that had at onetime within it's cavern depths the skeletal remains of giant humans, red haired humans of a huge size, eight or ten foot tall or more. He said the women would have been twice as tall as my mother at 4 foot 11 inches who also had red hair. My buddy and I, the near to graduating and deeply educated super-bright intellectual powerhouses that we were, after hearing the story, like someone driven to see the world's largest ball of yarn, decided we couldn't live quietly the rest of our lives if we didn't go see the caves and its contents ourselves. So, with no real clue as to what we were doing, off we went, using the camper for comfort and the jeep to traverse the wasteland to find red haired skeletons twice the height of my red haired mother.
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And what a trip it was. Still in high school, no adult supervision, and underage we went to Reno, Virginia City, and Lake Tahoe, all cities or towns full of casinos, bars, and strip clubs. We even went to an illegal brothel just outside Carson City, the state capitol of Nevada by the way, illegal or not, with of course, no luck (they kicked us out) --- a brothel that turned out to be the forerunner to the infamous Moonlite BunnyRanch.
The very next morning in Carson City, at a Denny's type place only local, having breakfast, a tall, exceptionally good looking and statuesque woman with maybe eight years on us, making her roughly 25 or 26, and exquisitely dressed as though from the night before, stepped up to our booth. All the while, without breaking eye contact looking at me, she gracefully waved her hand as though requesting to sit down saying, "May I?" Nodding in approval with no reason not to, she sat down directly across the table from me pushing my buddy away from his eggs and bacon with the side of her more than shapely hips while picking up a slice of his toast, taking a bite and saying she had seen us the night before when we came into the establishment. Making it clear she was sure she recognized me and that we had mutual acquaintances, she was wondering why I was in Carson City. Apparently at one time she had been loosely associated with Brenda Allen as well as Pancho Barnes and her "Happy Bottom Riding Club," and through that association, knew my mother (meaning my stepmother). She basically wanted to know if my "mother" was contemplating a move into northern Nevada, and if so when and why.
All this time my buddy is sitting there with his mouth hanging open not knowing what was going on. I told the lady why we were there, to go out to the cave of the red haired giants. This time her jaw fell open, then she started to laugh, and laugh and laugh, reaching the point her eyes began streaming tears down her cheeks. She waved a man dressed in a suit over to our table who had been standing off to the side across the room by a slot machine for sometime and told him what I told her. She got up, said thanks for the toast, and the two of them left. My buddy wanted to know what the hell was going on. I shrugged my shoulders like I was in the dark just as much as he was.
When we went outside the same woman who had been in the restaurant was sitting in the passenger seat of the top down jeep as nonchalantly as any woman could with a beautiful set of long bare legs fully exposed as far up as as her dress would allow. She apologized for what had gone on inside, that she was sorry, and stuck in that she always thought highly of my mother. She said to make up for it, because of what she did to earn a living, she made all kinds of contacts and through those contacts knew people who had access to get us close to seeing things connected to the cave that most people would never have access to --- even if she had to work to do it. I don't know anything about her having to work to do it, nor was I was sure if she was talking about herself, the cave, or both, but getting my buddy and I access to see things others would never have a chance too is exactly what we wanted.
She told us to wait in the truck, to make ourselves at home, and that she would be back as soon as she could. Sometime later she returned. She instructed us to take the jeep with a full tank of gas and the front drive shaft installed and go to some honky-tonk dump of a bar out on 50 that night and wait. Which we did. Around ten o'clock she came in with some unshaven old fat guy looking all the same as an ancient about-to-die-any-second Orson Welles and some buff looking older than us but still young dude that resembled an out of work upscale hotel cabana boy. If I had to describe the lady, in a complete change of persona from that morning, and although I couldn't have described her as such in those days, now however, in the more contemporary terms of today, remembering I was only seventeen or eighteen at the time, I would have to say she was an exact duplicate of, and in a foretelling of events to come, Lara Croft, Tomb Raider.
THE BROTHEL LADY, LOOKING ALL THE SAME AS LARA CROFT, TOMB RAIDER
The Orson Welles guy wanted two-hundred bucks up front without disclosing what any of it was for other than how it related, according to him, to the Lovelock Caves and what was found in it. The woman said he'd get his money after the results. Me and my buddy never heard anything about any two-hundred bucks prior to sitting down in the bar. She kicked me under the table making it known for me not to worry. After everybody was in agreement as to our roles and the money, of which none exchanged hands, we finished our beers and all went outside to the jeep with the cabana boy getting into the driver's seat (news to me), Orson Welles on the shotgun side, with me squeezing as best I could in the back, the lady getting on a dirt bike and my buddy opting out, saying he would get back to Carson City as best he could. Then, leaving my buddy, we took off, all holding on for dear life as the cabana boy raced off across the open desert sans roads in the pitch black night with the dirt bike howling parallel to the side of the jeep's every move.
After crossing what seemed like a lot of the desert to me over some pretty rough terrain we started working our way up the side of a mountain ending up outside of what looked in the dark to me like a miner's shack, a miner's shack that actually seemed to have a fairly good access road that the cabana boy somehow seemed to miss or ignore on our way up. When we got out the cabana boy left the keys in the ignition and with nobody looking as I got out I took the keys and slipped them into my pocket, eventually pushing them down into the top of my boot. We went inside, a couple of lanterns were lit and the two men, having some semblance of light began lifting up boards from the floor exposing a rather large dark hole.
The older man, the Orson Welles type, dropped one of the lanterns down into the hole tied to a rope, then he himself, in surprisingly agile manner, turned and climbed down a somewhat rickety ladder into the hole. The hole was about ten feet square and about ten feet deep with the sides paralleling the the sides and front and back of the shack. One side of the hole had what appeared to be an extension or tunnel dug under and away from the house. Once the man was at the bottom he motioned me to join him. Soon all four of us were in the hole. Untying the lantern, following the man's lead we headed into the cave that looked all the same to me as being a onetime tunnel for a mine, with the classical four-by-four rough-hewn beams every so often built up the walls and across the top of the tunnel seemingly put into place to brace or shore up the place.
Some distance into the tunnel and all the while having walked down an angling slope that even hurt the front of my legs because of my feet being bent at such a down angle while walking, we came across and entered a large natural and for sure not man made cavern. One portion of the cavern area was outfitted with old wooden furniture pieces like it possibly had been a laboratory or a workshop at onetime, with tables similar to work benches and other pieces of wooden furniture with drawers and cabinet doors. How they got in the cavern or why they were there was never made clear. The two men went into a darkened offshoot of the cavern, of which there were several, and returned carrying a long heavy wood planked box about five feet long with rope handles at both ends. They set it up on one of the work benches and undid a lock, but before lifting open the lid the Orson Welles man turned to the woman and said, "Two hundred bucks, right?" She responded with a yes answer and with that he opened the lid moving the light of the lantern over the contents.
Inside the box, with no apparent tie downs, was an unevenly placed row of four human skulls, or at least what looked like human skulls, all facing forward as I looked at it. The skull on the far left of the row as I faced the box was an almost pure white albeit slightly yellowed skull, one that appeared to me to be for all practical purposes, a normal human skull. The other three skulls, although of varying sizes relative to each other in expanding steps, albeit marginally so, were huge, with one, the second one from the right as I faced the box really huge. Of course, at the time I was only an eighteen year old boy yet to graduate from high school with no formal education into human skeletal remains nor experience being around any, but to me the skulls appeared undoctored and real. For years, hanging on one of the walls of the ranch house was a longhorn skull as well as scattered around on shelves a number of skulls from a variety of animals including a prairie dog, a cougar or a mountain lion, and even a skull of a rattlesnake with it's jaw wide open. As a young pre-teen boy I used to look at them, pick them up and handle them all the time, or at least on a regular basis, especially so my all time favorite, a museum quality fully assembled and mounted fox bat skeleton my stepmother bought just for me as a comparison to the flying machine of Leonardo Da Vinci. In any case I wasn't totally unfamiliar with skulls per se.' But, if they were truly genuine or not, to this day I couldn't really guarantee it, although in my gut I still feel that they were.
While standing there innocently gazing down at the skulls the next thing I knew the woman extinguished the lantern throwing the cave into total and utter darkness. Almost exactly as the light went out I heard what I presumed was the lantern crashing to the floor ensuring it couldn't be relit. Within seconds of that crash I could see the dim light of a small flashlight, possibly a pen-light, most likely being held by the woman, moving quickly through and up the tunnel. As soon as I saw the light I was right behind her. With the light of the lantern in the room above the hole casting some light I could see her scurrying up the ladder and before she had a chance to pull it up I was on it climbing to the floor of the room. No sooner than I had than she pulled the ladder up, blew out the lantern, ran through the door to the outside and her dirt bike. The thing is, just as I had removed the keys to the jeep someone had taken the keys to the bike or rendered it inoperative. Suddenly she stopped and just stood there looking at me for a few seconds then ran toward the jeep. No keys there either. When I showed her I had the keys she became my best buddy. It seems in the dark, and her plan all along, she swiped one of the skulls expecting to use the dirt bike as her get away. Now she needed me because as we both figured the two men would be out of the hole and bursting through the cabin door any second. Right or wrong, thinking the men would put me together with her as an accomplice, like the woman, I thought I should best get out of there as quick as possible as well. We both got in the jeep and with me driving we headed down the mountain as fast as we could. Off to the east the sun was just breaking the horizon casting a subdued twilight all over the desert allowing me to see just enough to drive at a fairly good speed. It also gave the men the same advantage, but as far as I knew the only mode of transportation back at the shack was the dirt bike. No sooner had I thought that than the bike was cutting across the desert right toward us. Within minutes the bike with cabana boy driving was almost on top of us.
I knew I would have no chance against the dirt bike cutting across the raw desert. I did however, figure the jeep should have a higher top speed on the graded road, so I decided to stick to the road and make as much dust and dirt trailing off behind me as I could. When I saw the headlight of the dirt bike in the dust right behind us I hit the brakes as hard as I could and the next thing I knew the bike was sliding along side the stopped jeep, motor still running and no rider. I shut off the jeep, took the keys as a precaution, and went looking for cabana boy. No sooner had I found him in the scrub brush than the woman was on the bike and gone. After seeing he was still alive I ran back to the jeep thinking I should get out of there as quick as I could when I all of a sudden a shot rang out. I stopped in my tracks and the cabana boy was immediately on me with a pistol in my back telling me to lay in the dirt, which I did. Soon as I laid down and he was in front of me with his back toward me heading to the jeep I quickly buried the keys in the bushes off to the side. When he got to the jeep and discovered the keys were gone he was back in a second with the gun in my face. I told him if the keys were gone that the woman must have taken them. With that he kicked dirt and rocks in my face making contact with his boot against the side of my head as I turned away as best I could.
THE CAVE ENTRANCE. CLICK IMAGE TO INCREASE SIZE ---
Sometime later, after being out, I groggily came to, sitting up with the blazing hot sun burning down on me, all my clothes gone, dried blood matted in my hair on the side of my head, and no sign of cabana boy anywhere in sight. After a quick search there was no sign of my clothes either. I figured he must have gone through every stitch of them searching for the keys, but why he didn't just discard them somewhere close by I have no clue. Bloodied head or not I was glad he didn't just up and shoot me, or worse yet as I viewed it, in that I was still alive, find me amorously attractive in my unconscious and nude state. I dug around for the keys, started the jeep and headed in the direction I thought the main road should be, sitting all the while on a super hot sun heated drivers seat with my bare butt.
The night my buddy and I went into the bar we threw our wallets into one of the two tool boxes in the jeep that were built-in in the back just above the rear wheels. When I looked inside my wallet was still there, my buddy apparently having retrieved his that night. Also in the tool box was some change I threw in there at the same time. Driving back I was able to locate a relatively discrete payphone I could use considering my total lack of attire. In that the camper didn't have a shower it just so happened we rented a motel room in Carson City for the night. When I called the motel, my buddy, because I hadn't returned, had taken it upon himself to rent the room for another night. When I told him my predicament he came out with the camper and my clothes. With that, whether we had a paid for room for another night or not we both figured we best get out of there. We picked up what was left at the motel, hooked the jeep up to the truck and headed back down 395 as fast as we could.
When I caught up with my dad I told him what my buddy and I had done, red-haired giants and all, he didn't know what I was talking about. He couldn't remember any story regarding red-haired giants or ever telling me about it. Later he went back through a whole pile of books and magazines he had read recently and when he saw me again he told me he couldn't find any reference to red-haired giants in any of them.
There is a page I have online titled Washoe Zepher that finds me in Virginia City about ten years after the above events. The very last line in the very last paragraph of Washoe Zepher reads, "I walked back to the van, the teacher drove home the next day, and I opted to stay."
That ten years later in Virginia City ended up after having been on a road trip over some period of time with an inner city elementary school teacher I knew who owned a nearly new Volkswagen Westfalia Camper. Two of her favorite authors were Mark Twain and Louis L'Amour. Both authors had spent a lot of time in and around Virginia City writing about the general area and the Comstock Lode. Twain himself had even written extensively on the Washoe Zephyr. When she overheard I was headed that way she bargained the use of us sharing her Volkswagen camper, among other things, for the opportunity of the two of us traveling together. When the time suddenly came up that she had to hotfoot it as fast as she could back home down Highway 395 to Los Angeles and her job, we were in Virginia City. When I say I opted to stay, in order for her to pick up 395 from Virginia City she had to go to Carson City, and when she did I actually went as far as Carson City with her, maybe 15 miles down the road from Virginia City.
In a round about way I knew a few people who worked in the small community of Mound House, about half way between Carson City and Virginia City, and through them able to finagle the use of a jeep. I felt I needed a jeep, or at least a four wheel drive vehicle because I intended to, after the teacher left, if I could, search down and find the the miner's shack that figured so prominently in the above story. It had been ten years or more since those events happened, and even then a great deal of it was done either in the dark, kicked unconscious, or naked.
After a couple of days of either searching around and asking around or both, of which nobody remembered anything about any miner's shack anywhere around any area I was talking about, I was finally able to find a road that I thought should lead me up to where it was. However, no matter how much I searched from the jeep there was no shack. When I literally reached the end of the road where I was certain the shack should have been and wasn't, I began an ever widening ground search. Eventually I came across what appeared to be a onetime rather large man-made hole that contained a lot of burnt, charred, and weathered wood along with other remains that taken together easily could be what was left of a onetime shack.
Working my way through the debris I was able to peer down into the hole. The thing is, when I was there ten years before, the hole was at least ten feet deep, maybe twelve. Now though, the one I was looking into was at the most eight feet deep and maybe less. So too, nowhere was there any sign of a tunnel leading away from the hole in any direction. Making sure I could get back out I dropped down into the hole just to make sure I wasn't missing anything. When I turned around to climb back out I was looking into the barrel of a 12 gauge pistol-grip pump shotgun, a 12 gauge pistol-grip pump shotgun being held by a woman. When she asked what I was doing I answered, "Reliving my childhood and hoping to continue into my manhood."
Before I could say anything she said she knew the jeep I had been driving and it wasn't mine. Giving her the name of the owner and that it was loaned to me to do just what I was doing, she seemed to renege, at least enough that she pointed the shotgun away from my face and let me out of the hole. We walked to her car where she had a cooler and a few cold beers. Sitting in the shade we shared stories. As it turned out, according to the woman, who was pretty much a girl in that she was so young, the Lara Croft looking woman who absconded with the skull that night was her aunt. According to what she told me, a few days after the stolen skull event, of which nobody ever knew it was a stolen skull event, someone found her motorcycle off the road near Topaz Lake, thirty or so miles south of Carson City. There was no sign of her nor has she ever shown up. She said when she heard I was in town, "ex-naked boy," she followed me to see what I was up to figuring I was connected somehow with the disappearance of her aunt. She said no one at the brothel was talking and the registration at the motel in Carson City led nowhere. She also said that my description of the Orson Welles man and the cabana boy didn't sound like anybody she could remember seeing around Lovelock or Carson City.
Part way into the conversation she folded back the carpet in the trunk of her car pulling out and unwrapping a well preserved plastic-bag wrapped 9X12 manila envelope hidden way in the back. Inside the envelope were five black-and-white 8X10 glossy photographs. Two of the photos were a front and back view of a human skull with a ruler indicating the skull was of a very large size. With the ruler was a U.S. quarter. Of the remaining three photos one depicted a left side of a skull and one a right side of what appeared to be the same skull, again with a ruler along with a quarter indicating a skull of a very large size. There was no way of knowing if the ruler or the quarter shown in any of the photos or the photos themselves were doctored. The fifth photo was of a woman looking all the same as I remember the Lara Croft woman. She was holding a skull, and relative to her was easily seen to be a skull of an extremely large size. Closer examination of the photo seemed to not only show the numbers on the ruler were backward, but also slightly off kilter from perfectly straight on, indicating the possibility of it having been self-taken in a large mirror, that is, taken without a second live person photographer. Nothing else in the photos were a give away as to when or where they were taken.
When I asked her how it was she came into possession of the photos she told me that about five years before in the food court at the airport in San Francisco or Oakland she was waiting to catch a flight to Reno when a cleaning or maintenance woman holding a broom and dustpan pushing a cart full of cleaning materials, rags, and squirt bottles, bent over looking as though she picked up a small envelope from the floor right next to where she was sitting. The cleaning woman handed her the envelope saying she thought she had dropped it. She hadn't, but before she could hand it back the cleaning woman was gone leaving her cart. Oddly enough, although she had never seen the envelope before, it had her name typed in caps on the front and the back was sealed closed. The only thing inside was a fully developed short section of a black and white five frame film strip cut from a 35 mm roll. Using the facilities of a photography lab at the University of Nevada, Reno that a friend had access to, she printed and developed the photos herself. She said before she caught her flight she asked food court in charge people about the cart left at her table. The cleaning woman it was assigned to --- and not the woman who handed her the envelope --- said she had been searching for the cart because somehow someone removed it from her station.
The shotgun wielding woman then told me she had no idea where her aunt was or if she was still alive or not. Nor did she know where the skull was, although the last part, not knowing where the skull was, for me somehow, coming from the woman, didn't seem to ring quite true. I had the funniest feeling that the same way she pulled the envelope with the photographs out of the trunk of her car, she could just as easily pulled the skull out of the trunk as well.
THE CASE FOR THE REDHEADED GIANTS
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THE BOY AND HIS JEEP: ADVENTURES IN THE DESERT
GERMAN SUBMARINE ATTACK ON HOOVER DAM
OF COBRAS, SCARABS, MASERATIS, AND ZEN
EL REY CLUB: RESORT, CASINO, BROTHEL
WORLD WAR II COMES TO REDONDO
RIDING THE CAB FORWARDS
THE FLYING TIGERS
THE BOY IN THE MAN REMEMBERS THE LEGEND
THE JEEP, SIDDHIS, AND THE SUPERNATURAL
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ROY ROGERS, DALE EVANS, PAT BRADY, NELLYBELLE
COWBOY CODE OF THE WEST
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ABANDONED JEEP AT MAYA TEMPLE SITE, GUATEMALA
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LOST SHIP OF THE DESERT
ON THE RAZOR'S
SO, DID THE WANDERLING FLY?
As to the subject of donations, for those of you who may be interested in doing so as it applies to the gratefulness of my works, I invariably suggest any funds be directed toward THE WOUNDED WARRIOR PROJECT and/or THE AMERICAN RED CROSS.
MARMON-HERRINGTON 4X4 FACTORY BUILT FORD WOOD STATION WAGON
BEFORE THE START OF WORLD WAR TWO MY STEPMOTHER BOUGHT A BRAND NEW
FOUR WHEEL DRIVE FORD WOODIE FROM THE FACTORY JUST LIKE THE ONE ABOVE
The very same day I met my soon-to-be stepmother for the very first time I was exploring around the house and grounds of her place when I came across a combination garage-workshop large enough to hold four or five cars, although at the time there were only two cars parked inside. One was a brand new late model Cadillac Fleetwood. The other car was an early model 1940s wooden Ford station wagon, albeit like no station wagon I had ever seen.
My stepmother's driver told me she ordered the woodie specifically from the Ford Motor Company because she liked going back and forth to Alaska and the Northwest Territory in Canada after she had, at onetime, developed a crush on a Sergeant Preston of the Yukon mountie type. She got a hair up her ass one day (his words, not mine) thinking it would be great to drive all the way up there. Being told she would probably need a four wheel drive vehicle she asked around and discovered Ford had some kind of a four wheel drive conversion deal with an outfit called Marmon Harrington. You ordered your woodie from the Ford factory and they would ship it down to the Marmon-Herrington plant in Indianapolis, where all of the conversion work was done. So that's what she did:
"The vehicle was stripped of its body, drivetrain, and in the case of a light-duty vehicle, the transverse front leaf spring, wishbone and front axle. Crossmembers were added to the frame to support the added weight of the four-wheel-drive transfer case as well as the installation of a beefy Warner four-speed transmission with an 11-inch clutch. The front drive axle was more or less a modified Ford rear axle with the ring-and-pinion housing offset to line up with the output shaft from the transfer case and constant velocity joints added at the axle ends to allow the wheels to steer. When the work was finished, the buyer would pay a steep premium for his new rough-terrain capability as the Marmon-Herrington conversion nearly doubled the price of a Ford wagon."
1940 Marmon-Herrington 4x4 Ford Woodie
1940 Ford Marmon-Herrington Standard Station Wagon
SOTHEBYS: Ford Marmon-Herrington Standard Station Wagon
The driver said once the car was delivered and she came into look at it she said the car was too beautiful to drive all over a bunch of rocks and mountains and changed her mind. For the most part the car just sat and far as he knew she had never driven it or rode in it. He did agree with her assessment that the car was beautiful. I open up the door and sat in it on the drivers side and after that I always knew I would have to have my own woodie. What happened to her 4X4 woodie I have never been able to clarify. Years later I was told it was discovered to be just plain gone.
THE WANDERLING'S '41 FORD SUPER DELUXE WOOD STATION WAGON
ZEN AND THE ART OF WOODIE WAGONS
RIGHT OUT OF HIGH SCHOOL, MY FIRST SPORTS CAR, A 1952 MG TD
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OF COBRAS, SCARABS, MASERATIS, AND ZEN
In the years before high school, not unlike any number of young boys growing up, I held an inordinate amount of comic book heroes and super heroes in high regard. There was, however, a comic book hero I held right up there with my favorites that fell into the heroine bracket. Her character centered around a woman who, according to the storyline, had been found near death and saved by Native Americans. She was then adopted into the Dakota Tribe who gave her the name Firehair because of her red hair.
In several places, usually in relation to Firehair, I write that both my mother and her sister had beautiful long red hair. In that they were so close together age-wise and looked so much alike almost everybody mistook them for twins. Although I do not remember much about my mother I remember my aunt very well, and because of their look alikeness I always felt I had a good idea of what my mother looked like. In conjunction with Firehair, as a young boy I always held a certain affinity towards her character because I liked to believe that my mother, with her red hair and all, would have been like her, maybe even, since I never went to her funeral, found by Indians and saved. I have repeated the same or similar like statements in a number of places scattered throughout the web, almost always related back to Firehair in some fashion. For those who may be so interested, below are five of the most notable examples:
There was another red haired female comic book character other than Firehair that showed up in my life that I liked a whole heck of a lot as well. She just never got the "screen time" like Firehair because unlike Firehair I didn't relate her to my mother, which in turn brought in all the Oedipus Complex comments, followed then by a superfluous need to reply. Nor was I reading about her at anytime that the woman of the couple I was fostered to threw a fit causing me to run away. None of those things. Her stories were published in the comic book Wings monthly and I simply read them and moved along --- except for one occasion in my works where she got caught up in an adventure that involved the Flying Tigers. That story I made a full site on. Who was the red headed woman I speak of. None other than Jane Martin, War Nurse. Like, was she hot or what:
JANE MARTIN, WAR NURSE MEETS THE FLYING TIGERS
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"The ad offered surplus jeeps for $278.00. There were literally hundreds of scams around right after the war saying you could buy surplus jeeps from $50.00 and up and that's what most of them were, scams. After looking into it my dad discovered he could actually purchase a brand new, or at least never used, World War II Jeep for $225.00 cash right off the docks in San Francisco, which in reality turned out to be not docks in San Francisco, but across the bay in the naval ship yards at Vallejo or Alameda."
WORLD WAR II SURPLUS JEEPS
NEW, STILL IN A BOX FOR $50.00
(for larger size click either image)
The classifieds and other ads that appeared in any number of publications from Popular Mechanics to Boys Life to a variety of comic books offering "Jeeps for $50.00" or any other unrealistic low amount were for the most part scams. They may not have been out-and-out purebred lies, but were worded in such a way to trick or deceive the person sending in the money for the information that they, through the firm or outfit presenting the offer, could in fact from that source purchase a jeep. Such was not the case. If you read the ads carefully they are only offering information about other sources that sell military surplus items for the government. Where some of them may have sold surplus items jeeps were not among them. Although jeeps were often depicted amongst the graphics, most information in the ads that were jeep specific was in a special little bordered off section. That is not to say surplus jeeps were not available for extremely low prices, it is just that the popular media ads were not the source directly making the jeeps available. The color ad above left calls itself "Government Reprint Services" and offers a catalog for $4.00. The catalog is either the actual printed free and sent out by the U.S. Printing Office free or a copied reprint by the firm. In either case it is being sold for $4.00 and only informs the prospective buyer where, when, and how to obtain the jeeps. They themselves, don't sell them.
$795 JEEPS. LEGITIMATE AD, ACTUAL PLACE TO SEE PRODUCT
AMAZING STORIES, FATE, THE TEXAS RANGERS,
ASTOUNDING SCIENCE FICTION
"My father seemed to spend an extraordinary amount of free time or late into the night reading pulp science fiction books like Amazing Stories or paperback novels of the old west, of which the ones about the old west were almost exclusively by L'Amour or Luke Short. I had perused lightly through books by both authors from time to time out of piles of books my dad had strewn around his place, and because he had insisted --- saying it related to my own experiences lost in the Mojave desert as a young boy --- I even read 'Mojave Crossing.'"
THE PACKSADDLE AFFAIR
TEXAS RANGERS, JUNE 1952, VOL. 47 NO. 1
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(please click images below for info on each or all) THE DESERT SHIP: A LEGEND, OR TWO
1942 UFO OVER LOS ANGELES------------------------BUCK ROGERS: HIS ORIGIN
SHIPS THAT SAILED THE DESERT------------------------ THE SECRET OF THE AZTECS
ILLUSTRATED VERSIONS OF
H.G. WELLS: THE TIME MACHINE
CLICK EITHER OF THE VERSIONS SHOWN BELOW
THE BOOTSTRAP PARADOX
The Bootstrap Paradox is a time-travel paradox wherein an object or information can exist without ever seeming to have been created. The object or piece of information in the future is taken back in time where, through the normal passage of time from the past to the future, it is retrieved to become the very object or piece of information that was brought back in the beginning.
The term originates from the expression "pulling yourself up by your bootstraps" and was used to describe the time-travel paradox in Robert A. Heinlein's short story, written under the pseudonym Anson MacDonald, titled "By His Bootstraps" that was originally published in the October 1941 issue of Astounding Science Fiction as shown above.