Lawson writes . . . sharing thoughts and memories

June 26, 2012

My First Convertible

Filed under: Uncategorized — lawsonjolly @ 5:00 am

Although the church office was closed for July 4, I went to the office to prepare a devotional thought for the church picnic later that day.  I responded to a knock at the door.  It was a man seeking some financial assistance.  He explained that he was driving to California and had no gas money.  I indicated to him that our church would not be able to give that much funding for him.  He said that whatever I could do would get him up the road, and he would seek more help as he travelled.  I felt in my heart that he had no true intentions of going to California, but was just seeking some funds.

I inquired the type car he was driving.  He told me it was an old Studebaker.  He then offered to sell it to me.  Even before walking out to see it, I inquired how much he wanted.  “Well, preacher, it is an old 1949, and it is in bad shape, so I’ll take $20.00.”

It was 1962 and used car prices were low, but this couldn’t be.  I didn’t want to take advantage of him, but I  certainly was interested.  As we walked outside, I beheld this 1949 Studebaker.  And it was a convertible!  And it was yellow!  Without examining it, I exclaimed to him that it was worth more than that.  He responded that it was not, and that he would take the twenty dollars and hitchhike to California.  I then became suspicious.  Was it stolen?

He must have read my mind.  He told me that he had the title, and he had a valid driver’s license to prove it was titled in his name.  Umm . . . I was thinking.  I moved in for a closer look.  Being a little of a shade-tree mechanic I knew what I was looking for. Engine in sad shape. Weak battery.  Bad tires!  Rust everywhere!  Oil filter had been put on wrong and threads were stripped!  Better not ever remove that filter!  Seats were split!  Wiring under the hood was stripped and exposed!  What else was wrong?  Oh, it is a convertible–except there was no top to convert!  But twenty dollars, I thought.  I will have that much fun.  Besides, I might decide to restore it.

Feeling that he would never get any further up the road than where we were; that he wouldn’t find another buyer today; and knowing he was better off with the twenty dollars, we headed off (in my car) to a notary.  Deal made. I was now the owner of a yellow convertible!

Afternoon came and it was time for the church picnic.  It was a month before Judy and I were to marry, so I thought I would surprise her and so I drove the Studebaker to pick her up.  If you remember the ’49 Studebaker, it had a nose on it like the nose of a plane!  It looked fast and from out-of-space.  Judy was not too impressed.  She was skeptical from the start when she saw it, but she was still willing to go with me to the picnic.  We arrived at the park where most of the church members had  gathered for this July 4 celebration.  The convertible was the hit of the afternoon!

At dark we enjoyed fireworks and everyone started home.  I decided to drive through downtown.  I guess it was to show off my new toy!  Wouldn’t you know it?  It died  in the middle of town.  While I did my best to arouse this bomb from its sleep, I believe Judy was hiding on the floor board!  At last, I got that thing running and we went straight to her house.  I was leery of driving back to the pastorium, but I needed to prove to myself that I had gotten a bargain, so off I went, praying all the way.

I did not do much with this car after that night.  I was always going to repair it, but there did not seem to be time with the wedding and all  the related events.  So for the next several weeks it remained parked at the pastorium.   Shortly after we married, we responded to a call from a church in West Texas.  As we prepared for the move, I knew I had to do something with this car. A member of our church owned a service station.  As I was getting gas one day, he inquired about the convertible.  I told him it was not going to Texas!  He offered to buy it as he thought he might restore it.

“How much you want for it,” he asked?

“Just $20.00 and it is yours,” I replied!  We closed the deal and I delivered the car in a few hours.  Then within a few days we were off to Texas.

We returned to Clearwater for Christmas.  I went by the station one day to see what progress he was making on the restoration.  He quickly told me it was not worth it.  I asked him what he did with the vehicle.  He walked me across the street to Stevenson Creek.  It was a large stream that flowed into the intercoastal waterway.  “Look down there, pastor.  See it just under the surface of the water?”

He had simply rolled it across the street and pushed it into the creek.  It was gone out of our lives forever. But we both would tell you that it was twenty dollars of fun!  Why, I have had that much fun just telling you about it.

I cannot say there is a moral to this, but there might be.  But there are too many years gone by for me to learn!


P.S.  We did buy a convertible in a few years.  And Judy didn’t have to hide as we drove down the street!


Leave a Comment »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: