Buying Parts with the Home Improvement Money
By Gary Peters
We were at the track for an open Top Fuel meet back in 1972. In the first round, the Ray Marsh car dumps the crank, rods, heads, and just about everything else onto the track with the pieces flying into our lane. Our driver, Dale Thierer, has piston dents in his helmet, the parachute looks like Swiss cheese, and both our rear slicks have chunks of rubber missing. I guess we could have borrowed tires and chutes, etc., but we feel that packing up and going home was the smart thing.
We take the qualifying and first round money and go home. We needed to get the Hemi Hunter ready for the next week's schedule.
I had personal reasons to get home early anyway. My mother-in-law sews up the parachute with patches and we replace our damaged parts with the money from the track, but we ran out of money (AGAIN) for the new rear slicks.
Now for the personal reason on my part. I had saved money for a new roof that was leaking badly every time it rained. Just about every week we would come home to water dropping through the ceiling. I had a method with about six buckets strategically placed to catch the roof leaks. I even had different sized buckets, which when all were empty and the drops were hitting the buckets' sheet metal bottoms, had a nice tinkling sound, all tuned (that's what I did for the HH, tuned), which sounded a lot like Pink Floyd's opening song from Dark Side of the Moon. (You needed a little imagination).
I would set an alarm clock to ring just in time to empty the buckets before the water ran onto the hard wood floors. Girls, the wife was not impressed with my creativity in the least. What do I do? Naturally, I take the money for the new roof and buy the tires we needed. No roof fix that week. The weather forecast is calling for rain on and off all weekend. Now here comes the pool part.
I take twenty bucks, go up to the local department store and buy an inflatable kiddy pool. I blow it up on the third floor of the house in the attic, under the bad part of the roof to catch any water while we are gone. I tell the wife she is the first in the block to have an indoor pool, which I knew would fill with water in time. She is still not impressed. I feel real good about my temporary fix, and it's off to the races.
We come home late Sunday night, and I check the pool. It's filled with water, about the color of tea. If it rains some more, the pool will overflow. I grab one of the now empty buckets, open the third floor window, and bail out the pool by throwing the tea colored water into the back yard.
Next morning I go down to the kitchen to start breakfast. I'm sitting at the table sipping coffee. I look out the window, and see the neighbor's wash hanging on the lines.
Jeez, who leaves their wash hanging out over night? She is also not impressed, and it was very hard getting the tea colored stains out of her sheets. My wife Peggy and I are still together after all these little adventures, but I can guarantee you, we never had another leaking roof.