“On the Go” Newsletter – Hard At It

This issue of Sherman Lee Dillon’s email newsletter was originally sent on June 8, 2016. Any performance dates mentioned in this message have already happened.

Hard At It

In case it appears that I’m slacking this month, I want to assure everybody that I’m not. Just the opposite – I’m going to be “hard at it” getting my 1967 all original Chevy red, Chevy C10 short bed step-side pickup truck up and running. Replacing the choke cable, replacing the accelerator pedal, replacing all the bulbs and holders and buffing out the oxidation on the finish. My father bought this truck from my fox hunting cousin, Randolph, in 1971 for $600. It has a straight 6 motor with a single barrel carburetor, “3-on-the-tree” stick on the column. The reason I say that is to explain how it ended up with me.


My father began working for American Oil just after WWII. There was a gas refinery near Natchez, MS, called Cranfield.  When they closed it down in the 70’s, he was the last one to leave… a good time to retire. After a few years of hanging around he was offered a job as a well inspector for the Mississippi Oil and Gas Board. He had always worked in the oil business. In fact, many of the people who were drilling the wells and running the companies had learned the business around my father (aka Clarence). When a company was starting to drill a new well, Clarence would go to the site and be sure everything was in order. Clarence always did have a keen eye for lying. When that wasn’t enough, well drillers would give him the heads up on another company that was giving false documentation. Sometimes there were tricks that would cause inaccurate readings. Clarence knew them all.


Bob:  “Clarence, all my numbers are right, but you need to double check Ed’s numbers. I don’t know what he’s doing, but I don’t think his numbers are right.”

Clarence:  “I knew Ed 20 years ago when he worked over by the Natchez well. Always had to keep an eye on him.”

And sure enough, Clarence would know the trick that made the reading come up wrong then double check the readings. If he wasn’t happy, he’d call EXXON. “Stop the drilling on well #FJSHBDF. If this isn’t cleared up by next week, I’ll close the well for good.”

Not to say Clarence was power hungry, but he did like everyone calling him “Mr. Dillon.” He said he used to drive up to where people were and no-one even knew he was there. But now, they all come out to the car before it’s stopped, smiling and trying to make Mr. Dillon happy. I don’t think the pay was good as you’d think, but he had great perks. People always giving him turkey’s, coupons to restaurants, boxes of chocolate, tickets to sports events, and anything else that might make it easy to look the other way. But what was important to me, was that he had a company car. So the 1967 Chevy C10 spent a lot of time sitting up. And sitting up was not good for those old straight 6’s with a single barrel carb. He asked me to take it and be sure to drive it a couple of times every month. As time went on, I drove it more and more. Before Clarence got on that glory train, he deeded it over to me. It works fine, but needs some cleaning up. Parts are not so easy to get. After all, I’m keeping it original. No fancy tires, no V-8 dropped in, no 4 on the floor, no 4 barrel carb…

Hard at it most of June.


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