Kissin’ Kuzzins: A mechanic without his shade tree license

Published 10:38 am Wednesday, July 18, 2018

By Dickie Dixon

Belated birthdays:  13th:  Rudy Wilkison 14th:  Grace Sharp, Bobby Ferguson

For Posterity’s Eyes  July birthdays: 16th:  Bobby Cheshire, Angela Bradford, Gene Stewart,  19th:  Sheryl (Lowe) Dickerson 20th:  Vivian (Mitchon) Plemons 27th:  Catheryn (Murphy) Hall

Congratulations  Congratulations are in order to Jan (Tucker) Selman and Gary Selman on their 49th anniversary this year.  On July 17th Dan and Vivian (Toole) Cates celebrated their wedding anniversary

Save the Date! Save the Date! Jasper County Genealogy Conference  The Jasper County Historical Commission is pleased to announce the inaugural Jasper County Genealogy Conference on July 19-20, 2018.  From 1-4 p,m. the Conference will help those attending the Conference with their genealogy at the Jasper County Historical Commission Library in the old jail.  The next day, on Friday, July 20th, area speakers will discuss various topics at hourly intervals.  For more information, please contact the Jasper County Historical Commission or Dickie Dixon. The public can contact the Jasper County Historical Commission Library at (409) 384-6441 or Dickie Dixon at (936) 240-8378.  The public can e-mail the Jasper County Historical Commission at or Dickie at

A mechanic without his shade tree license  In the summer of 1970, after I returned back home from working in Mountain Pine, Arkansas, I started to work on the 1937 Plymouth Coupe I had bought the year before.  In 1969 I had looked high and low for an old classic car I could restore; this involved asking everyone I knew of their whereabouts and driving around the countryside to see if I could find one.  I almost bought a Model A and a Model T pickup from a man on Paul Street, but, it was a little more than I wanted to shell out.  I found a few other prospects, but, many times when I went there to inquire about buying one, the answer was:  “No, I’m going to hang on to it.”  They might have thought about selling it, but their attitude was:  “Now that you’ve asked, it’s mine, and I’m going to keep it.”

A friend of the family, a carpenter, named W. T. Parker, Jr., let me tow it out there to his farm at Redland for a safe place to keep it and work on it.  Now I had paid Hank Huggins, a local radio salesman and the “producer” of the Double H Ranch country and western program on our local television program KTRE-TV,  $150 for it, and it had belonged to a man from Bullard, whose name I do not remember.

On the day I am writing about, I wanted to find out if the motor, a flathead 6, was frozen.  So, I sat on the fender of the car with my feet in the motor and removed all the head bolts.  Once I had done this, I stood up with the head, a piece of cast iron probably easily weighing 30-50 pounds, but there was one thing I had forgotten: to disconnect the oil pressure cable.  As I stood up with the head in my hands standing on the fender, and I reached the end of the length of the oil pressure cable, it jerked the head out of my hands, and it landed on my toes.  It was right foot that it hit—the toe to the right of my big toe—and it looked like a Concord grape.  The yell of pain  I’m sure even the country neighbors heard, and you can guess, I aborted the mission of working on my car that day.

It was one time—but not the last time—that I worked on a car—a mechanic without his shade tree license.

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Send your queries to by mail to Kissin’ Kuzzins P. O. Box 15-1001 Lufkin TX 75915-1001 or by phone to (936) 240-8378