Story about this hearse….
Back in high school I dated the girl whose father owned one of the local funeral homes and this hearse sat in the back.
Many attempts from people over the years never resulted in so much as response from the owner of the hearse. This hearse was not for sale. He told one person “I will let it rot before I sell it.”
Until, for some reason, my future wife made a vague offer to buy the car while he was sitting in her bar. He said “Sure. $500”. She had no idea how monumental the willingness to part with the hearse was and just how many people had asked to buy this car over so many years.
Unfortunately, he was an odd man (asshole) and when she didn’t call the next day he decided to have the junk yard tow it away; no doubt thinking “That’ll teach her”. So when she did call two days later only to find he’d had it towed for scrap, she had to go to the junk yard and buy it for double the price. Yep, a whopping $1,000. And although it was the mid-90s and that was more expensive than now, it was still a ridiculously cheap price.
I remember going over to the house that afternoon after the junk yard delivered it, and there it was, parked outside her back fence. In my excitement to fuck around with it, I put a battery in it. I jumped inside, thought “Ooooh, what’s this little button do?” (Starter button. Didn’t know.). WHAM! it shuddered and launched forward right into my 1972 Dodge van, busting out the Indian Head bumper medallion. Still, that wasn’t the worst damage done in the first hour. My roommate at the time decided to kick the tires and he kicked out the glass Indian Head hubcap center. Fucking monkeys, the both of us.
My wife just stared at us.
Here’s a photo of the bumper medallion. The hubcaps are long gone. Probably stolen in the years it sat behind the house we used to live in. Her mother owned the house, so when we left the state, we left it parked there. Eventually, we made a trip back and squeezed it into the one car garage. At that time, she had two hearses, but the other one, 1965 Cadillac hearse from the owner of the competing funeral home, was mistakenly sold to a “friend” who turned around and sold the fucker. She never spoke to him again. By the way, she saved that white Cadillac hearse from being sold to a guy who planned to turn it into a monster 4x4 kegger party wagon. That one she got for $700.
It took us 15 years before we were reunited with the Pontiac hearse. Fortunately for the hearse. Because in those years I have grown mad skills with other rebuilds and am considered a master mechanic. Finally we are ready to give our love and attention to the Rusty Old Beast. She hasn’t yet told us her name, but when she does, we’ll let you know.
So here is a photo of the grill medallion. Not the same one of course. Not the one that was in bright shiny condition, because I broke that one as my wife likes to remind me. This one I found while walking with my friend Charlie through an abandoned junkyard in Southern Ohio that was so wet that every car there was rotted to the window sills. As I sludged through the mire of brambles, poison oak, and tetanus inducing booby traps, I spotted what was once a canary yellow Chieftan convertible. In my excitement to run (the kind of ‘running’ you do in a nightmare) I went to reach for the medallion in the grill and tripped and fell through the grill. Literally. There was no metal left. There was only a ghostly latticework in the shape of a grill. And when I hit it, it turned to dust. Muddy sludge dust.