By Carter E. Anthony
Brior had two vehicles in which to deliver parts. The most dependable was a new GMC pickup. It was one of the new V-6s with a manual transmission that would “get rubber in 1st and 2nd”.
For those of you too young to know what that means, ask some guy my age. Being in the auto parts business, Mr. John rotated his delivery vehicles among the local dealers. It was time for Norman Motor Company to get the order.
Of course it was painted yellow and white like NAPA things are. It was impossible to take a breather anywhere when in that truck. We couldn’t swing through the Dairy Queen, the Big R or Tom’s to get a burger and a shake without Mr. John knowing it.
The yellow truck stuck out like the proverbial sore thumb but still most delivered parts in the GMC.
The other delivery vehicle was a World War II Jeep without a top painted NAPA yellow of course. It was summer, cooler to drive with no top and it was fun to drive.
It was my delivery vehicle of choice. Every chance I got, I roared out of the side street onto Commerce or Cedar headed east or west in the Jeep. To this day I do not know why when it went past Beeland Park it had to make a slow run around the pool.
One day when coming back from a delivery east of town, as I passed The Steak House, James Arthur pulled up on my side on his police motorcycle and told me to pull over because I was speeding. I shouted back it was a 45 mile per hour speed zone and the Jeep wouldn’t do 45. He smiled, waved and moved on.
Of course Fox Chevrolet, Norman Motor Company and Clement Motor Company were so close that deliveries could be made on foot. One day I had to deliver a battery to Norman Motor Company and neither the GMC nor the Jeep were there.
Dealership parts managers and mechanics usually want the parts yesterday because the customer wants his car fixed yesterday. This made parts managers sometimes have a bad attitude. After filling the battery with battery acid, I decided to walk it to Norman Motor Company.
Those were the days before sealed batteries. As I walked the battery was leaking against my jeans but it just wasn’t that far to walk. When I got to Norman and put the battery down my jeans were shredded, just ribbons in front, otherwise surprisingly no harm.
I picked up a shop towel to hold in front of me back to the store and then went home to change.