Tom Rowe Memorial 1943 - 2019

Glass Packs




This is a story recounted by my dad's cousin, Carroll Rowe, about a simpler time in rural Arkansas when they both worked as mechanics at the local John Deere dealership in Hope, Arkansas.

Not Uber to Washington and Ozan
Was in the mid-sixties, I am in front of Chism’s store in Washington (Historic Washington, AR) late one evening standing not far from a couple of somewhat darker-complected young men than myself when I hear him coming, down-shifting and pipes a talking.

But first, let me tell you what I was hearing, my cousin had a cute little Chevy pickup, mid to late fifties model, he had put a high-speed rear end in it, a 283 V8 engine, a three-speed manual transmission that had an electric actuated overdrive attached to which he had put on a toggle switch to control it, and then had a dual exhaust with those straight through” Smittie Glass Pack” mufflers you ordered from JC Whitney.

This give him six forward gears as he would “split them” each time he shifted, and those dual exhaust would talk to you both when he accelerated and when he let off.

Back to the story, as Cuz rounded the curve coming into Washington, downshifting as he slowed down letting the mufflers “talk”, one of these young men turned to the other and said to him, “ you see that man in that pickup there, you ever waiting there at the underpass in town to catch you a ride home and he stops, tell him you waiting on someone, you do not want to get in the truck with him. He stop and ask me did I want a ride one time, I tell him sure and get in, didn’t take long, knew I had made a bad mistake, he takes off, just keeps a shifting gears, he got two tranlamissions in that thing, we out close to the airport before he gets in high gear, I know we doing over a hunard, then a little ways he goes to shifting again as we slow down coming into Washington, he stops, let’s me out, man was I glad to get out of that truck, tell him thank you and tell myself, never again.”

I tell Cuz about it, he laughed, said with his old truck there would be someone, sometimes three or four there flagging him down, wanting a ride nearly every evening, he said he hadn’t had that problem lately. None wanted the second ride.

They don’t make them like that any more, the old Smitties were loud but some how managed to keep a mellow tone as well. I sure liked the sound of them. They had a very distinct sound.

You know, every day the world changes, somethings we look back on but know, them days are over.

But better to look ahead, remembering that the Word of God and His Love is not only unchanging but everlasting. If you will but study God's word you will hear Him coming and He too will be coming quickly.

Revelation 22:12-14 KJV
[12] And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. [13] I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. [14] Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.

Are you ready for his coming? Are you listening?

Rest in Peace

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