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Old 12-25-2020, 09:57 PM   #1081
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1983

Kenworth cab-over with 3406 Caterpillar, 13-speed, air ride, and manual steering.

You were Styl'n for '83, like sitting on top of the world, but a lot of glass to let the cold in.

Good story! Thank you.

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Old 12-25-2020, 10:37 PM   #1082
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Location: Clearlake, Northern California
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Year: 1992
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: TC-2000 Frt Eng, Tranny:MT643
Engine: 5,9 Cummins
Rated Cap: 84
Thanks!
Reckon I will venture another one, then.
Like the other, this is a first draft of a chapter for my book (if I live long enough to finish it).

Let's call this one simply...


Mike

It took some teeth-pulling to learn his name was Mike.

My local reputation for repairing bicycles had attracted the group of four boys around the age of 10. They comprised three cheerful and gregarious white boys with bicycles -- and Mike, in the background, never speaking, never smiling, Black, on foot.

This is a dirt poor neighborhood which is why free bicycle repair is so popular with the often-fatherless urchins. And Mike appeared to be the poorest of this bunch, in more ways than the lack of a $69.97 Crap-Mart bicycle.

And a crabby-looking old white dude with a big wrench in his hand must have seemed Mike's worst nightmare.

When they left, all four were riding bicycles.
Yes, I keep extras.

Extra kids' bikes mostly come from the local scrap metal recycling yard. Often, there is nothing but flat tires wrong with them. I haul my own scrap up there once in a while, and come home with "another man's treasure".

Such scavenging is not allowed there. But when you routinely treat people with "please" and "thank you" and my trademark "Sure appreciate your help" or "Sure appreciate all the work you do here" -- officious signage somehow seems to become less legible and relevant.
Yes, I am old enough to say that sort of thing and be believed.

The boys returned from time to time, in various combinations of those four and additional friends; always with Mike silently, unsmilingly, in the background.
Until... the day I finally managed to squeeze a smile out of him.
Christmas Time in June for me.

Kids grow, and after a year or something I traded him up to a larger bicycle.
By now, Mike smiled whenever he stopped in for a puff of air in his tires.

After maybe two years, Mike and his family moved out of town.

Perhaps four years went by.

One day I heard an unfamiliar knock on the door.
On the porch stood a well-grown Black teenage boy.
It took me a while to recognize the more mature face, but by golly it was Mike.
His family was visiting old friends in town, and he had made a personal detour to my street.

Mike had nothing to tell me and nothing to ask me. He was simply here, on my porch, looking at me with a calm expression. Being with me.
And I finally realized he was thanking me for the bicycle. And the smile. For being me.

Except... when I later happened to notice myself in a mirror, I seemed a lot taller than me. And that whole great magic six-year-long sudden growth-spurt had cost me not a single dollar.

Any other adults out there who do not have a single dollar to spare?
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Old 12-25-2020, 11:01 PM   #1083
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Clearlake, Northern California
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Year: 1992
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: TC-2000 Frt Eng, Tranny:MT643
Engine: 5,9 Cummins
Rated Cap: 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by John 50 View Post
Kenworth cab-over with 3406 Caterpillar, 13-speed, air ride, and manual steering.
... ....
Identical to this one.
And I drew a red circle around the spot where 60 MPH air blew straight onto the steering gear.


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Old 05-12-2022, 07:37 PM   #1084
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Clearlake, Northern California
Posts: 2,503
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: TC-2000 Frt Eng, Tranny:MT643
Engine: 5,9 Cummins
Rated Cap: 84
If you own a 1988-91 Blue Bird with front engine, could I ask a favor of you?

I wish to see a photo of your radiator cap.
No, I'm not kidding! It is not the cap itself I'm interested in, but the tank it sits on top of.
I do not know if this applies to conventional -- "dog nose" -- buses, or cab-forward "flat front" -- buses, so I need to ask for both.
If your radiator cap sits directly on top of the radiator itself, then all I would need is that fact.

The tank in question might look something like this...



...but thinner and longer.



Here is a photo of three "likely suspects" in a pile...



...marked 1988-91 BB FE. But I cannot make out exactly what I'm looking at here.

My goal is to find a tank I can install on Millicent, in the extra space I created with the Peterbilt grille. This would improve Millicent's quality of life.
(All those various tanks in the photo are in Phoenix, Arizona, which is a bit far for me to "casually stop by" with my tape measure.)
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Old 05-12-2022, 11:12 PM   #1085
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Location: mid Mo.
Posts: 681
Year: 1976
Coachwork: bluebird
Chassis: F33695
Engine: 427 chevy converted to 466
Rated Cap: 84
My 76 BB has the cap directly on the radiator, it's a lot larger than standard but it's still on the radiator. NO overflow tank, it has a large upper tank so I keep it a few inches low so it has room to expand. No help I know.
Great bicycle story, big heart. I try and keep the local kids tires filled up but they have all moved away right now.
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Old 05-16-2022, 01:53 PM   #1086
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Clearlake, Northern California
Posts: 2,503
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: TC-2000 Frt Eng, Tranny:MT643
Engine: 5,9 Cummins
Rated Cap: 84
SportyRick, John 50, and all the others.... I'm glad you liked the little stories I posted at the beginning of the Covid pandemic. I felt we all needed "a little something" to cheer us up.

And JamesKS... I'm glad you liked the entire One-Thousand-And-Seventy-Two posts in this thread! [Or perhaps I should say... "Sorry you had to endure it". ]

So, how are we doing now, in May 2022?
Life is certainly not becoming any simpler. And those silly humans are sure not becoming any wiser.

I do a bit of reading and thinking, and I have "proven" that humanity is doomed. This is traceable right back to the fundamental chemical concept of carbon-based life-forms. But... that's a different 1,000-posts thread.

The good news is that the recent hardships are serving or at least are showing potential to serve as catalysts for progress.

And locally, progress includes that the punk who vandalized Millicent two years ago no longer lives in the neighborhood.
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