How I came to own a new '66 Corvette

I was home on vacation In Lampasas, TX from my job at a TV station In Memphis.  I needed a better car, so I went to see the Chevy dealer where I saw a bright yellow Corvette that I was sure had my name on it.  I guess the drool was running down my shirt because the owner approached me and said he could give me a good deal  on the car. Yeah, right.  In  1966 I was making around $3,000 per year.  With that I could by a $6,000 car?

Before we get to the dealing, a word about the dealer.  He was a rancher whose wife was tired of ranch life and wanted to move to town.   He sold the ranch, moved to town and bought the Chevy dealership.  He was a nice guy who simply did not know dipshit about running a car dealership.

The Vette had been ordered  by a soldier stationed at near-by Ft Hood.  It was a special order  because the guy wanted an automatic transmission.   A Vette with an auto tyranny is sure not a stock item!  While the order was in the pipeline,  the soldier got shipped out.  The dealer had not gotten  a deposit from the soldier, so he had an expensive sports car he was sure he would never be able to sell in a little cowboy town.  (I told you he didnít know dipshit.)  He  showed me his invoice ($3,600).  He would sell it to me for that amount.  WOW, that might be a doable deal if I could sell it to the bank.

I scurried across the town square to the bank.  The banker was a family friend, so I had hopes of selling him on the idea of a balloon loan with monthly payments I could afford.  He pointed out that I lived in Memphis, and the bank did not make loans outside their trade territory.  However, he smiled and said he would arrange the loan for me since my mother was the second largest stockholder in the bank.  (My mother was WHAT?)  I completed the paper work, and when back to the house to ask about her owning a bank.  A thought I couldnít fathom.

For many years my father and a bunch of his buddies had a Saturday night poker and crap shooting club.  Sometimes they played at our house.  Those nights were loud and smoky.  What I didnít know was the agreement between my parents.  He would give her all his winnings and cover his losses from his own pocket.  In return, she would not bitch about the noise and cigar smoke.  She invested his winnings in stock in the local bank.  I guess he must have been a pretty good poker player for her to end up being  the second largest stockholder in the bank.  The idea blew my mind.  Still does. 

I drove the Vette for nine years until I killed it.  Its death is another story for another day.

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