Ok JT here it is. Life and times of the Pirate
Ok you asked here it is
I was born November 13th 1942 in Birmingham Al.
I took my bicycle apart at age 7 and As OHB said the saga began
I started selling Stark shrubbery at 8 and wanted a boat, car and motorcycle
I did that for a couple of years and my grandfather bought me a new 1953 Cushman Eagle Motor scooter. I started driving when I was 8. After I got the motor scooter I mowed grass and sold donuts and I like OHB had a love of cars boats and motorcycles. In 1953 I started selling donuts and bought a 48 Ford coupe that was customized, Lincoln Zephyr tail lights Edelbrock heads and two stromberg 97 carburetors. I was 11 at the time.
First real job was working at my family's Texaco service station in 1956, it was new then and in Ensley Al. I was nearly 13
I sold the 48 Ford and got a 47, and then another 48 which I also sold at a profit. I blew the engine on the Cushman the crankshaft broke and I got the parts and fixed it myself. I sold my Cushman Eagle and with what I had saved and some from my Grandfather and got a new 165 Harley, then a 51 ford Vic. I then got my grandfathers 51 Kaiser and proceed to put a 56 Buick Century engine and Lasalle transmission in it. Mean while I am dreaming about boats. We had a wooden fishing boat with a 7 1/2 hp Champion motor on it. I finally sold the Kaiser as I could not keep a transmission in it, Hot rod Mag was wrong about them being bullet proof. I got a 1950 Chevy Club coupe that said Powerglide on the trunk and put a 283 chevy in it punched out to 301 with two 4 barrels, 3 speed Corvette trans, they did not have 4 speeds in 1957. I put and Oldsmobile rear end in it. I blew 21 engines over the span of 3 years, pistons would separate at the oil ring. I was really into drag racing. I at that time was almost 16. We had a game with the police on the weekend, it was like the Dukes of Hazzard. I was the only one that did not get caught. I got my Grandfather in 1955 to buy the first V-8 Chevy pick up sold in Al. It was black and would flat move for that year, they never caught it either. I had a new 60 Ford Starliner in late 59 and still had the Chevy.
Relingished my Starliner to my father, I lived with my grandparents as I could never seem to get along with my as Mother, very few could. I joined the Navy at 17 on 4 April 1960 for that reason even though Senator Sparkman had assured my Grandfather I could have an appointment to the Naval Academy. When I got to boot camp I knew I had made a big mistake, I knew I had better get promoted quickly. I did get appointed a recruit 2nd class petty officer in boot camp, they said that was highly unusual. got out of boot camp as Airman apprentice E-2. Went to A school in Memphis TN and then had orders to Helo Utility squadron 4. Was promoted to E-3. I was promoted again on May 16 1961 to ADR-3 that is Po 3rd class. I got orders for operation deep[ freeze 1961 and deployed to the USS Atka with two Helos. had a great time in Australia and New Zealand. Mighty cold down on the Ice tho. Came back took the test for E-5 and was one of twelve that were promoted in my rate that was May 16 1962 and I was an NCO at 19. we had a Admiral's inspection about 2 months after that and the Capt and Admiral were walking by the troops when the Admiral stops and asks were my hashmark for 4 years service wa. i tols him I had only been in 2 years and a couple of months. He told told the Capt to have me in his office after inspection. When I got up there the personnal officer was on the phone with Bupers in Washington and he came back and said Admiral you were right he is the youngest E-5 in the Navy. I was on the cover of the Navy Times with the Admiral the next edition. I made E-6 at 21 but I deceided to get out and make money.
I was on the Master at arms force when I was transferred back to Mphs. and built engines on the side for officers and sailors. Did pretty well at that. Bought a runabout with a 40 horse Evinrude. I got married in MPHS on 23 Sept. 1964 to a Gal I known for 60 days, it lasted for 45 years when she passed. Best girl with lines I ever saw or men for that matter.
Got into drag racing again with a 57 Ford convertible with a modified 427 and a 58 Thunderbird my wife drove with a Hi PO 390. At this time I was still in the Navy. We won our class every Sunday but she ran 3 classes. I /stock automatic then G and H. Won every week. OHB is a GM fan and he will love this, she was doing the time trials, we had put the 457 rear end in hers and had switched the engines as we did every now and again. A fellow named Chuck Hamilton came with a 1965 Corvette with a isky roller cam that ran A modified sports. He pulled next to the Bird, she just looked at him burned the slicks and the flagman let them go. She beat him a car length. He was mad wanted to know what kind of drag strip it was that a stock 58 T-Bird could turn in the 12s, he packed up and left. The people thought it was funny as she was the only girl racing. A 427 looks just like a 352 just looking at it. You have to jack the car up to tell because a 427 has cross bolt mains. They did that the next Sunday but I had put the 390 back in the car so they found nothing.
Anyway I got out of the Navy built racing engines went to work for Ford. In 68 I quit the Ford dealership and was recruited by Liberty National Ins because my father was their no1 agent in 1953. and I had said something that made them want to hire me. This was February 12th 1968. I bought a new motorcycle and was no 1 agent in two states by the end of the year.
I was then offered a job with Occidental life of California, I was promoted to asst. manager and then a year later to manager in Nashville Tenn. from Mphs.
In the meantime I had a pontoon boat on the lake behind my house that we rebuilt and got a 22 ft Fabuglass and a wood 24 ft boat that I rebuilt. I sold the runabout, pontoon and wood boat and went to Nashville. The boat was just not right for there, so I got a 28 ft twin engine Richardson that we redid. I got involved with a marina there and bought a new 1973 Gibson with twin Chryslers v-drives. Boat would run about 36 mph. I started out at Drakes Creek marina then went to Anchor High Marina which I bought in 6 months and got the Gibson dealership. I had the no1 Carlcraft dealership after the split. I was No 1 with Gibson till then and no 2 with Nautaline. This was in 1976. I sold the Richardson and the 42 and had a Custom made 50 ft Gibson built with a raked hull and blueprinted 454s. She would do 44 mph. The hull was laid up double. I took a keg of beer over to the Gibson plant when they were doing the hull till it was finished and it was twice as thick with heavier stringers., only one ever made like it. Everything was different, no staples all hand done. I sold it about a year later and bought a 47 ft Chris Roamer and a Bristol hullwise 55 ft Chris Connie. The 50 I made money on but the guy I sold it to got over $90,000 for it in the late nineties. We redid the 55 and sold the 47. I had several Nautalines and Carlcrafts in those days. I would water deliver new boats to Cincinnati, and Kentucky lake frequently.
I sold Anchor High in 1980 because of the Carter economy and went to Ft Walton Bh. Fl. I went back in the Ins business and started fooling with boats again. I bought a nice Searay that a I made some cash on and still had my 55 Chris. I sold it moved back to Al in the Car business for a while, started out with a $1000.00 of inventory and in 3 months had $1900 per week coming in on you tote the note. I got tired of that and bought a 65 ft Grebe Motor Yacht. I redid it and traded for cash and a 39 ft Searay diesel aft cabin. I sold the Searay at a very good profit and bought a 55 ft Grebe which I sold but will probably have to repo.
I moved to Jasper Al for a short period during all this, and OHB and myself started moderating the Houseboat boards in 1996. I love fast Houseboats and slow Motor yachts. I am currently negotiating buying a 61 ft fiberglass Chris Commander in Bristol condition. They only made 8 of them. The hull is like a tank 18 ft beam and loaded.
I moved to Florence Al and had great times with OHB. Then bought a marina in Decatur, left there and here I am on the Tenn-Tom. I am looking at another Marina in Mobile and looking to put a fueling operation in on the Tenn river, Cumberland and Tenn-Tom. I really miss harassing OHB, we really got along. I will never retire while still able to work. This is not all but it does cover a lot.
I will have a boat until I can no longer go. That is what OHB needs is his boat back.