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Three score and ten or more

Sunday, July 22, 2007


When I was a child, acronyms were scarce, but those that existed were easily identifiable and meaningful. USA stood for our country, FBI stood for national law enforcement and the Untouchables, and there were a substantial number of other governmental acronyms ranging from FAA and FCC to FDA and IRS. Most of those beginning with “F” had something to do with the Federal government, and the few Federal acronyms that did not begin with F (Like IRS) were sort of mysterious sounding things like OSS.

With the onset and progress of the Second World War, we began to hear quasi or semi governmental terms like AWOL, SNAFU, KILROY, SOS, SHAEF (The military went acronym crazy before almost anyone else, and an exhaustive list of military acronyms would take pages and pages. I have even found acronyms in military papers that were acronyms for combinations of other acronyms.)

I spent about half of my freshman year in college working in the official government documents repository (which, has probably been renamed O GOD R by now) in the college library and woke up one time in the middle of the night after dreaming I was doing the backstroke through waves of government acronyms..

With all this acronymic history one would think I could acclimate to the surging crop of acronyms. I understand CPR, after all I once was a qualified WSI (water safety instructor) but my mind went into an acronym fry the other evening watching television. One of the commercials advertised a medicine for URD, and I was almost through the commercial before I realized that he was talking about the common cold. (I presume that URD stands for upper respiratory distress or disease, or something like that). Almost every physical status now has an acronym. What we called croup, and/or emphysema or any ONE of the diseases that made one’s breathing difficult has now become COPD. What was once called male impotence has now become ED (for erectile disfunction, in itself a difficult phrase to parse without at least a raised eyebrow). I once spent a rather entertaining half hour imagining other acronyms for that syndrome. I came up with PP, DJ, LJ, SP, FRANK, BA, and a variety of others. The actual terminology for each of these I will leave to your imagination except for one term. I still resent the writer on the cop TV show who decided to rename the penis with my surname.

Speaking of cop shows and acronyms if the California Highway Patrolman is a CHIP, what is an Idaho Highway Patrolman, an IHIP? (I can hear it now, the motorcycle patrolman hitting on the sweet young thing by telling her “I HIP”. Or the Utah patrolman UHIP (He better be prepared either to be musical or duck—at least it wouldn't be UHIPS or he couldn’t duck fast enough.) Or if we want to deal with political correctness did you realize that Wisconsin, Washington, and Wyoming all have their streets guarded by WHIPs?

I can’t remember all of the acronyms I heard this week in television commercials but I heard an acronym for baldness (or at least hair loss), obesity (I am still sensitive about that term itself, though as I slowly seem to be losing weight my sensitivity lessens.) Almost every student in every classroom now has his or her own acronym. ADD, ADHD, G&T, and I even heard, on the Learning Channel, I believe, and acronym for a normal student, but I can’t remember what it was. (One of the blessings and curses of Coothood – not an acronym- is selective memory.) I have come to the conclusion that I really can’t fight the acronymic explosion in our current language. It would be hypocritical to do so since I still have cards that list my name followed by BA, MFA. PhD, and since one of my children working for the military is in charge of ITAM (I don’t have a clue,) at a military base, but I wouldn’t want the army to eliminate that acronymic organization because of my protest. She still has house payments to make.

Though I can’t do away with the acronym completely, I have made a decision that I will not, under any circumances buy a product that is identified in a television (or other) commercial with an acronym. Maybe that small gesture can lead to a stronger measure, though my MD, or my LLD will probably give me some instruction that will require me to violate that principle

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

About the resurrection

Mini-apology. I am not about to delete it, but in my somewhat diminished mental situation, I didn't realize that the post about the car adventure was very nearly a novel. For anyone on dial-up it must have taken an age just to load. I will try to be more succinct in the future.

Janet and I are sick to death of unpacking, going back to the old house and getting stuff that was left behind (lots), etc., so we are leaving town to go out to Washougal Washington to play with some of our grandkids (and see them in a play) so we are leaving this mess behind and hopefully getting a couple of our kids to sort some of it out while we are gone. Later we have to get down to Florida to see the rest of our grandkids (and great grandkids). Our departure time for this trip was determined by a really inexpensive fourth/fifth of July flight. (Must be a really slow season.)

I spent most of the last couple of days cleaning out the pool and arranging for it to be taken care of in our absence (six weeks?) We were paddling around in the pool this morning when I told my sweetheart that if she decided to have an affair with the pool boy I wouldn't object. Is a snicker and an eye roll an affirmative answer?

I will try to write a more thoughtful post on the plane (or take a nap). We talked about driving and our children rose up in rebellion. I think the quote was something like "You are not taking our mother on a 2700 mile automobile trip. She is not ready for that." I guess we will find out if she's ready for a 2700 mile airplane trip. (or if I am). At least I should be able to think of something to write about after a little rest. Fortunately my son in Washington always arranges easy computer access.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

I still haven't got it together to do any writing so I am throwing you an old story that I wrote a decade or so ago. I schlepped it to a couple of magazines and got good feedback but no sale, so, except for some of my kin, you are the first to see it.

The following story should be considered fiction. Any resemblance to events or persons living or dead are purely coincidental. Besides, all of the people who might, by coincidence seem to resemble those in the story have denied the truth of it many years ago in a relatively formal situation. The denial of resemblance to events in the past are partly negated by the fact that a rumor spread among people I knew in Pocatello High School in the fall of 1951 that an event like this one might have happened, and anyone who heard the rumor might have let his or her imagination fly, as did I. It should be noted that, in spite of the title, there is little in this story that has anything to do with religion.

Copyright C, 1991

The First (or second) Resurrection
By Richard B. Johnson

It all began innocently enough. There were just a few of us guys talking about cars in the school cafeteria. In 1951, the hottest car that most guys knew was the ‘49 Ford. It would go almost eighty in second gear, and, the kind of roads we had around Pocatello, no one we knew really had the guts to see what it would do in high (Without taking it out on the flats near the airport- Anyone could find out how fast a car would go on the flats, but unless you were dragging, who cared about the flats. That was chicken driving). The conversation wasn't about the Ford though. It was about a 1935 (or 36, we weren't really sure) Packard coupe that Ben Fortell had showed up with at school. It was so cherry it was hard to believe. It was a convertible with a rumble seat no less, and it had a tapered square hood that went – clear out to there.

Most of the "real" cars that had rumble seats were hot rodded Model A coupes, but this one looked perfect and it appeared to have come straight from the factory (that afternoon). Word was that it had a straight twelve engine and would pass anything on the road but a gas station. It was fire engine red, the chrome was perfect and the seats were white leather. Till Ben brought it around, no one could really think "machine" about anything that wasn't chopped and channeled with twin pipes (preferably straight pipes, but the cops were real tough if a car was too noisy.) We were arguing about whether the twin chrome pipes coming out of the sides of the hood were headers and were factory or- - - - when Joey Barnes said, "I know where there is a car that looks a lot like that in the front, but it's a sedan, or a limo".

Silence!!! We looked at Joey like he was from Mars or something. Joey was NOT a star. His dad was a mortician, and there was something about having a dad who was a mortician that rubbed off on the reputation. He probably would have been completely isolated, but he had a sister- - - - Oh my did he have a sister! She was one of those really sweet redheaded girls who just made your eyes melt. With a sister like that, who could tease him about being the son of a mortician.

Anyway, we all stopped and looked at Joey. "Whose is it?" someone said. "My dad's " says he, and his social status went up twenty five points. "Man why aren't you driving that instead of that dumb 48 chevy?" said Jere. I drove a 41 Plymouth when I could get it away from my dad, and would have killed for a 48 Chevy, but I didn't say anything.

Joey hung his head a little "Well, I don't really know if it even runs. It has been out in the shed behind the mortuary for years. But, it is really neat looking. The windows have roll-up blinds, and there are some kind of fold out seats in the back. It looks like one of those cars that you see in James Cagney movies- - you know, when the windows roll down suddenly and everybody inside has a tommy gun."

In that instant, suddenly we all became members of a club; not an official club or anything, but a club that felt like it had some secret ritual that we hadn't yet all figured out. Five high school seniors who were as different from each other as ice from hot sand, but who were suddenly linked by whatever possibilities arose from each imagination about an old, possibly dead, limousine.

There was me, I'm kind of an overweight version of - - - -I can't really think of who, but if my life were part of a movie, I'm the one who would be played by Jack Oakey, you know, the guy who is good enough to be involved with almost everything, but never good enough to be the star. I had lettered in football for two years, but never started a game. I was really into the drama club, and got a good part in every play, but never got to be the guy who kisses the girl. I was always Grandpa Vanderhoff, or the star's best friend. I sang well enough to be in the special quartet, but never got a solo, that kind of guy. My chief asset was that I started shaving every day when I was in the eighth grade, and I could walk into a bar or something like that without being asked for identification.

Jerry Burnes was taller than me, dark haired and liked to think of himself as a hard case. I always visualized him as that type of guy who would end up selling used cars on a car lot that advertised that you could get a car here even if you didn't have good credit.

Don Peters was my best friend. We met at church. His dad was a professional gambler and his mother, well, nobody ever talked about his mother, but his folks had split, so he had been sent to live with his dad's brother who was one of the anchors of the local Mormon church, to which Don and I both belonged. He didn't think of himself as a hard case, but he really was. He was only about 5'7" or 8", blonde and really cheerful most of the time, but nobody even thought of messing with him..

Fred Aslett was the kind of guy who got A's and B's in most of his courses and those who didn't know him thought he was just a brain. Those who knew him knew that he worked his ass off in school, but he still knew something about almost everything. I think he read almost everything in the library, and he was the real mechanic in our group. He really liked to mess with cars. He didn't have one of his own, but his dad's car was about as hot as a street car can be. His dad owned a Hudson, which looked like an upside down bathtub, but it would go from stop to who knows how fast in no time flat. He was the one guy I knew who really liked to go out to the flats by the airport, and he would drag anybody. I think his dad must have bought new rear tires by the carload, the way he would peel them out.

Joey, I already mentioned. He was just a nice kid who tried to get along with everybody, and therefore got pushed around a lot by the Jerry's of the world.

"What kinda car is it?" "Is it really a limousine?" "How long since anybody drove it?" "Are the tires any good? Sometimes after a car sits for a long time the tires get rotten." "Jeez, does anybody else know about it?" The questions piled up around Joey like pick-up-sticks.

"Hey c'mon you guys," said Joey "I don't know what kind of car it is; it isn't a Ford or Chevy, I'd know them but it's old. Dad was talking bout getting rid of it before the war, but when things got tight for gas and tires and things, I guess he decided to hang on to it in case anything happened to the Packard."

Jerry, "What Packard? you got a Packard too? It is a classic like Fortell's?'

"My old man bought a 42 Packard limo just before Pearl Harbor. Shoot! he replaced it as soon as new cars were available after the war, and he's traded since then. ‘A funeral home has to have nice cars or nobody will trust it.' my dad says. We have a 50 Cadillac now. He says he's never gonna get anything but Cadillacs anymore."

"Let's go take a look at it after school" said Don, who hadn't really said anything till then.

"Fred and I have to go to debate after school" said Joey.
"Jerry and I have football practice too" I said, "But we'll be through by six, can we come over together about six"?

We decided to meet in the alley behind the mortuary at six o'clock.

Six o'clock and I was just barely out of the shower at Irving field where we had football practice. This had to be one of those days when Coach Abrams decided we had forgotten everything that we had learned early in the season and he ran everybody through every play in the playbook.

I was mostly a defensive tackle, but with the new substitution rules that said there could only be six players substituted at a time, everybody had to play both ways a little bit. The trouble with defense was that you had to run the plays for your time on offense, then you had to get on defense while everybody else ran the plays, and I was worn out, completely shot. I think I would rather have run laps. Anyway I was really pooped and I still had to get up the hill to the mortuary on Arthur St. That wasn't as far as all the way to the High School, but it was far enough. I looked for Burnes because he had a car and sometimes brought it to practice. (That was against the rules, but rules didn't mean much to Burnes anyway.) I didn't see him around so I started trudging up the hill. I didn't get to the mortuary till almost six thirty. When I got there, Burnes was sitting on the front steps of the mortuary smoking a cigarette, his car parked right in front. " Jeez," I thought, "Thanks for the ride", and a little bit of me wished the coach would come along and catch Burnes smoking. He would run laps forever if he got caught.

"The other guys are out back" he said, gesturing with his thumb, so we made our way out to the alley. Everybody was there, waiting for me and looking pissed. I didn't bother to make excuses cause as soon as we got there, Joey gestured with his head and we all followed him into the big shed, or garage, or whatever they called it, that was behind the mortuary.

The car wasn't too impressive at first look. In the first place there was a layer of dust over it that looked like it hadn't been disturbed in this lifetime. In the second place, well, hell, it didn't seem to have much going for it but size., but it did have a long old hood like the Packard, with three little window-things on each side.. The grill was different though, it kind of swept up on the front, and the front fenders came clear back to the front door, almost like the forty eight chevy. Burnes went up to it, spit on his fingers and wiped a streak in the dust on the hood. "Well, its black, if you go deep enough" he grinned. Fred just grinned from ear to ear. "Man that's a Lafayette," he stated. "I don't know what year it is, I didn't think they made them till about ‘37, and I never saw one this long. It must be a special for the mortuary."

I opened the door and crap fell all around down my neck, but the front seats were black leather and looked really cool. I sat down in the drivers seat and made some vroom vroom noises. Don looked at me like I was wearing wet pants to a dance and shrugged " Did da big boy get in the car car?"

"Get off my back Peters, this baby sits softer than your 49 Ford."

"If I had your padding, it would sit soft to me too.

"Shut up assholes," came Aslett's voice from under the hood. "This thing has a twin ignition. I thought Nash only put them on the big luxury cars"

"Twin ignition?"

"Yeah, it has two coils, two distributers, and two plugs in each cylinder, it must be a bitch to set the timing.

"Timing?" asked Joey, "Do you think you can get it to run? Does a twin ignition make it harder?"

"How do I know, I've never messed with one before, I just read about it in HotRod."

Peters moved up to get under the hood with Aslett. " Should we pull the plugs and check em?"

"One plug at a time. If we get the wires mixed up we'll never find the firing order again"

Burnes voice came from under the car. "There is still grease in the differential, but it is like molasses in January, I think the rear end would burn out in no time. I can get some 80 weight from home.

I got out and began to walk around the car checking the tires. They were all pretty flat, but when I kicked them they thumped like they still had some air- - except for the right rear. Its bead was broken, part of the tube was sticking out, and it was totally trashed. I checked the spare. It was mounted in a ring on the back of the trunk that left the white walls and hub cap showing in the back. It didn't have any air in it but it looked like a brand new tire. The trunk was neat. It had a lid on top that you could open to shove things in there, and it had catches that you could loosen to let the back of the trunk down while it was still attached to the spare. You could get a lot of junk in that trunk, and it had a jack, and a tire iron, and a lug wrench fastened to the flap. "I don't know how much wear is left in the tires. The right rear is trashed but the others might be okay if they aren't completely dry-rotted out. I hope there is some wear left because they might be expensive. I thought at first that they were standard 6 X16 s, but the closer I look, the more they look like 17 ‘ rims, or maybe even 18"s

"Hey numbnuts" called Don, "You don't need to guess, it's written on the sided of the tire."

"Hey numbernuts," I replied, "It isn't on this one." indicating the spare.

"Lemme look" said Burnes as he came out from under the car. He examined the trashed tire on the right rear and pointed. "Here it is, you kinda have to run your hand around to find it, but it is here on the bead and also up above the whitewall. They are 5.50 X 17."

I looked and realized that the numbers were covered by the tire rim on the spare, and they also were covered by the ring that held the spare in place. "Well, I'da found em. They were covered by the spare and the .. spare holder, whatever it is called. Anyway they are off sized and we might have some trouble finding new ones."

"That's why god invented junk yards , " came back Burnes.

"I don't know whether you've noticed ,but they cleaned out most of the old cars from the junk yards to make cannons or something" I came back, "There isn't hardly anything older than a forty one. Doesn't make any difference anyway until we see if these things will hold air anyway."

At that, Jerry and I pulled out the jack and started jacking up the rear end while Don and Fred began to pull the plugs one by one and clean them. "These plugs really look okay " stated Fred, "But you never can tell until you try to fire them up. You go ahead and finish the plugs." he said to Don, "I'll see what the points and condensers look like" and he tore into the distributer.

Joey, in the meantime had found an old Electrolux vacuum cleaner in one corner of the shed and he plugged it in and began to vacuum out the interior of the car. He scared hell out of Jerry and me when, him moving around inside the car almost knocked the darn thing off the jack, but in about an hours time, the plugs had been cleaned, the rear axle was up on concrete blocks, and we had both rear tires and the spare in the back seat of Jerry's car. The differential and the oil pan had both been drained and the inside of the car looked pretty good. There was a bad rip in the leather seat in the back which Joey had tried to patch with friction tape but it looked like hell and the tape was already peeling off.

"I'll get a patch kit and see if I can patch any of these tubes that leak stated Jerry. If the tubes aren't all rotted up we might even get the right rear back together. Who knows, if we can't drive on em we can make them all into flipper crotches and break all the windows in the school"

"Jeez, Jerry, you really wouldn't do that would you?" Joey exclaimed in a panicky voice; in answer to which, Jerry just patted him on the head.

" Joey I can't get back here for a couple of days, can you oil the upper cylinders for me?" asked Fred.

"How do you do it?"

"I'll come over and help you tomorrow afternoon, if you can do it," said Don. "We just have to get a few cans of upper cylinder lubricant, then pull each plug, one at a time, pour about a fourth of a can down each spark plug hole then replace the plug. The oil will seep down among the rings and if any of them are frozen, some times it will loosen the rings. It only costs about a dime or so per can, so I will pick up ten cans tomorrow and bring them along. Dick and Jerry have football practice right after school, but I don't have nothin' to do. Can you get back here right after classes?"

"Sure. Dad has a funeral this weekend so I have to vacuum all the carpets in the chapel sometime tomorrow, but there's no time set."

"Criminy, does your old man have dead guys right over there?" and Don pointed across the walkway to the funeral home.

"Actually, I think he has dead gals over there" grinned Joey. "He has one lady whose gonna have her funeral at the fourth ward chapel day after tomorrow and another whose funeral will be about noon, or something like that, upstairs in our funeral chapel Saturday."

"Jeez, that gives me the creeps, working right here next to dead people."

"Man, that reminds me, I have got to get home." I didn't tell them what reminded me, but I had just remembered that my mom, who was a beauty operator, was supposed to come over here to the mortuary this evening to do that lady's hair, and I was supposed to have hurried home after football practice so I could babysit while she came over here.

"Come on," said Don, "I got Rupert's Ford parked down the alley". (Rupert was Don's uncle, and I was pretty sure Don didn't call him Rupert to his face.)

"Okay you guys, I'll try to scrounge a battery. They've got a pile of them out behind the Alameda City shop. If I can't get a battery I can take this one down and try to get it charged."

"Forget that"countered Don, "Theres a hole in the side of the battery and the battery mount and the cables are all corroded. We'll need a battery, and probably cables- - at least new terminals. We'll get the cylinders oiled, you guys try to do something about the battery and cables and we'll meet here Saturday morning to try her out."

"Naw, we'll have to do it Friday or wait till Monday." Joey volunteered, "We can't be out here messing around when they are getting ready for the funeral Saturday."

"Okay, Monday about six, after practice," said Jerry, and turning to me "Didn't ANYONE remember that we have a home game over at the Spudbowl Saturday?"

I laughed, "Coach would be thrilled if we told him we had to miss the game to fix a dead car. Like he's gonna miss us a lot anyway. Neither of us will play unless somebody dies." With that we all split up in different directions.

I got home and got hell for being so late. My dad had already left for a Bishopric meeting and mom was pacing the floor. Off she went to fix dead hair, and I took care of my little sisters while they played dolls and stuff.

As life would have it, both Burnes and I played a lot on Saturday. We played Twin Falls, and they weren't up to much so coach played most of the game with second string, and some of it with third string. We still won by two touchdowns. Don came back to the dressing room after the game. (The dressing room was at Irving Field, we were bussed back and forth to the Spud Bowl, which was the college stadium, for the game.)

"Good game" he said, " I got the car and we can go cruising for awhile until the third ward dance." "You have to go home before the dance?"

"Yeah, for a minute. I have to pick up a shirt and tie but that's all ."

"You must have a date?"

"Yeah, like always."

I never had a date. I was a good dancer and usually danced every dance, but the thought of asking a girl for a date almost made me wet my pants. I had walked a couple of girls home after the dance but never had the guts to try a kiss or anything like that. Don, of course knew that. He was a real ladies man and often had a date, but even then he would shove me into the back seat, or more frequently, have me drive while he got into the back seat with his date. Just call me chauffeur Johnson. The West Pocatello Third Ward had been holding dances every Saturday for years. It cost a quarter to get in, and they always had a live band. The only time they didn't hold a dance was when there was an official school dance, or when one of the Stakes held a Stake Dance. Everybody went to the Third ward dances, Mormons, non-Mormons, everyone. For that reason the Third ward Bishopric always had somebody there to watch out for guys trying to smuggle beer or booze in, and to get rid of anyone to tried to get in smelling of booze. It was a cool place to go.

As we started for my place, Don said "I got a good battery from one of Rupert's broken down trucks. It may be too big for the battery mount, but we can use it for awhile. The truck broke an axle, and it will be a while before he can get anyone on it." Rupert was a general contractor, and both Don and I worked for him sometimes as day labor.

"Cool" says I, then we focused on the dance and ignored the Lafayette completely, finding other things to think and talk about.

The next morning, Don and I blessed the Sacrament in Senior Sunday School along with Ken Olin, who had been one of my close friends long before Don came to town. After the Sacrament we all schleped back to the back row near the door where we usually sat after Sacrament. I began to whisper to Don about the Lafayette, and was a little shocked to see him freeze and signal me with his eyes to drop the subject. Almost instantly Ken asked what I meant by "the Lafayette" and I realized that Don didn't want to talk about the car with other guys around. I thought it was kind of silly, but I changed the subject with some really lame comment about "Lafeyette we are here," or something and I could sense immediately that Ken was pissed that we were keeping some kind of secret from him. . We all sat there pretty silently until everyone passed to classes. By the time class was over, Brother Hardin, our teacher had us trying to write about some stuff that wasn't in the Book of Mormon like we would write it if we were writing the Book of Mormon. It was really interesting, and you figured out pretty quick how hard it would have been for Joseph Smith to write the book himself, and have it mean anything. Anyway, the car passed out of our minds till we were leaving. As we were leaving Don pointed out to me that we were working on a car that didn't belong to any of us, not even Joey, and that the fewer guys who knew about it the better it would be when we came cruising up to the prom or something in Al Capone's limousine.

Nobody was late Monday. We all wanted to get in and see what it could do. Jerry had come over on his own and mounted two rear tires, which seemed to be holding air. Either he, or someone else had also pumped up the front tires, so the old car looked younger, sitting up on what looked like new shoes. It was kind of a shock when we put the battery in, and Fred jumped in to try to start it, and we realized that we didn't have an ignition key.

"Dang, I didn't think of that" said Fred. "Sometimes I wonder if I had another brain, if it would be lonesome".

"Well someone thought of it," said Joey, as he held up a key ring and grinned from ear to ear.

"Okay, lets see if this sucker has anything at all, Joey, you brought the key and its your old man's car, why don't you give it the first hit." and Fred got out and ushered Joey to the driver's seat.

He sat down, turned on the ignition and we all closed our eyes and crossed our fingers as his foot hit the starter. The starter turned the old engine over three or four times, but there wasnt a cough or anything else from the car.

"Shit", said Fred "we changed the oil, but I bet there isn't a drop of gas in the tank."

"Yes there is " stated Joey, pointing with his finger," the gas gauge reads almost a quarter full."

Don went back to the right rear where the gas cap sat almost on the bumper and opened it up. He took a deep sniff and said, "Here's your answer, theres no gasoline smell at all. This stuff must have been in here for ten years."

Burnes went flat on his back under the gas tank and stated that there wasn't any drain plug that he could see. We debated for awhile whether to unhook the fuel line and try to get the old gas out that way, or to drop the tank and just pour it out. We finally decided to siphon it out, when Burnes noted that he just happened to have a length of rubber hose and a gas can in his trunk. We all gave him a bad time about "coincidentally" having hose and a gas can in his trunk, but we shut up when he stuck the hose in, sucked a few times and had the tank draining in almost no time. We all decided to shut up about his skill with the siphon hose and just be glad he had it. In fifteen minutes the tank was as dry as you could get it with a siphon hose. We pooled our cash and came up with about a buck fifty which was enough to get almost five gallons of gas.

Burnes took the gas can and the money and went off to get gas. In the meantime, Joey brought in a bucket of soapy water, a couple of sponges and a hose, and we proceeded to wash the car. By the time Burnes got back with the gas, the old buggy actually looked black rather than the grey and tan of the dirt coating. On the other hand we all looked like we had been doing the breast stroke through a mud puddle. When Burnes came in we all hit him with the bucket of muddy water and the hose so he would look like he belonged to the group. After about a ten minute water fight that left the shed an inch deep in water, we got back to business.

"Save out about a cup of that gas when you are filling the tank" said Fred. "We probably will have to prime the carburetor. He also went up and pulled the air filter, which surprisingly enough looked pretty clean.. Joey, still dripping wet, plopped himself on the leather front seat, turned on the ignition and put his foot on the starter. After two or three tries, with the air filter off and a little gas dribbled in the carburetor the darn thing caught. It went off with a bang that shot fire about a foot high out of the carburetor then it started running. It was rough, but it ran. When Joey put his foot on the gas, it revved up a little and we all cheered like it had made a touchdown.

Fred was staring in at the engine and yelled that two of the spark plug wires on the right side were sparking outside the engine. Don ran around to the left side and said that one of the wires over there was sparking, and that he thought that the coil wire was sparking too.

"Cut the engine, Joey, " said Fred "We got a little more work to do". It was late, and we all wanted to stay and mess around, but it was a school night and we'd better all get home. Fred said his dad had a coil of spark plug wire in the garage, and he would cut some off and bring it tomorrow. Don grinned, "Man we were lucky that when that carb backfired somebody didn't call the cops or the fire department." We all grinned then. All's well that ends well, I guess, and we all headed home.

Next day, Don told me he had kiped the coil wire out of Rupert's truck, and he thought it might work, and when we all got to the mortuary, the car got all new spark plug wires and a coil wire and we used a hand pump to pump up the right front tire, which had visibly lost a little air over night. Fred and Don stationed themselves on either side of the motor with the motor covers up, Joey and I stood by and Jere got in to try to start the car. He turned on the key and we all stopped breathing as he pulled the choke out a little and shoved his foot down on the starter. It ground for just a few seconds then burst to life with a roar. He shoved in the choke and revved the motor up high for a minute then took his foot off the gas to see if it would idle. It just sat there and purred for a few minutes as we stood there looking dumbly at one another.

"Put it in reverse and back it up a little, let's see if the transmission is any good.",cried Don.

Jere backed it smoothly to the back of the shed, then dropped it into first and idled back to where he had been. We all danced and screamed and shouted until Joey said "Ssshhh, somebody is going to come in here and see what all the racket is about."

We quieted down some till Fred said, "We got to take this out on the road, open the alley door."

"Are you nuts?" argued Jere. " The license plates are the wrong color, we got to get plates on this thing."

Joey said he would go in an tell his dad what we had done and ask if we could get license plates in the morning. "He doesn't think I can do anything, he ought to be tickled pink that we have resurrected that old car.

"Resurrection, that's it. The car needs a name, let's call it Resurrection."

"Jeez, I'd like my dad to let me drive it all the time, but, in his business I'm not sure he' be thrilled about me driving the Resurrection"

"Joey, you can call it anything you want, but you gotta share a little with the rest of us. Maybe we can use it like a limo for the Christmas Dance. I can just see it now, the whole bunch of us all dressed to kill, picking up our girls and stepping out one by one." said Don.

"Yeah, " I replied, a little edgily.

"I got it, Dick doesn't date anyone yet, so he can be the chauffeur. We'll get him one of those little pointed hats and everything."

"Eat dirt and bark at the moon" I spit.

"Cool it you birds," said Jerry. I got to drive old Res. tonight. Let's wait till dark, back it out and drive around the block a couple of times."

"More than that, we all have got to have a turn."said Joey.

"Do the headlights work?" asked Fred. So Jerry took the Resurrection out (it had acquired a "the" before the name,)and drove it around the block enough times that everyone was happy.

"Okay Joey, hit your old man for plates and liability. We'll all chip in something, as much as we can, to pay our share" said Don, then, shaking hands, and hugging each other we all set out for home, knowing without saying so that we would all be back at six the following day.

Six o'clock, and everybody's here but Joey. We sat there and waited for a while, noticing that no new plates had been put on the car. After about half an hour we moved as a group to the door. If Joey was at the mortuary, we were going to find out what was wrong. Just as we reached the door, Joey opened it, came through, shut the door, and leaned back against it.

"You guys aren't gonna believe this," he started. "But we aren't gonna be doing anything with the Resurrection."

"What's wrong?" "Is your old man pissed because we fixed it up"? "Is it too expensive"? And a bunch of other questions bombarded Joey till he held up his hand.

"Dad sold it yesterday. He doesn't even know what we did to it. My cousin works at a car dealership down in Salt Lake, and they have an office in Los Angeles that rents cars to the movie companies. Dad was down there yesterday on some kinda business, and he had lunch with my cousin. Somehow or another they talked about old cars and my dad told him that he had a ‘34 Lafayette funeral limousine. He gave dad two hundred bucks for it, sight unseen."

"Maybe if you showed your dad what we've done, he'd change his mind." said Fred.

"You didn't get it. Dad mailed him the signed title this morning. He told me to come out here and see if the tires are flat. My cousin is going to come up next Wednesday with a wrecker to pick up the car. If the tires are flat, he's gonna bring some kind of little wagon to sit the back of the car on."

"Tell him the tires are flat." said Jere, "because I'm gonna take my Barlow knife and flatten every one"

"I think we ought to put sugar in the gas tank' said Don. Everybody they chipped in with some new kind of damage to do to the car till I held up my hand.

"I think we ought to use the car for something special. We can all get in it and – rob a bank or something, with tommy guns."

"Oh yeah" grinned Burnes, "We can just run down to Safeways and pick up some Tommy Guns, then while we're in jail for the next twenty years, we can tell everyone how much fun it was to rob a bank in the Resurrection"

"Well obviously I didn't mean really rob a bank, but we could stage something or make some kind of parade or something."

Don inserted "My dad knows someone who- - " then he kind of changed his mind about what he wanted to say.

"We could do something like the St. Valentines day massacre" said Joey, "I mean we'd have to set it up so that everyone knows nobody is hurt, and like that"

Suddenly the whole plan came to my mind in one shot. Stage a murder, toss the body in the car, zip back here and hide the car, and no one would know. When I tossed out my idea, everybody had something to add and the whole plot was clear as a bell. Somehow tossing a "dead" body in a car called Resurrection seemed neat. Especially when the body would get out of the car alive when it was all over.

We decided that I would make myself a fake beard (I did that for plays, all the time) and take the Greyhound bus into town. The bus station is right by the railroad station so there would probably be some folks around to see it. It could just be the other people on the bus. I'd step off the bus, come through the station, and just as I reached the parking lot the other guys would pull up in the car, jump out and shoot me with a shot gun. (Being sure that all the shot was out of the gun and they were just shooting wadding and smoke and bang). I'd fall down, they would rush over and pick me up, toss me in the car then away. It was only three blocks up to Arthur, quick down Arthur, up the alley and into the shed and it would be all over. We'd have to find a bus that arrived just about dark so that we could turn off the headlights and not be too obvious. We decided that Sunday would be the day, so that I could get out of town, and come in on a bus without missing school.

We would rather have done it on Saturday, but we decided that there would be so many people down town shopping and going to the show that we'd have trouble getting away without running over somebody. The only problem we could seen is that Arthur crossed Main which was a through Street with everybody expecting for traffic on Arthur to stop. Joey said that he had an idea to fix that so we left it to him.

Don and I worried about how we would explain missing Sacrament meeting, but what the hey, we weren't the only guys in the Priest's quorum, and somebody else could bless the Sacrament. (The fact that my dad was in the Bishopric, and would be looking for me, was something we would try to "explain"). It didn't really matter though cause when I checked the bus schedules from Idaho Falls and even from Montpelier, Nothing was coming in at a good time. We were going to have to do it early Sunday afternoon, about 11 o'clock Sunday Night, or on some other day.

Jerry came up with Utah license plates for the Res..We never asked him where they came from, and he never volunteered. But we still had to find a bus connection that worked. I talked to the guys and we batted around the possibility of Saturday, but decided that if we had to go fast to get away, we would almost certainly run over somebody. Really killing somebody just to make a point about the Resurrection seemed little extreme. Finally I found a bus out of Idaho Falls that would leave on Monday at six P.M. and get into Poky at 7:47 (of course, all busses run exactly on time.) We decided that would be just after dark but before there was much traffic for anything else, so it would work.

The problem was to get me, in disguise, up to I. F. in time to catch the bus. There were two obvious problems. One was football practice. Jere offered to run interference for me by telling Coach that he had seen me earlier in class, and that I was very sick. No one could tell if that would work. Coach was pretty sympathetic to guys who worked hard, but he was known to call the Boy's Dean's office to check if guys had missed classes when they didn't make it to practice. He was really tense about guys "bird dogging" this late in the season. Strangely enough, my schedule for Boy's council, the boy's honor society, was to work in the dean's office posting absences from two till three. I talked to Phil Detmer the guy who was supposed to work from three till four and explained that I was doing a makeup demonstration for Miss Jones, the drama teacher from three to four, and asked him, if coach called, to tell him I had left school early. Detmer owed me a favor, and agreed to do what I asked.. Sometimes letting the honor society handle absence reports was like having the fox guard the henhouse.

Now I had to get a beard. I just walked up to Miss Jones on Friday, and asked her if I could get into the makeup closet Monday afternoon. I told her that there were some girls who wanted to learn how put beards on guys and that I had told them that if I could get permission to use the stuff I would teach them. She was pretty tickled. We always needed make-up help on the shows, so she gave me the key.

The next problem was the trip to I.F., but Don assured us that there was no problem, that he had made to I.F. in forty five minutes in his Ford. He promised that if I could get into a beard, and some kind of costume by five o'clock, he would get me to the bus on time, and get back in time for a group murder at the bus station at 7:47.

Of course, nothing worked out exactly as we planned it, but a lot of things worked out. We got together Sunday afternoon to see where things stood. . Jerry (who else) had come up with a double barreled twelve gage shotgun, that was sawed off. "Man that thing is illegal", cried Don, "You can get ten years for even owning one"

"Of course, everything else we are planning is legal, so I better get a full length shotgun for our ‘murder'", grinned Jerry. He then explained that his uncle was a retired cop, and that he had the shotgun, partly as a souvenir of a bootlegging thing that his office had busted up, and partly to use to give lectures to high schools.

" Was your uncle around during prohibition?" asked Joey.

"What would ever give you the idea that bootlegging died with prohibition?" retorted Jerry. The bootlegging gang that they broke up was during the war, over in the mountains outside of Blackfoot."

"Jeez. Anyway," said Joey, I got two traffic sawhorses, and I figure, about six or so, I will go put them on Center street so that no one will be coming up the road when we are trying to get away."

"What if somebody sees you?", asked Fred.

"No problem, I put them out all the time for funerals, no body pays an attention to who does anything like that unless they run, or hide their faces or do something to look suspicious. I still haven't figured out how or when to pick them up when we're through, but I'll probably just drive up in Uncle Jim's pick-up and ‘pick them up'."

"How about costumes or disguises?" I asked, "Everybody set on what to do?"

"I got three wide brim fedora hats and a couple of homburg hats from D.I.," stated Fred. They had a real bunch of them there. I figure that returning missionaries must dump all their hats at D.I..

"My brother bought his there," I snickered, "Everybody loves to wear a hat. But you'll need more than hats. Does everybody have some kind of an old suit, or overcoat? "

The reply was affirmative. I told everybody to put on some dark face makeup that I would give them. It was going to be quick and nobody would see them much but if they had sunburn makeup and dark eyebrows, it would be enough. I would scrounge a couple of pairs of horn rimmed eyeglass frames from the drama club, and somebody could wear them. It looked like everything was set. Fred was going to get a five gallon can of gas and take it over to the mortuary shed, so that nobody would see the Res. at a gas station and remember it. Joey handed me a kind of clear envelope full of red stuff.

"What's this?" I asked.

"It's blood"

"Real blood?" I shouted, and dropped it instantly.

Joey caught it and handed it back to me. "Be careful with that. It's pretty strong, but it can break. I figured if you had some real blood to splash around when we shoot you it would look more real."

"Where'd you get real blood"

"That's a pretty stupid question." replied Joey. "If there is one thing that you can find in a mortuary, it's a little blood, if you know where to look. One thing, try to keep it cold, on ice or in a cooler or something until the last minute. It really smells rotten if it is warm for very long".

I resolved to do just that. The thought of rotten blood all over my chest was more than I wanted to think about. I was really impressed with Joey though. I had planned to make a bag of stage blood out of Karo syrup, red food coloring and peanut butter, like we do for plays. I could just see it now, if some of the fake blood had fallen on the ground.

"Well medical examiner, what is the blood type? "

"Extra Chunky, your honor"

Don agreed to come with me to the make-up room back stage and wait around till I got the beard built, then we would hop in the Ford and make it to I. F. I had bought a ticket from I.F. to Salt Lake on the bus, so if they had some way to check the ticket, it wouldn't look like I had just come to Pocatello to get shot.

Monday came and the world went on as if we hadn't planned a thing. I don't know how things were for everybody else, but I was like a Robot in class. They could have announced the end of the world and I wouldn't have noticed. I screwed up so totally in Advanced Algebra that Miss Hansen just told me to sit down and shut up. I figured that if the coach asked around whether I was sick today, everybody would tell him that I was. At three I showed up at the Dean's office
and Dean Cochran put me right to work posting the absence notices from Friday. "By the way," he said, Phil won't be coming in today."

My stomach fell four floors.

"His mother is having surgery and he didn't come today, and I have to go to a meeting at the superintendents office in just a few minutes, so when you are through, just lock the door and leave. If anyone comes, or calls in the meantime, tell them that both the Principal and I are in a meeting for the rest of the day, so they will have to call in the morning."

My stomach gradually came back up the elevator. At three o'clock I locked the door just as Don came to get me. We walked together over to the auditorium and I used the key to get into the make-up room. I went right to the beard box. There was a special box with crepe hair in lots of colors, spirit gum, liquid latex (which you used to make a beard if you were going to have to put the beard on for several performances), barber scissors, a steam iron and cloth, and a variety of brushes and combs. It also contained all the hair colorants. For grey hair you usually used Ace brand white shoe polish, clown white, or some greasy hair color that looked like it had silver flakes in it.

I shuffled through all the colors of crepe hair till I finally found one that was close to my own hair color. It hadn't been stretched. Crepe hair is really kinky curly and comes in braided ropes. To prepare it for use, you uncoil the rope braid and wet each section of the braid then stretch it around a chair back or something. I didn't have time for that, so I took a section of the hair, laid it on a towel, on the makeup table then wet a cloth and laid it over the top. I then took out the steam iron and ironed the piece of hair till it was straight and smooth.

All this was taking time, and by the time it was finished Don was dancing around as if he had to go take a leak. "Take it easy Donno, I chided, you told me you were fast and we still have three hours to go".

"Just hurry up! We need some lead time in case something unexpected comes up!"

I began to build the beard in small sections, row on row, but I didn't like the look of it. It seemed a lot different from my hair as I got it on the face. I built a little right under the sideburn and it really didn't look like a good match. "Shit" this doesn't look right"

"Nobody's gonna notice if you get here just after dark"

"They will" I retorted "If someone has to sit next to me on the bus."

I looked a little close then ripped the whole thing off and began to plunder through the hair box. I found a good grey that I had used to play Grandpa Vanderhoff, and it was already stretched, so I started off on the beard. I made a long goatee looking thing, then added a full mustache, then extended the beard up the sides with a mutton choppy looking sideburn. It was like a sloppy Van Dyke.

"You think that other one was the wrong color, you look like the wrong side of a grey apaloosa.

"Observe the master," I retorted and took a toothbrush and Ace shoe polish all over the tips of the beard on the side, with a little on the mustache, then I extended it up into my own sideburns with a little bit on the back and side of the hair. "It's a good thing we have enough mirror that I can see the back of my head," I muttered, "And that I haven't had a haircut for awhile." (That last was an understatement. I had been letting hair grow enough that I could try a duck butt hair cut like I had seen on a guy in Esquire magazine. - A magazine that I only read to see the good articles and fiction, of course).

When I started touching up my eyebrows, Don went nuts. Jeez, I would know you if I didn't know you. — Or something like that."

When I was finished, I started putting everything away and Don started to dance again. "It is way after four, and we had better get moving"

"Right away," I said when everything was really ship shape. I then put the blood package on the front of my shirt with sticky adhesive tape and put on the old grey trench coat that we had picked out at DI for my costume. I ruffled up my hair and beard and washed the white shoe polish off my hands. We stepped out, locked the door and were about half way down the hall when Miss Jones showed up. I guess she wanted to meet my new make-up girls. She didn't even notice us as we passed her. I considered that a good sign.

We rushed out to Don's car, jumped in and started up Garfield St. . We went up to Center St. and noticed that the traffic sawhorses were already there by the side of the road where they could be put out into the road easily, then we went through the underpass, took a hard left on first and were on our way to I.F.. Don was very cool about the speed limits as we went down first till it joined fifth ave. in a Y, then we were on the "Miracle Mile" in Alameda. Still right on the speed limit up over the viaduct by the old gun plant and onto the highway. He then laid on the throttle and we went through Chubbuk as if it weren't even there. I tried to point out to Don that a deputy sheriff used to hid behind the Dairy store in Chubbuck but he just smiled. We had passed through Tyhee and Fort Hall, before I could convince him that we were far enough down the road
that we had plenty of time, and besides, if we hit Blackfoot at that speed we'd spend the night in jail. He slowed down to about sixty five and I started breathing again. I'm not sure how fast we went there at the start, but I had never been in a car going that fast, and didn't think I ever wanted to do it again. He hit it pretty hard after Blackfoot, and we were on the outskirts of I.F. just about five fifteen.

"Where is the bus station?" He asked
"Darned if I know." I replied, and we looked at each other as if we were a couple of certified dipwits. Then we stopped in at a Forde Johnson truck stop and asked directions. He had me at the bus stop at five twenty. When I got out, I put on my old grey homburg hat, tipped it and said "See you at the Resurrection".

He thought that was pretty funny and buzzed off. I wondered if he was going to test the cops in Blackfoot on the way home.

I went over to the window in the station to show the guy my ticket and see if the bus was on time. When I took my hat off, I noticed that white from my hair could be seen on the hatband, so I, quick, turned the hat right side up and resolved to keep the hat on as much as possible. The bus was scheduled on time, so I sat down and waited for the bus. It seemed like a long wait but finally they announced my bus, and I checked my watch. The bus was actually early. I went out to the bus and the driver was busy pulling baggage out from the bins under the Greyhound. I showed him my ticket and he gestured with his head to get on in the bus. Moments later, just after I took a seat in the middle, a line formed at the bus door. When the driver finished taking out the luggage, and putting in a bunch of other luggage he went to the door of the bus, began taking tickets and letting people in. It occurred to me that he hadn't been gesturing to get on the bus, he had been gesturing to get in line, but I just sat there with my ticket in my hand. After the other passengers were on the bus, the driver got in and just got in his seat. He didn't come down the aisle to pick up my ticket or anything.

We sat there at the loading dock for quite awhile, I guess, waiting for other passengers. After awhile, the driver checked a big pocket watch and closed the door. As we began moving away from the dock, I realized that the motor on the bus had been running the whole time. It seemed like an awful waste of gas, but maybe his battery was low or something. No one sat down beside me, which I figured was a pretty good thing, since no one would smell the makeup on my hair or anything like that. (I didn't smell anything but I wasn't sure that it didn't have any odor at all.) The trip to Pocatello took a lot longer than the trip to Idaho Falls had. The driver really pushed the bus along at high speed, but apparently it was a local bus because it stopped for quite awhile in Shelly and stopped for a minute or two to pick up passengers at Firth, and stopped at the bus station in Blackfoot for awhile. I was beginning to wonder if we would be very late in Pocatello when it stopped at Fort Hall to let some Indians out. They hadn't got on at I.F. and I hadn't noticed them at all when I got on, so they must have been sitting way in the back of the bus. I settle back in my seat wondering if the guys had picked up the car yet, and if Don got back in time (though I was pretty sure he could beat this bus if he had been riding a good bicycle), and if they would be ready for me when I came in. I had this vision of having to sit in the waiting room in Pocatello, waiting for my "assassins " to show up. I was worried because the tape I used to fasten the blood bag on my chest kept coming loose and somebody would notice me rubbing my hands across my chest to try to make the blood bag stay in place.

In the mean time, I found out later, the other guys had put their costumes on at the shed (except for Joey who had gone down to center street to put out the traffic sawhorses). Don arrived in plenty of time and they all got in the car. Jerry was in the jump seat with the shotgun (since he furnished the gun, no-one else was going to use it. Don took the gun away for a minute, as they got in the car, and broke it open, and pulled out the shells. He just thought he had better check to make sure Jerry had taken out the load. My friend was watching out for me. Jerry was a bit ticked that Don didn't trust him, but Don explained that he believed in Murphy's law. "If anything could go wrong, it would."

Those idiots decided that, since they were early they would take the car out and drive it around a little (Talk about tempting Murphy's Law) so they drove it out on the North side of town, and up onto the West Bench, where students went to neck, after dates, (or so they tell me.) As they were coming back down the hill from the bench, the car in front of them rear ended another car and when Fred hit the brakes they were really soft so he just took a hard left into the other lane, with another left at the intersection and whizzed around the whole mess (including the stop sign that the first driver had stopped for. Can you imagine them being in a rear end accident and the cops coming to find a car loaded with kids covered with make up, illegal Utah plates, and one of them with a sawed off shotgun.

After that, they decided to go right to the bus station, just stopping to pick up Joey on the way. Joey's "disguise" was a little different. He had put on a pair of railroad striped coveralls and a railroad cap while he moved the sawhorses into place. For the "assassination" he just took off the cap, put on a Fedora and an old overcoat while they were driving to the bus station. The bus station is right next to the Union Pacific Station, with nothing but a road separating it from the Express and Mail depot of the U. P. Station. Passengers for the bus can park behind the bus station, just down from where the busses unload and load, or they can park in the U.P. lot across the street. There is a kind of driveway right in front of the station where people can drop off passengers. We had decided that across in the U.P. lot was too obvious and back where the busses came in was too well lighted so they slipped into the driveway of the U.P.Express office to wait for my arrival. The idea was to wait till I got off the bus and walked through the station then to pull into the "drop off" drive and blow me away as I came out of the door.

Back at the bus, we pulled up to the unloading dock about five minutes late. I looked around to see if I could see the Resurrection, but I didn't spot it anywhere. When I stood up, the tape came loose from the blood bag and it fell completely off my shirt. If the trench coat I was wearing hadn't had a belt, the blood bag would have fallen clear to the ground, but it hit the buckled belt, and instead of splashing blood all over the floor it just made me look a little bit pregnant. I pulled my fedora down tight on my head and followed the other passengers off the bus. As I stepped down, I took a little penknife out of my right pocket and shove it, in my right hand, under the front of the trench coat. I almost giggled when I suddenly had a vision of Napoleon with one hand under his coat all the time. Wrong hand, I decided.
When I got to the back door of the station, I pushed it open with my left hand, then held the door for a lady with a couple of kids in tow. I then pushed past her and headed for the front exit, gripping both my pen knife and the blood bag in my right hand, under my coat. The darn blood bag had started to slip downward under the belt, so I was holding it up with some desperation. I wanted to get to the door because passengers were already leaving and I didn't want any of them to meet with my friends. When I got to the door, I hit the crash bar on the door with my hip and put my left shoulder to the door. As I stepped out, I looked to my right where I was expecting the Res to zoom up and there was a little yellow mini-school-bus blocking the drive, with what looked like Jr. High Students exiting the bus to go into the bus station. I didn't know what else to do, so I just walked on and just as I reached the sidewalk the Res came barreling around the corner in what I thought was the wrong direction. It screeched to a stop so close to me that I was afraid that if they shot me, the wadding from the shells might hit me. It worked like clockwork however. Jerry popped out of the back door screaming as loud as he could and shot a little to my left. I hit my chest with my left hand and punctured the blood bag with my pen knife with my right. I thought that, with the blood bag under the coat there would just be blood on the ground, and maybe some soaking through the coat, but blood went everywhere. Some of it even came up and hit me in the face. I fell backward to the ground and felt hands all around me pick me up and throw me into the back of the car. I hit so hard in the car that I bruised almost every part of me and even stabbed myself a little with the pen knife. I heard screaming from the kids from the bus, and from adults and as the car whipped around into the parking lot to leave there was a big thump on the side of the car. I lifted my head and could see that one of the school kids was chucking rocks at us as we left. We went screeching up the street till we came to Arthur. Fred took a right hand turn and slowed down to the speed limit. He stopped at center street and Joey, back in coveralls and railroad hat got out to remove the road blocks. We kept driving as slowly as Fred could stand it, though, just as we were almost at the mortuary, we heard police sirens up by the station and he whipped the old Res into the alley so fast that most of the rest of us were on the floor.

We pulled into the mortuary shed, closed the doors, and let out with a cheer till Don said "Are you guys crazy? Shut up or everyone in town will be here in no time." We knew he was right so we all took off our costumes. I was covered with blood so I had to take off all my clothes and take a sponge bath with the hose and an old towel. As I was getting dressed, Jerry was in the car wiping up all the blood. He had mixed some paint thinner with tomato juice that he used to rub the blood stains. He said that he had seen it done that way in some movie.. As he was doing that, Don walked around the car and pulled all the valve cores so that the car hit the ground fast on flat tires. He put three of the valve cores back in, and grabbed a pliers and ripped the forth valve stem right out of the tube. Fred, in the meantime poured a half cup of water in the carburetor, so the car wouldn't start easily. Don asked him to hold up on internal damage till he could get the battery and the coil wires that belonged to Rupert's truck. While Don was doing his thing, Fred poured about a quart of water into the gas tank, then he grinned and peed into it to. "I have always wanted to do that," he said.

About that time, in walked Joey. He had the coveralls and cap wadded up under his arm and was wearing a sweat shirt and jeans. First, before he said a word, he turned off the light in the shed, then he turned and grinned. "You guys missed all the fun. Just as I got the sawhorses out of the way and up into the Stake House alley every police car in town came screaming up to the station. They blocked the driveway into the Union Pacific parking lot with a cop car and cops were running around everywhere. Two different cops stopped me and asked me if I had seen a big black car. I just looked scared and shook my head. The reason I turned out the light is that three stripers from the state patrol are cruising up and down all the streets and looking up the alleys."

Having said that he joined us in the undoing of the Resurrection. He got out the old Electrolux vacuum that he had used to clean out the car and emptied the dust bag into the vacuum. Then he put the hose into the back end and turned the vacuum on. Dust came out of that hose like you wouldn't believe. We all had to get out of the way or we would have been coated. He squirted dust into the inside (Where some of it made mud with Jere's tomato juice and the left over blood) up onto the engine, which looked like no one had touched it in years, then he dusted it over the whole card. I decided he must have bought some of that dirt from a "dirt dealer" because there was a lot more of it than there was when we came out to clean it the first time. It looked dead as a doornail. It was all ready to be delivered to Joey's cousin on Wednesday. We sorted out the clothes. We decided to trash the hats, and Fred put them all in a burlap bag which he said he would take out to his family's cabin up by Cherry Springs, and burn in the burn can up there. Joey took his coveralls home. He said the coveralls belonged to his dad. Don and I took the bloody clothes. I figured I would take them out and bury them at the city dump. They were used to seeing me out there because I scavenged for pop bottles and stuff that I could sell almost every week. Jerry took the clothes that could be used, put them in a shopping bag and dropped them off behind Deseret Industries. That's where most of them came from anyway. When we were all done we went to the door and turned, in a kind of salute. Fred started with the Boy Scout taps salute and we all joined in. "Day is done, Gone the sun, From the hills, From the plains, From the sea. God is nigh, Fare thee well, Day is done." I think we all were kind of wet eyed when it was over.

Don turned to me as we got to the car and said "We sang that wrong. I think God is nigh is the last line."

"Who cares, we weren't Boy Scouts tonight, we were the Resurrection riders."

The next day the Pocatello Tribune had big headlines about the shooting at the bus station, with interviews with the kid who had thrown the rocks. He turned out to be a kid from our ward, Harold Hamilton, and he threw rocks at everything. This was the first time he had ever been congratulated, though it wasn't the first time someone had called the cops. There was also a big story in the Salt Lake Tribune. It was really exciting. We all walked around the school with poker faces saying things like. "What do you think really happened?" and "I wonder who it was that got killed." Thinking back, it is a wonder that someone didn't suspect us just from the way we acted at school.

Miss Jones stopped me and asked for the dressing room key. "I thought you were going to be there after school. I stopped to see if I could help, but it was locked up tight."

"I'm sorry, the girls changed their minds. I waited there for a while at three and one of them came by to tell me, so I went on home."

"Too bad, Have them come by and see me. Maybe I can get them excited again."

"Okay.", and I slunk away.

The next day was a lot different. The FBI had been called in and the FBI agent from Salt Lake pegged the whole thing as phony right from the start. "No one would use a car like that for a gang murder" he said. "It wouldn't be reliable and would stand out too much. I suspect some guys from one of the antique car clubs watched too many old Edward G. Robinson movies and decided to put something on stage. We'll find them pretty soon, and they won't think it's funny anymore."

This made us all pretty nervous, especially when Joey told us that the police had come to look at the Resurrection. Someone had told the cops that Joey's dad had an old car and they came to look at it. Apparently Resurrection's death scene had been convincing. His dad said that they didn't even go over to look at it carefully, even when he told them that he had sold the car to some guys that were going to restore it for work in the movies.

By Sunday it was old news and no one even thought about it any more, except us, of course. The guy had come and picked up the Resurrection and taken it away, and we began to think about other things. There had been an away game at Idaho Falls on Saturday, and Jerry and I both played, and both messed up big time and got reamed out by the coach. I told Jerry that it was too spooky riding back and forth to Idaho Falls on the bus this soon.

On Sunday evening, Don and I were there to bless the Sacrament with Sammy Davis, who stuttered and got picked on a lot. As we were sitting there, Don whispered, "Did you ever think that you would get a chance to bless the Sacrament after having gone through the Resurrection?" I laughed, not a really good reaction at the Sacrament table, then Sammy said "Wh-what did you say about the Resurrection?" Don just smiled and said, "You wouldn't understand. It's a personal thing. Ask Brother Hardin about it after church."

When we went back to the back row after Sacrament Don chuckled. "What's so funny?" I asked, "Is it Sammy?"

"Naw," said Don, I was just thinking that if they get the old Lafayette fixed up for the movies, I would like to see one with him. I was cutting up at home this afternoon and Rupert said that the way I was acting, I certainly wouldn't see the first resurrection. I would be lucky to see the second resurrection. I was thinking that if I saw the old car in a movie, I would see the second Resurrection for sure."

I hate to admit it, but it wasn't till after church that I figured out what he was talking about.

Copyright C Richard B. Johnson, 1991