HOME page>                  NEW STUFF page> 
          WRITING CONTENT page>       GUEST ARTISTS page>Home_1.htmlNew_Stuff.htmlEssays.htmlGuest_Artists.htmlshapeimage_1_link_0shapeimage_1_link_1shapeimage_1_link_2shapeimage_1_link_3

Somerville Car Memories

Corky Cummings


When I was growing up in Somerville I had quite a few bad experiences with cars. In no particular order, here are some of the mishaps I encountered:

  1. 1.Burned the transmission out of my mother’s 1959 Ford when I got it center bound off-roading near the lake and tried to drive it out with the wheels not touching the ground.

  1. 2.Side-swiped my brother’s 1956 Chevy trying to sneak home one night with the headlights off.

3. Wrecked a 1962 Chevrolet going to Brenham when a woman turned suddenly to go to Gay Hill, and I rear ended her (I may have been following a little too closely.).

4. Burned the motor up in a 1963 Pontiac (Somehow oil and water got mixed, which wasn’t on the recommended maintenance schedule.).

5. Backed into Ernest Curling, who lived across the street, as we were leaving at the same time (What are the odds?).

While most of my history deals with mechanical and collision problems, there were a number of my friends who had memorable car related experiences also. 

Scooter Hill drove a white Corvair with a rear engine, which wasn’t common then. At one of the high school reunions a few years ago, I was talking to Scooter about the car and he said the motor was usually in the back but sometimes it was in the front and sometimes it was on the side. That was another way of saying he put that car through hell. He was lucky his dad was a mechanic because there were plenty of things to repair.

Stevie Miller had a Ford Torino that had a type of muffler called glasspacks, which make a very loud noise. Once he was returning from Brenham with his two young nephews in the car, and he was given a ticket for the loud noise. He told his nephews that there was no need to say anything about the incident when they got home. Stevie said when he got to his house the little bastards about ran over each other trying to be the first to tell the news. 

There was another occasion when several Somerville people were at Deanville Hall for a dance one Saturday night. For some forgotten reason Stevie rode home with someone else and Carl Wotipka drove his Torino back to Somerville. Carl decided to do a little hot-rodding when he returned to town and he managed to escape the local law officers, but they recognized the car. The next day Stevie was paid a visit and he had no idea what the cops were talking about, but he quickly learned why he was the suspect. The relationship between Carl and Stevie cooled for awhile after that. 

My buddy Miller Bassler drove an orange Renault, which had about as much horsepower as a push lawn motor. One day when it was very cold and ice was on the streets, Miller took advantage of the conditions to perform a few driving maneuvers. My dad’s friend, Kenneth Scott, witnessed the event and when he saw my dad the next time he asked him who drove a little orange foreign car. Kenneth had seen him near his house and said whoever was driving was sure cutting a “rusty” on the ice. The term became one that my friends and I have used many times over the years. 

These memories and experiences barely touch the surface of so many car related incidents that occurred in Somerville, a little town with a lot of action.