Two Nights in Grand Island

We had no children yet in 1973, so Guy still enjoyed driving his second hand 1966 Corvette to work at Stapleton Tower in Denver. Our other car was a 1969 VW bug, which someone was borrowing while we brought the Vette back to Iowa for a vacation.

We were to arrive late on Guy’s mother’s birthday, but Nebraska is a very wide state. The clutch went out near Grand Island so we were towed to there, but they needed to order parts which wouldn’t be there until the next day.

A motel was within walking distance, a place to eat, and also a movie theater. We watched “Paper Moon.”

Late the next afternoon we learned that the new parts were defective. The mechanics loaned us a ’63 Chevy with a fur dashboard. There were also fuzzy dice hanging from the rear-view mirror, and we got several gawkers. Probably friends of the guy who owned the car and hadn’t paid for repairs on it.

Since Guy was an air traffic controller, we drove to the Grand Island airport, toured the national weather service and flight service station. We were thankful that the theater changed to a new movie, so we killed time by watching “Badge 373.”

Finally the third day we were able to leave Grand Island early in the afternoon. Guy decided to make up a little time getting to his mother’s, but got pulled over in Iowa by a cop standing next to the highway and flagging over speeder after speeder. We had to sit in line for another trooper to come give us the ticket.

When we finally got to the Glidden farm, two days late for Guy’s mother’s birthday, we figured it would have been quicker and cost us less to just fly home.

But now we have a story to tell.


  1. Your Corvette story brings back a nightmare of my own. For some reason, a friend of my brother had parked his 1960 Corvette at our house while he went on home to Ohio during Christmas vacation. He and I were attending the same college in SC at the time, and when he came back through Knoxville to pick up his car, he offered to let me ride back with him, saving my parents the trip through the mountains. It was a cold, rainy day when we left Knoxville, and it rained all the way to SC and got colder by the minute. The interior space in the car was limited, being crammed with both our luggage, and I had only one place to put my feet with no room to even wiggle them. That’s when he (and I) discovered that he had a leak in his windshield–and the drip was right on my foot. It was frozen by the time we got to SC!

    • That reminds me that we took that same Vette from Denver to Indianapolis and it kept overheating as we drove through Kansas. No A/C. Rode like a tank. Guy has a 2003 right now. At least it has A/C but I don’t do well riding “slung down.” He’s disappointed that I’d rather cruise in the F-150!

  2. I had a ‘69 Stingray. I loved it. So fun to drive, but so difficult to maintain. Sadly, I sold it. Sometime wish I still had it. But what a “muscle” car!

    • Guy has kicked himself for selling it in 1974, but a baby seat wouldn’t fit in the thing, so he bought a pickup! A couple of years ago he adopted a 2003 out of the Twin Cities. He’s kinda disappointed that I’d rather cruise in the F-150, but at least this Vette has A/C!

      • Yep! Mine had A/C, but with the heat radiating off the engine block, it didn’t help your legs much. Great in the winter though! 👍

  3. My brother-in-law has a 1965 Corvette. In the Spring he gets it out of the back garage and drives it from time to time. Sometimes he takes me along, and a couple of times he let me drive it. Old school power! And a great sound that no modern engine can duplicate.

  4. This is an enjoyable reminiscence, one which reminds me of the time we faced a fourteen hour journey to celebrate my mother’s 80th birthday. We left home early and somehow got lost in a Free State town, found our bearings, got stopped at a routine police road block and eventually arrived 15 minutes late for the dinner (our arrival was the surprise for my mother – and it truly was!). She later said she had been most puzzled that no-one appeared to be in a hurry to settle around the table even though she knew the food was ready. Lovely memories.

  5. That brought back memories of my cross-country trip in June 1985 in an old Pontiac Ventura with no A/C. I had to replace the fuel pump twice, once in Nebraska. And then the muffler detached at the manifold in Wyoming when the pavement ended suddenly and I had to listen to that engine all the way to Cody. Some nice (but perhaps not bright) mechanic burned his hand reattaching it for me – and didn’t even charge me for it!

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