STRADDLING AN ICE BLOCK

Headed east out of Canada in cold weather, traffic was heavy, and I fell in behind a semi-trailer truck, with vehicles vying for position in lanes on both sides. Suddenly, a hunk of ice came bouncing toward us. It may have fallen from the truck or another vehicle ahead of us. There was no way to avoid hitting it (or being hit by it) without side-swiping another car in a parallel lane.

The ice block probably measured about 10”x10”x20” – a rather large obstacle. I did not want to hit it dead center with my radiator, the engine oil pan, or the transmission, so I swerved slightly left, staying in my lane. It broke the fiberglass faux-bumper, taking out a section of the bumper and protective shield, and passing underneath just inside the front wheel and tire. We heard and felt the bump and crunch as we sailed over it.

I pulled off into the breakdown lane as soon as possible to see how much damage was done. Amazingly, we were not losing any coolant or oil. However, though the the contact appeared to be limited to the right side of the car, the entire left turn signal unit had popped out. It had to be replaced later with a recycled part from a salvage yard. Using some bungee cords from the trunk, I wired up the damaged parts so they wouldn’t drag or interfere with moving parts, and we continued our trip.

Another dangerous situation survived!

The Lord has protected us from many potentially disastrous collisions, and provided repairs in a hundred impossible situations. We’ve often commented about the high risk duty our guardian angels have given us.

Travel by automobile has been a main feature of our lifestyle for five decades, covering about 2.5 million miles as we criss-crossed the United States in cars or pickup trucks, sometimes pulling travel trailers. By far, the majority of churches gave us a lump-sum love offering, without consideration for travel expense, wear and tear, or replacement costs. Still, He is our Provider and Protector.

Dangers, Toils, Snares, & Motorcycles

Dangers, Toils, Snares, and Motorcycles

by C.T.L. Spear

My first college roommate, Dennis Gingrich, owned a Harley Davidson “74,” which remained back home on the farm south of Gering, Nebraska. The Bible College prohibited freshmen from bringing vehicles to campus, holding the view that vehicles and girlfriends only distracted from serious study. Freshmen were not allowed to date until after the first nine weeks. Vehicles were banned for the entire year, which meant that Dennis and I were afoot.

Dennis discovered a motorcycle shop not far from the college, and we made the pilgrimage to the show room frequently. In the back, we found a 1942 Harley “45.” Den purchased it for $54 and included me in the restoration project, even sharing the profits when we sold it to another student, Ron Stradinger. We pushed it up the hills of Omaha to get it home, since the transmission was (literally) in a basket. The transformation included custom exhaust pipes and taillights, and a fire engine red paint job shot from spray cans in our dorm room, with a box fan in the window, a feeble attempt to maintain respiratory health. The fan blades and the screens on the window, as well as the walls of the room took on a rather pink hue. The Dean of Men, Ron Seibel, managed to ignore the “vehicle,” which was stowed in an old garage behind the dorm, although plenty of evidence made its way into our room – wheels and tires, fenders, and gas tank – which hung from a clothes hanger hooked to the light fixture.

That summarizes some of the extracurricular “Toils and Snares” of Bible College life… Dangers? I’ve rarely told about my first solo ride on the “45.” Dennis was gone to work one afternoon, so I test-drove it on the student parking lot across the street. By the grace of God, I found the brake and the foot-operated “suicide clutch” just before the front tire would have bashed into the side door of a Volkswagen owned by the Student Body President, Gary Isaac. I never confessed this near-transgression to Dennis or Gary, and never rode solo again until I owned my own 1972 Harley Sprint “350,” seven years later. But, that is another story.