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YOUR BALANCE
"Toto, we're not in Kansas anymore."
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"Toto, we're not in Kansas anymore."


Apr 23, 2022, 8:57 AM

I had what, for perusers of these boreds was probably a unique upbringing. My father, being a product of the Great Depression in his early teenage years, never forgot what it was like to have NOTHING. Therefore, when he grew up, he made sure he had accumulated enough life skills to put food on the table year round for his family.

I, and my brothers farmed, worked in the "general service" car / truck shop, or worked in the sawmill as seasons and needs dictated. The shop alone allowed me to develop the logical problem solving skills that proved to be invaluable in my future profession of Chemical Engineering after I got my Clemson degree.

But, it was elsewhere that provided some of those "You can never go home again" moments of my youth. Our family sawmill was powered by a 3-71 "Detroit Diesel" 3 cylinder engine. The accompanying Planer was powered first by an old "crank on gas, trip to diesel" International motor, but later on by a 4-71 Detroit Diesel that my dad and I worked on together to get into running shape, it having been purchased for next to nothing, having been through a ginhouse fire.

Unless you have heard the sound a Detroit Diesel makes, it is hard to explain. It is a "two stroke" diesel, which for laymen means, every time the piston comes to the top of the cylinder bore, the engine "fires" on a power stroke. This is what makes them so desirable as stationary power units. Six cylinder or V-8 versions power trucks, buses, or skads of other type vehicles.

Detroits could be fitted with many different "number" injectors, the higher the number, the more fuel they delivered. The "recommended" max for a 3-71 was a "40", I was told at some point. Daddy had a set of "80's" in our 3-71. If it had had wheels, that thing would have been a monster hot rod. It also had a "straight stack" exhaust, no sign of a muffler. My dad would never crank that thing up unless he had accumulated at least 3 weeks worth of logs to saw for other people.

So, as you can guess, my teenage self HATED hearing that Detroit crank up. It running meant three weeks of hard, manual labor at a time. But, OH, the sound that thing made when it was pulling hard. Anyone who loves mechanical things will know how the sound of them running becomes ingrained in your soul.

Of course, all that is gone now. The farm, and all the equipment was sold away years ago on the estate sale when my dad passed away. My parents SECOND house was lost to a house fire in 2010. So, twice over, I can never "go home again". But, to this day, I can go on YouTube, and listen to a Detroit Diesel power unit running somewhere, and the memories come flooding back so vividly, it hurts.

I'll see my Mom and Dad again, someday. That time is approaching now, sooner rather than later, as I get older. And, weird though it may seem to some, I believe that the sound of a particular old 3-71 Detroit Diesel will be echoing around Heaven when that time comes, and I will smile.

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Re: "Toto, we're not in Kansas anymore."


Apr 23, 2022, 9:13 AM

Thanks for sharing. Good memories can be found in the oddest places.

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I don’t know what most of that means, but


Apr 23, 2022, 9:42 AM

I understand the nostalgia. I’ll never forget dad wearing his Clemson jogging suit with no socks and loafers on game days in September while mowing the grass. He was a fashion statement. Too bad he passed too soon before the Dabo era. I’m purty sure he’d be loving it.

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Lol. My Dad, being a Manly Man, let my Mom cut the grass.


Apr 23, 2022, 9:48 AM

He provided the riding mower, and she used it. Now, lest you think my Dad was lazy, there were a couple of reasons my Mom cut the grass. One, she had pity on my Dad because of his bad back, which had undergone surgery years before. Two, she enjoyed doing it. She seemed to especially enjoy using the mower deck as a bulldozer blade, running over fire anthills and knocking them down. Needless to say, this was not very conducive to the health of the lawn mower blades.

:)

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I've said this before on here, but bears repeating. I had an


Apr 23, 2022, 11:31 AM [ in reply to I don’t know what most of that means, but ]

older sister, an older brother, and later on, a younger brother, who all got degrees from Cooterville. However, during all that time, I never saw any Lamecock items make their way into Mom and Dad's home. Yet, when I enrolled at Clemson, they visited the campus with me. Gradually, as time went by, whenever I went home for a break, I would see various Clemson items about the house. Among these, I remember they had a "1974 Perfect Home Season" Pepsi bottle, and a "1981 National Champions" Coke bottle on the table between their two recliners in the den. Not much doubt where their true loyalties lay.

One Clemson > THREE Cootervilles.

:)

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Re: "Toto, we're not in Kansas anymore."


Apr 23, 2022, 10:42 AM

Wonderful Post! Thanks for sharing!!!

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Re: "Toto, we're not in Kansas anymore."


Apr 23, 2022, 2:15 PM

i can relate to the emotions.my dad owned a dairy queen when i was growing up and any time i see dq related stuff or visit one,the good memories come flooding back.

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Re: "Toto, we're not in Kansas anymore."


Apr 23, 2022, 2:50 PM

Well done, 76er!

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"It is not part of a true culture to tame tigers any more than it is to make sheep ferocious."
--Henry David Thoreau


Re: "Toto, we're not in Kansas anymore."


Apr 23, 2022, 3:02 PM

Buy a Diesel boat. I have owned a 42' with an 8-92 Detroit. I love the sound and to misqoute Robert Duvall, "I love the smell of diesel in the morning."

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Re: "Toto, we're not in Kansas anymore."


Apr 24, 2022, 3:46 PM

Enjoyed reading that. Thanks for sharing.

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Re: "Toto, we're not in Kansas anymore."


Apr 24, 2022, 8:44 PM

Good story. Thanks for sharing. It sounds as if your dad raised you well. However, as a 42 year Cummins veteran and recent retiree, I have to respond. Those engines may have been good in the day, but they leaked and smoked like crazy. I think the old V555 and later, the Cummins B Series were the way to go. We'll never agree on diesels but, like me, your blood definitely runs orange and that's what matters!

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You and my Dad would definitely have had to agree to


Apr 25, 2022, 1:03 PM

disagree. I never knew why, but he must have had a bad experience with one somewhere along the way, because CUMMINS was a 4 letter word to him. If he found out a used truck or some piece of farm equipment that he was interested in buying had a Cummins engine, end of story. He would turn around and walk away. Like I said, I never asked why, and he never shared.

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Enjoyed that immensely.Felt like an ending of "The Waltons".


Apr 24, 2022, 8:54 PM

I don't know what the sound is...but if it makes you feel as good as hearing those P51's with the Merlin engines fly over, then I get your point.

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Re: Enjoyed that immensely.Felt like an ending of "The Waltons".


Apr 25, 2022, 7:54 AM

My mind went back to the Walton's too.

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