Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas


May 11, 2014

Car toys and joys

So, last weekend the Raminator came to Corsicana.

The Raminator is a public relations monster truck that spent the weekend at Berry Chrysler giving people rides, and letting them take photos next to the ginormous tires.

Although I drive a 12-year-old Sentra which would have probably fit underneath the Raminator, I had to admit it was pretty cool.

Getting into the Raminator means climbing up a ladder on the back and sliding through the window into the cab. I didn’t ride in it, although I’d have driven it if they had offered. They didn’t offer.

The plus side of having a Raminator, according to the guys with Hall Brothers Racing who own it, is that it’s fun to drive, and that makes for a cool job. On the downside, no a/c, GPS, or seat warmers in the thing. I’ve already sworn that my next vehicle will have seat warmers. My tushie deserves it.

What amused me most was that there are five Raminators, and this one was “Number 8.” When the driver told me that, I just looked at him and blinked. Old Raminators get retired, he explained. I think they should be more creative in the naming of the Raminators, kind of like the pilots during WW II used to name their planes after their sweethearts. Belle or Mae, or whatever. I mean, for a modern age that means the Raminators would be named “Kristi” or “Tiffany,” but at least it would be better than Number 8.

Perhaps inspired by my brush with mechanical marvels, I went to a Pick N Pull last Saturday, which is a salvage yard where you can find a junked-out version of your car, then scavenge the part you need.

After paying our admission fee and getting our hands stamped as if it were a nightclub, we were released into this vast dusty field of picked-over vehicles in various states of being skeletonized with roaming bands of amateur mechanics — almost all male — wandering around it. It was handy guy Disneyland.

I took my sister, who’s better with tools than I, and my little fishing tackle box o’ tools, which is frankly better equipped for hanging a picture on the wall than taking cars apart.

Being the token estrogenites was good because when I couldn’t get a part loose, I just nabbed the first passing guy and he immediately jumped in there to help us out with the correct tools.

OK, so I didn’t exactly pull my own part, but it was my idea and I did wield several tools, badly, so I’m taking credit.

Still, the Raminator has nothing to fear from my Sentra. I very wisely didn’t even try to install the part I got. I took it to my mechanic for that. He owns a thing called a “wrench.”


Janet Jacobs may be reached via email at

Text Only
  • Dr Don Newbury 2014.jpg Flipping out over flip-tops

    Somewhere between the admonition to avoid looks at gift horse’s mouths and the dangers of Greeks bearing gifts should be warnings about acceptance of gifts from offspring.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dick Platt 2014.jpg ‘Spilling doze count’

    My subject is borrowed from a local contributor to the Sarasota Herald Tribune named Bob Parkinson.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Deanna Kirk Water Park woes

    I’ve come to the realization that vacations are not a luxury, they’re a necessity.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dr Don Newbury 2014.jpg Old, new, borrowed, blue

       Dissection of notes found in the pocket of an old suit isn’t easy. Maybe they were scrawled during the lull in a wedding ceremony, or to jog my memory of a joke for later use.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dick Platt 2014.jpg Spam french fries

    I saw a relatively disturbing video and article on Yahoo which touted making Spam French fires to go alongside your big old ground chuck burger. I just can’t imagine a basket full of these deep-fried cholesterol-loaded sticks, but there they were, bigger than Texas.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Janet Jacobs Dumb and dumber in the blotter

    When it comes to dumb criminals, nothing beats the would-be gang of car burglars who tried to break into a car in Tampa, Florida, this past week.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Belcher, Bob.jpg ‘Change’ — old "buzz word" shows up in our town

    If you pay much attention when you’re driving around town lately (and I really hope that you do — pay attention, that is) you can’t help but admit we’ve seen some “change” as of late. And, contrary to the political connotations that word will forever carry with it now, that “change” we’re seeing is good.

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bill Tinsley Germany present and past

    Last Sunday evening my wife and I stood on the balcony of our apartment in Nuremberg and watched as fireworks lit up the sky.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dr Don Newbury 2014.jpg Where strawberries are king

    In 1949, when Stilwell, Oklahoma’s “Strawberry Festival” was just one year old, crooners were applauded when they cut loose with Dear Hearts and Gentle People.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dick Platt 2014.jpg My TV is held hostage

    Give me back my TV! The Sunday sports fare today is just pitiful as far as I am concerned. Over the past weeks, my normal sports programs has been rudely preempted by endless hours of Wimbledon tennis, the Tour de France, assorted motor sports, and the nauseating mega-million signing sagas of LeBron James and Carmello Anthony

    July 14, 2014 1 Photo