Junkyard Sharpshooter

It was nearly midnight and I was sitting out on my front step enjoying the balmy weather. We’re just starting to get some summery nights.

A neighbor who lives up the street from me wandered by and we got to talking. Wayne is younger than I am but he’s old enough to have some good stories.

I told him about my spare tire being stolen from the bed of my Ford pick-up truck. I also told him that I had to pay fifty bucks for a replacement.

“Oh, man, you shoulda come to me! I know this guy near La Grange who has a junkyard — he’s my dad’s best friend. He woulda sold you a spare for twenty bucks!”

“Well, I didn’t know about him, and I haveta have a spare, after all.”

“This guy is a bit peculiar, though. A few years ago he was walking with a fishing pole and the hook got embedded in his eye. He lost his vision in that eye, and if you talk with him, you can’t look at that eye or he gets mad. You need to look at his chest or really anywhere but that eye.”

“This guy is somewhere between sixty and seventy. He’s suspicious of people he doesn’t know and he’s liable to shoot them with a .30-30 rifle. He’s shot about eight people so far; he calls 911 and the La Grange police will send an officer out to take the latest victim to the hospital. The guy’s a good shot and only inflicts grazing wounds.”

“Gosh, I do like a good deal on auto parts, but I don’t want to get shot at!”

“I’ll go out there with you sometime and introduce you. If he knows you’re a friend of mine you’ll be cool!”




Filed under Essays and Articles, General and Local, Quincy

6 responses to “Junkyard Sharpshooter

  1. Joan

    Ok..now how come this fellow who has inflicted gunshots on all these people is not in jail? One of these days his eyes will grow worse and he’ll kill someone. I think you got a bargain tirewise when you consider the alternatives.
    One good thing about living in/near a big city is the number of junkyards you can access for spare parts. Only thing is, you usually have to go to whatever junker has that part and take it off yourself. Luckily we just needed a mirror. 😉

  2. “This fellow” evidently knows people in his community. You can get away with a lot if you’re known and trusted in a small town.

  3. Joan

    Ok. Then go to him next time ..but wear a bullet proof vest.

  4. Darrell

    Back in the ’50’s there was a farmer up on the Bay who had a habit of threatening anyone who wandered on his land with shooting (including my Dad and myself). Legend had it that one day the Marion County sheriff had enough and told the shooter wanna-be that if he (the farmer) ever shot anyone for mere trespassing, the sheriff would shoot him (the farmer) on sight without any attempt to arrest. That seems to have stopped the problem. Does anyone else know about this?

  5. Great story, Darrell! I’ve never heard that one.

  6. Darrell

    Joan, a bullet proof vest won’t work on a .30-30. Also on the topic of pathological land/property owners: I had a former classmate turn into a raving looney when I inadvertantly crossed his property south of Hannibal. He was on the verge of violence it seemed, altho he knew who I was.

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