The Old Soldier Has One More Tour


Some time ago, I wrote about this 2000 Ford E-150 conversion van that graces my pole barn.  For those who have read my rambling about it, they might conclude it has been a mild irritant to me.  Well, every car does have a story and the story on this tub keeps evolving.

Periodically I have breakfast with Ray, a retiree from where I work and who knows a frightening number of people.

About ten weeks ago Ray and I were eating breakfast when a gentleman approached him.  Ray introduced me to Glendon Luetkemeyer.  Confessing he was a frequent lurker here at CC, Glendon recognized my name thanked me for my intensive history of corinthian leather, stating he was the great-great grandson of inventor Trygve Luetkemeyer.  He asked if I still owned the Ford van.  I begrudgingly admitted my name still being on the title.  Glendon appeared oddly optimistic.

The distinct advantage to Jefferson City is it is one of the lesser populated state capitals in the United States with a nighttime population of 40,000.  Despite the daytime swell to around three times, the advantage is the various elected officials and key people to know are much more concentrated and thus easier to find.  Little did I realize that Glendon is a good person to know as he is in a key position with Osage Industries, located fifteen miles east.


Osage Industries currently configures chassis into ambulances.  From 1983 until the very early 2000s Osage converted vans into the big box broughams like mine that were so popular for some unfathomable reason.


Glendon told me he had been scouring the Midwest for a decent surviving Osage Industries conversion van.  He said with the use these saw, and the downward spiral inherent in the automotive cycle, all the examples he kept finding were as worn and nasty as a mattress in a cheap whorehouse.  Glendon then inquired who had made my van.

When I told Glendon Osage had gussied up this van, the look of sheer delight on his face was a sight to behold.  In less than five minutes time Glendon would evolve from being a stranger to my new best friend.  Glendon had spent the last five months on an extensive international search for a decent example to place in a museum the company was wanting to create.  It seems that in all this frantic searching, not a single example of any American conversion van could be found in Asia, Europe, South America, or Australia.  My van was the key ingredient they had been missing and Glendon wanted to buy it!  Boy was I happy.  Since my failure at becoming a motivational speaker, the poor thing has just sat.

We agreed Glendon would come by that evening to take a look at the van and we would talk about a price.  The beautiful thing is I had pretty much ascertained he wanted to buy it and no alternative existed, an enviable position to have with any negotiation.  Thoughts of a tall stack of $100 bills were dancing through my head.


Upon parting ways, I knew there was an issue I needed to correct.  The van had been parked in my drafty, rental pole barn all winter.


With the van parked along the west wall, it had had crap blowing on it all winter.  Combined with the refugee, berry eating birds bombing the van with wild abandon, it was not a sight to behold.


Thankfully it was a warm day so I could hose the bitch off.  Shortly after I got to working on it, Mrs. Jason and I hopped inside to clean out the interior.

When Glendon arrived a few hours later, he was ecstatic.  It seems he and his wife had used an identical van on their honeymoon.  He said she become pregnant with their twins during this time while camping in the van.  That was a bad mental picture.


The van surpassed his wildest expectations and I received $21,600 in crispy new $100 bills.

Three weeks later Glendon called asking me and Mrs. Jason to attend the opening gala of the museum.  The van had been polished to the n-th degree and placed on a very nice mock roadway with a diorama.  The only flaw was Mrs. Jason felt nauseated en route then upon our arrival she gobbled up their brie gelato and pickled pork tongue hors d’oeuvres.


Somehow the museum is considered a charity so my 2015 income taxes will be dripping with wonderful deductions.

I did learn this past week there is another tax deduction due this fall.  Mrs. Jason’s obstetrician suspects the tax deduction in her oven may actually be two tax deductions.

This endeavor has taught me two things; I’m never helping Mrs. Jason clean out another van and I may have to rescind my loan.  This van is like a tattoo – I cannot rid myself of it.