Happiness Is Printing By 1? FILPTUIRA PRESS Phone 512/442-7836 1714 SOUTH CONGRESS P.O. BOX 3485 AU.,STIN,JEXAS Newspapers Magazines Political Specialists *Signs and Placards Bumperstrips Office Supplies 100% Union Shop August 13, 1971 21 KENNEDY PRESIDENT BUMP ERSTIC KER 314″x 11W’ 2 for 50c, 5 for $1 50 for $8 1212 W. 13th #G Austin 78703 THE PENTAGON PAPERS The complete series of articles published by the New York Times is out in paperback and the Observer Bookstore has it. Please see the full-page Observer Bookstore ad this issue for information on this and other books. I In memoriam, The Tank, 1960-1971 Austin This article is dedicated to everyone who has ever had an ancient, beloved lemon. It is with deep regret that we announce the demise of The Tank, the venerable, reverseless automobile of Observer co-editor Molly Ivins. The Tank went out in a blaze of glory at the corner of 15th and Guadalupe in Austin, Tex., on July 17. It took a huge rig and three firemen to put out the blaze. El Tanko, as it was known in South Texas, was rushed immediately to Roy Butler Mercury where its faithful mechanic Jim Shaw pronounced it “a total” on arrival. We would like to take this opportunity to thank the many, many Texans, and other citizens of this great nation, who have, over the years, helped push The Tank backwards. From the snows of Minnesota to the steaming heat of East Texas, hundreds of people have joined me in shoving the old lady out of impossible corners. As those.of you who have helped push it know, The Tank was the biggest, heaviest car ever made. On those rare winter mornings in Minnesota when The Tank started, it easily cleared six-foot snow drifts while Jeeps wallowed helplessly and Volkswagens never ventured out of their garages. To all the kids, cops, cowboys, freaks, housewives, party-goers, Indians, parking lot attendants, drunks and countless others who have aided in maneuvering The Tank my profound gratitude. I should especially like to offer my thanks to the following persons: the man in the tuxedo who was on his way to a formal banquet being held in his honor at the Radisson Hotel when he slipped in the slush while trying to get The Tank out from behind a thoughtless Jaguar; to the parking lot attendant at the Star -Trib who got a hernia from pushing The Tank; to the fellow who spent an hour and a half helping me get The Tank out of a ditch in rural Minnesota in zero-degree weather and then invited me in to watch the rest of the Ed Sullivan Show; to the guy at the Skelly station in Rockdale, Tex., who gave me a shot of straight gin the night the universal joint fell out; to the two off-duty DPS officers in the blue pickup with the “Shitkickers and proud of it” bumper sticker who got me out of that bog near Marshall, Tex. And to the waitress in the Longhorn Cafe near Caldwell, Tex., who siphoned gas out of her Dodge so I could make it to College Station that night; to the longhair who helped me push it forward in the middle of a riot in Madison, Wisc. \(The Tank was always susceptible to tear gas a severe professional handicap in our line of Restaurant in Joplin, Mo., where I spent two days while Moody replaced the crankshaft. And to Peter McGee, my insurance agent, who told me The Tank wasn’t worth $71 in collision insurance; to the man who runs the candy and ammunition store in Taylor, Tex., who stopped to help twice during that trip to Dallas when The Tank had three successive flats \(yes, I did get there in time to hear President Nixon’s And to Cliff Olofson, the Observer’s business manager, who wired Texas plates on The Tank with a coat-hanger after it was discovered that its Minnesota plates were imbedded in rust; to the two Austin cops who were covered with humiliation and sweat before they finally gave up and called in four squad cars worth of reinforcements in order to get The Tank pushed two feet uphill near the capitol; to the state safety inspector, whose name I shall never reveal, who gave The Tank a sticker despite its wall-eyed headlights and peculiar transmission. And, of course, to the fellows at Quality Mercury in Bloomington, Minn., the fellows at Roy Butler Mercury in Austin, Tex., and, above all, to The Boys at Aamco, who tried. Those of you who knew and loved The Tank’s spirit of fierce independence will be gratified to learn that two days before its death, despite the fact that The Boys at Aamco had installed yet another entirely new transmission system, The Tank was once more refusing to go backwards. The Boys at Aamco were preparing to nominate The Tank for Ripley’s Believe It or Not. Over the years, I first met many of my best friends while pushing The Tank backwards. Of course, I lost a few friends through The Tank, too those who could never , master the correct rear-end-against-the-hood-and-shove technique and assorted swains who were exacerbated by the birth-control bar but on the whole, The Tank was the greatest friend-maker I ever knew. Those of us who were close to The Tank are bearing up bravely, keeping in mind ATHENA Leo Nitch, Director MONTESSORI SCHOOL All or Half Day Ages 2-10 SUMMER PROGRAM 7500 Woodrow 454-4239 The Tank’s eternal motto Toujours En Avant. It is my own conviction that The Tank is not dead: I believe it will be shipped to Japan, recycled and reincarnated as ten Toyotas. If someday, a few years hence, you should acquire a small, Japanese import which suddenly, stubbornly, inexplicably and incurably refuses to go backwards Remember The Tank! M.I. From San Antonio’s Eagle Bone Whistle: “Water is probably our most valuable and abused resource. Stop pouring it down the drain. * Fix leaky faucets * Don’t use the toilet for a waste basket * Put a brick or two in the tank of your toilet to cut down on consumption * Take short showers alone or long showers with a friend.”
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