On The Road With Johnny B ..Riding With One Punch Jerry
My Dad’s name was Jerry Baumann or as his friends called him “One Punch Jerry” He was 77 when he went to the other side. He spent the last years of his life in a nursing home stricken with Alzheimers. His body was healthy but his mind was gone.We all felt that was the worst of all..It was like being in limbo between heaven and earth.
My Dad led an interesting life.He was a Dog Trainer by trade but a lover of big smelly cigars,anything to do with boxing and old cars.He had a love of old Benzes, Diesel VW Rabbits and Indian Motorcycles
He liked my Triumphs but would never hurt my feelings that they were just to damn small for him.. Some of my most fondest memories involve my Dad and cars.
When I was about 8 or 9 years old (circa 1969)..My Dad had a kennel in the Bronx. If you remember at that time there were many race riots in major cities. I would go with him to work on the weekends. At the time his car of choice was a 1967 Buick Riviera with a 430 “Wildcat” engine. It could pass everything but a gas station..As we arrived in the Bronx we stumbled upon a full blown race riot.
With no place to go front or rear my Dad blasted all 430 of those Wildcat horses down city sidewalks up rooting fruit stands and news vendors. Escaping I spotted people chasing us. You just cant catch the “Wildcat” Proving a fact my buddy Jeff McCleer always said. “There's no replacement for cubic inch displacement”
When I was a sophomore in high school my Dads ride of choice was a very ratty 1965 Chevy Impala 4 door. He stopped at home first to get a bite to eat. He left a dog in the car while he ate. Unknown to him while gorged himself on a blubber burger the dog ate the interior of the car.
All that was left on the interior when my Dad came out to pick me up from school was cotton and springs. Being the tropper he was he left to pick me up in a Impala with a digested interior. It had been very hot that day so my Dad had to ride with the windows open.
As I stood outside the school with my friends in all my teenage glory my Dad approached the school.I heard from the background somebody yell “Hey its snowing inside that guys car!!”. The stuffing from the seats from had created a blizzard effect inside the car. All at the same time sticking to my Dad sweaty angry skin.
As I climbed into the car and slumped into the seat mortified I prayed for lightning to strike the car and the memory from my mind. I looked at my very pissed off Dad and all he could say with a scowl was “Don’t ask”
My Dad provide some automotive firsts. ..He proved you can stuff five German Shephards in a 2 door Ford Maverick.. You can out run a Mustang GT in a 1972 Mercedes 280se with 4.5 Litre V8 while smoking a cigar.. Its possible to run outside just before a rain storm and soap up a car. Wait for the downpour and as he would say “Let God wash it off”
Things like brakes, inspection stickers and tires that hold air are for sissies..Cruising you Benz diesel while listening to German marching band songs was indeed normal. The “E” on the gas gauge stood for “enough” Mostly that there was never a vehicle built that Ole One Punch couldn’t turn ito a mobile kennel..Still miss you Dad