Just bought my first Deuce!!

nchittendon

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La Crosse, Wisconsin
For some reason, I magically sorted my picture issue.

many hands make light work....ok, well light"er" work. Here my son and friend were installing the new bump stops I got for it. The truck was missing the rubber from two of them. replaced them all.
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That was a lot of sanding/scaling.
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nchittendon

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La Crosse, Wisconsin
No turning back now. 38" cut out of the box.
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And of course, as soon as the box is set back on the truck my wife (who hates the truck btw), needs me to go pick up 6000lbs of bricks so I can start building her garden. Started refinishing the box...didn't get far before she needed the truck back to work.
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nchittendon

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La Crosse, Wisconsin
My wife always complains that my kid is either on the xbox, or has his phone in his hands. I told her, "remove the phone/controller and give him air tools." We were at it for many hours for quite a few days and he worked his butt off. He sanded/grinded 99% of the box in prep for paint. I was most proud of his sense of pride when we finished the project and took a step back. He was beaming.
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Had to have the front brackets welded onto the frame. They had to be modified slightly, but worked like a charm. New bolts all around.
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And now the cargo cover has lots of extra "skin" after the huge weight loss. Kind of like FatBastard in the Austin Powers movie. It will soon be modified to fit. I plan to make the rear of the truck the "master suite" for camping. The bows will be raised up at least a foot, and the cover will be altered to cover properly and maintain it's appearance.
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nchittendon

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La Crosse, Wisconsin
In the mean time, I added 300watts of solar panels to the roof of my camper trailer. Our goal was to be ready for the EAA air show in Oshkosh again this year. The black box is where the batteries and components are mounted. There will be at least one more box on the other side, but for now it's just got the one. With all the projects going on at once, the well ran dry really quick this summer.
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But, the truck made the 3.5 hour trip to the air show and we camped for an entire week off the grid again. The truck did great. The air show was amazing. The kids all had fun. And we can't wait for the next adventure!
 

nchittendon

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La Crosse, Wisconsin
And finally!

After all of that. We are ready to embark on our big annual trip to the Oshkosh airshow. This one is big though. This one is the 50th anniversary of the show being in Oshkosh so we knew we just HAD to be there. The oldest and I rode in the truck, while my wife brought the littles behind us in the minivan. That's right folks...if you've been following along, you know that my wife HATES HATES HATES the deuce and everything about it. Well, I convinced her to go to the airshow and SLEEP in the deuce. I know, i'm a magician at times.
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It rained most of the day Saturday. Saturday is also the day I built the mounts for the black box under the trailer (in the pouring rain). I'll leave that story to another post. Sunday, we were ready to cruise.
From La Crosse to Oshkosh I make two stops in between. I split the route up into thirds. First stop is Tomah, WI. Swung in, did a hub temp check. Grab some snacks. All was good, so we hit the road again.

In Tomah I check the reports from the camp at Oshkosh. It's water logged. Unless you are already on the grounds, they are locked down. No one in. Even the airplanes were routed elsewhere until they could get the grounds dried up.
Well nuts.
My second stop across the state is Coloma, WI. We stopped at the truck stop there for some lunch, and to formulate a plan. As I was pacing back and forth trying to figure out where we would spend at least the first night (possibly more), I had a light bulb come on above my head.
"ya know....the Veteran's museum is just a half mile down the road from the grounds."
My wife gave a blank stare as if not to make the correlation.
"Let me make a call."

Now, I have met a lot of great people through this hobby. All have been super nice, and very willing to lend a hand at the drop of a hat. Sure, there are some wieners, but 99% are great folks. A guy I met at Iola was the one I had in mind. My MV friend Robert B. has ties to the museum. In other words, at Iola he gave us a ride in the half track he brought over from the museum. I figured if I could get us into their lot for the night, we'd at least be close enough to make a short hop in the minivan to get to the show easy enough from there. I called him up, and he made the arrangements.

We left Coloma with a new plan, and a MV friend coming to the rescue out of the blue. As we got to the service road that the camp and the museum are on, it was lined with campers and RV's. The cops were turning folks away because a lot of the campers had been there a couple days now and had bump outs out, chairs and canopies out, and everything in between. The one cop asked my intentions and I told him I was going to the MV museum. He didn't even question it. We rolled right in there. We parked out back, and got comfy for the night. I had another friend who works parking at the camp trying to pull some strings, but it was just no good. They locked it down tight. So this was my view from "camp"
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nchittendon

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La Crosse, Wisconsin
Monday morning came. We still had the no-go for getting into camp. We decided we were just going to button it up, and mini-van it into the show for the day and worry about camp later. After we got the kids all woke up, teeth brushed, etc, we were just getting ready to head into the grounds when I got the call that we could re-locate into camp! We packed it all up, and rolled out. Right outside the driveway was the line of campers trying to get in. It was about an hour wait, but given the amount of campers and rv's trying to get in at once, i'd say they did quite well with it.

Then my son points off to the West. Looks like 5 or 6 planes with smoke trails.....yup, the Blue Angels made another surprise appearance like they did last year. They were leaving the Duluth, MN air show and heading to Illinois I believe.
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That's when it dawned on us. We had officially made it to EAA Airventure 2019.

We got parked and decided just to set up later. We rushed into the show grounds. The next couple hours we sat and watched them dry the flight line grass areas with helicopters. That's gotta be the coolest thing I saw all week. Mark that as something i'd never seen before.

The show was fantastic. It didn't disappoint, that's for sure.
The night show was probably my second favorite part. Saturday night there was a large thunder head rolling in to the south of us, and it made a really awesome back drop for an airshow!
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And that's right. The one picture is of a TWIN mustang. The XP-82 prototype. Once I read about that airplane, it was on my list of things I had to see up close. Mission accomplished.

It was "year of the fighter" at EAA. And they did not let us down. There were so many amazing photographers there catching shots like these, I wish I could share all of them. There were hornets, lightnings, raptors, strike eagles, and all the old war planes you can think of. From spitfires, to texans, corsairs, b17's, b29's, and so many more. And for another rarity, the Thunderbirds were also there that week. I was always told that the Angels and the Thunderbirds don't appear at the same show at the same time. Well, that week I got them both at the same show. Like I said, just awesome.
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Another Ahab

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I'll pass it on. I don't take pictures at that show anymore because the photographers there are absolutely best of the best. I just spent over $200 in actual prints from them to help support them, and to have some kick ass wall art for my office.
That DID seem like maybe more than just your average casual snapshot:

- I'd say the $200 of prints was worth the money.
 

nchittendon

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La Crosse, Wisconsin
Where did you find the seats?
A somewhat local guy had them. He bought an International Scout and the previous owner had bought the air ride seats to install in that. They never left the back of the vehicle and never left the box. This guy bought the truck, and wanted to restore it to original, so he was selling the seats.
 

nchittendon

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La Crosse, Wisconsin
Well, finally got my 2nd cab home. Boy, if there isn't a story in this all in itself....

Long read ahead:

I have a 2.5 car garage in suburbia. Having the deuce parked out in my driveway is bad enough for my neighborhood, but they've been pretty good to me thus far. No issues.

But working on it, cutting, welding......that might stir some of the old folks that live around here. AND, i've welded. But I am not a welder. So doing this project all on my own was just not going to happen. So back before the bed was removed from the truck, I started shopping around for someone to do the job. My first local go-to guy said "no thanks." Next best guy I could think of locally was kicking off a side business building headers and intakes for various cars. He was quite busy, so I didn't want to push my crazy plans onto his already full schedule.
A friend works a retail counter. Sees a lot of people come through in a day. He mentioned a guy, the son of a custom fab business owner, that might do it on the side for a cash job. We took the truck over to him, and Phase one was chopping the bed.
He looked at it.
(talking to himself out loud) Me, another guy.....a weekend.....idk....
Looks at me, "$2200 and we can do that for ya."
I about choked on my own tongue. Sorry, I can buy a nice welder and do it myself for that much! Yeesh.
I posted on the book of Face. A friend from WAY back answers my post and says, "bring it on up. I'll take care of ya."
Seems easy, right? No. See, this guy does fantastic....no, SUPERB work as a welder/fabricator. In fact, I wouldn't want anyone but him to do the job. But, like my response to him...."I've seen your work. I can't afford you." He laughed. "Bring it up, and I'll take care of you bud."
I make him decide on a price. He quoted $500 to $800 depending on time involved. DEAL.
So, now to find a truck and trailer to get the bed up to him.
I know, I know. Why not just drive the deuce up?? Long story. Just know that at that point in time, it wasn't an option. SO, have to find a trailer. My go to for that had recently moved across state lines, and it wasn't registered in his current state yet. That, and it had sat for quite some time before that, so he wasn't going to trust it behaving under someone else's care. Understandable.
After about 3 months of searching, my welder buddy messages me and says, "did you find a trailer yet? If not I could ask my cousin. He lives down by you and comes up here all the time. Figure out a price with him and he can just haul it up here."
Wasted three months and you could have just opened with that?? So, I call. We set a date. The date comes. It's snowing like a monster out there. He calls and throws in the towel. "I would have to have my daughter with. If it were just me, I'd do it, but i'm not taking my daughter out in this."
Very understandable. I wouldn't either.
So, call welder friend and he is bummed too, but understands. Then he says, "well, i've got a 16' deck over trailer. I guess I could just come get it and haul it home."
Really.
Let me redact......you could have opened with THAT.
So, he came down, loaded up very easily. I fed him and his co-pilot. I handed him $300. I said, "take this to get started and for your fuel. Let me know when you need more, or when the job is done and we can settle up." Handshake, and he's off.
I messaged after about 2 weeks. He had some work come into the shop, and was very apologetic. Hadn't even started on it. I tell him not to worry, because I was not concerned in the least bit.
After about a month, he messages and says that it's done and when do I want to come pick it up?
I make the arrangements, and go pick it up. I said ok, so what do I owe you?
"Well, what did you give me to begin with?"
"I handed you $300 to get the ball rolling."
"Give me another $300 and we will call it good."

That job was done. The plan from there, was for me to collect a cab, hardtop, and doors and get them to his house. Once fall came around again, I would drive the deuce to him and he would convert it into a 4 door. About a month, to 2 months ago I got the cab and hardtop and doors and delivered them. He said how excited he was to get this project rolling.
Then, on August 1st, he died. 42 years old. He was on his riding lawn mower and was stung by bees multiple times. The coroner told his dad that even if he had an epi-pen it wouldn't have mattered.....it happened so fast.

And just like that. A dear friend, and one of the most talented fabricators I know.........was gone. This one was hard. Our families were close.
There was to be a visitation on the next Friday. So, i changed all my plans around and went to my hometown to say good bye to a friend. While there, I reached out to his wife to make sure she didn't need anything. She mentioned getting my stuff because there was going to be a lot of other people collecting their stuff and she wanted to make sure I got my stuff before someone else tried to make off with it. So, I made plans to get it loaded up and out of there that weekend since I was there.

Dumped the cab and stuff in my yard, and decided that I would do the job myself. As I said, I'm no welder, but I can weld. Hell or high water, I will complete this job. Maybe not as good as my friend would have, but him and I were both excited to see this project through, and that is what I will do.

My oldest is 13 now. Soon to be 14. I told him what all we needed to take off the 2nd cab, and he did. He had the whole thing stripped in 3 days. I haven't seen him this dedicated to.....anything, really. I asked him if he liked it. He said yes. I asked him why he was so eager to help. He said, "I know how much Jeff meant to you, and how much you both wanted this done. I'll do whatever I can to help make it happen."

I've never been so proud of anything in my life.

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Last edited:

Another Ahab

Well-known member
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1,230
113
Location
Alexandria, VA
Then, on August 1st, he died. 42 years old. He was on his riding lawn mower and was stung by bees multiple times. The coroner told his dad that even if he had an epi-pen it wouldn't have mattered.....it happened so fast.
That is impressively mature for a 13-14 year old. You all are raising one fine young man, I would have to say.

I am so sorry about that man's death. That is a tragic story. I am so sorry.
 
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