In Memory of J.B. Milano


Helping to haul a Hudson

Clark Roberts was a school buddy that John and I had known since the third grade and we all were Juniors at Myers Park High. Clark had an uncle that lived between Columbia SC and Winnsboro, SC and he had gotten to old to drive and offered Clark his 1939 Hudson Terri Plane for nothing if Clark took care of the car. Clark didn't have a car and jumped at the chance. The car had been sitting in a garage for several years. Clark called John and asked him if he knew anyone that could tow the car back to Charlotte. John and I worked part time at the Pure Station and Big Bill was the resident mechanic. John went by and talked to Big Bill about borrowing his wrecker. Big Bill laughed an told John that thing wouldn't make to Columbia much less get back to Charlotte. John called me and asked if I had any leads on a wrecker. I said, maybe Eddie Howie knew somebody, Eddie's dad had past away and left him a garage and Eddie worked part time trying to make enough money for his mother and him to live on. I called Eddie and explain the situation. Eddie said; he had a trailer that could haul the car if we had a car or truck to pull it. I asked Eddie if my old 52 Plymouth could pull it? Eddie said; he thought it could and had a bolt on trail hitch he would put on my bumper. I called John ask if he wanted to go if Clark was agreeable to using a trailer to haul the Hudson back to Charlotte? John said; yes and he called Clark and ran it by him. Clark jumped at the chance and we agreed to go on Saturday.

Saturday morning rolled around and I went by John's house and headed over to Clark's house and picked him up. We three showed up at Eddies house and went around back to the shop. Eddie bolted the hitch on my bumper and threw in several chains and a come along to secure the car to the trailer. I would like to add this was a shop built trailer wih a pickup truck rear end and springs, no tail lights and old license plate it looked like it had 20” rims and old truck tires. We stuck to the back roads going down and catching 521 in Pineville and taking it to Lancaster where we jumped on SC 200 and several other roads winding up at his uncles house several hours later. After spending some social time with the old gentleman we worked up a sweat getting that beast on the old trailer and secured. We had'nt driven an hour when the heat gauge started rising and my car over heated. We managed to get to a gas station near Great Falls and put water in the radiator. We asked the store owner if he had anything that would carry water. He offered us an old Coke Cola one gallon glass syrup jug and filled it up. We let the car cool down and started again for Charlotte. I had burned my hand getting the cap off the radiator and John slide under the wheel. We took our time and hit some big hills between Lancaster and Pineville when disaster struck. The Hudson and the trailer weighed more than the Plymouth and going down a big hill begin pushing my Plymouth faster and faster! I was screaming, Clark was screaming and John was screaming standing on the brakes to no avail. The next thing I know is that my back bumper broken into and we were yanked to the left and the trailer and the Hudson passed us on right. Thank goodness there was no on coming traffic. John collect the Plymouth up and got us in the right lane as we watched the Hudson and trailer traveling in the right lane ahead of us throwing sparks as the trailer tong dug into the pavement. Finally they left the pavement and went into the side ditch coming to a stop with the Hudson on its top and the trailer on top.

There was nothing we could do and we drove until we found a store near Van Hoy, SC The store had a pay phone and we cleaned our pockets out loading that pay phone to call Clarks house. He explained to his Dad as to what happened. His dad said to stay put until he arrived. We did as instructed and his Dad showed up with a big wrecker in tow. They followed us back to the Hudson. The wrecker driver hooked a cable to the trailer and got the car and trailer back upright. The top was mashed in on the very top of the car but no real damage appeared else where on the car. The old trailer was intact with part of my bumper still attached. The wrecker operator had a Lincoln welder on the truck and welded my bumper back to ripped out mountings on my car. He hooked up the Hudson and I followed with the trailer. The end result was I got an used bumper from Adams Junk Yard, Clark got the top popped out on the Hudson and drove the car for the longest. Eddie Howie had some business thrown his way from the wrecker driver.