Wednesday, October 30, 2013





  It was a very sad evening when MELVIN ZWICK left Grandpa’s home.  MELVIN ZWICK and Grandpa had been almost inseparable for many years.  It seemed everywhere Grandpa went MELVIN ZWICK went.  One could almost say they were one.  Maybe that was because MELVIN ZWICK looked just like Grandpa.  The only difference between them were MELVIN ZWICK'S baseball cap and large sun glasses.

  The tears were really flowing from MELVIN ZWICK’S face as he left the home and walked west.  MELVIN ZWICK, had no idea where he was going or how he would get there.  He intended to ride his thumb.  If he was meant to get further west he would get there.  Along the way MELVIN ZWICK might have many new adventures.

   MELVIN ZWICK had walked for several hours with his thumb waving in the air as he was passed by all sorts of people and vehicles.

  Once a car full of teenagers stopped several yards from him.  He hustled to get to the car.  Just as he was to reach for the door they took off laughing calling him a stupid old man.  They were not ready yet to realize that one day soon they would be old men.

  Shortly after the teenage adventure MELVIN ZWICK noticed an old beat up pickup truck headed his way.  Now he was not too proud to ride in most cars but this pickup was a disaster.  MELVIN ZWICK pulled his thumb down and pretended he was walking.  The driver must have sense  he was hitching a ride because he stopped and backed up to him.  MELVIN ZWICK tried to ignore him but the driver hollowed to him and asked if he wanted a ride.  MELVIN ZWICK looked at that truck which was once red and thought it might be better if he ignored the driver.  But then MELVIN ZWICK remembered that he was off on a new adventure and this sure looked like a new adventure.  

   MELVIN ZWICK took this photo of the truck while they stopped in a trailer park to deliver some groceries to a friend.

  One would have a difficult time determining if it was red from paint or rust.  The engine sounded like it was about to die.  The tires were almost bald and the windows were cracked.  The truck had one blue fender and a black door.

   But it was a ride going in the direction MELVIN ZWICK was headed so he threw his bag into the bed after checking it to insure the floor was not rusted away.  MELVIN ZWICK hopped in and they were off with a jolt, sputter and cough.

  The driver introduced himself as Red.  No last name just Red.  The name was appropriate as he was red in the face with a graying red beard.

He had long scraggly red to gray hair under a large cowboy har.  He looked just like one would picture a red neck from the South.  He talked with a very gravely loud voice.  There was a spark of humor and adventure in his face.  MELVIN ZWICK had the feeling this red haired fellow had been through many adventures.

   Red said don’t let the red/grey hair fool you into thinking that was why he had the nickname Red.  He said his buddies on an oil rig off the Gulf of Mexico started calling him that when he laid on the deck of the rig and got a tremendous sun burn.  His name had been Red ever since.

  Red looked over at his new passenger and asked him where he was going.

  MELVIN ZWICK answered he was MELVIN ZWICK, and was following the sun looking for new adventures and people.

  Red laughed a loud joyous belly laugh and said Melvin Zwick you have just entered the right pickup truck if you are looking for adventure.  He said his whole life was one big adventure.

  But before they got to talking about adventure they exchanged a little of their personal history.  Red was as old as Melvin Zwick and was single just like Melvin Zwick. 

  MELVIN ZWICK told him about his adventures with his look alike, Grandpa, and all of Grandpa's Grand kids.  Red was amazed that someone would have 26 Grand Kids.

  Several hours passed as that old coughing sputtering pickup truck carried them west into Wickenburg. 

   MELVIN ZWICK took this picture of Red at a jewelry shop in Wickenburg.  Red was showing off the new cowboy hat he just purchased.
  Red invited Melvin Zwick to spend several days with him at his home.  He would carry Melvin Zwick further west to Yuma in a couple of days. 

   Sure, what the heck.  MELVIN ZWICK, was out for a new adventure and this sure looked like it might be one great adventure.

   Red turned off the highway onto an old two lane road and headed North.  Shortly they left it and traveled down a rutted dusty dirt road.  There were several farm plots and mobile homes scattered around the road.  One fellow sitting on a horse by the side of the road waved at them as they went by. 

   They were in the middle of a high desert.  The area was covered with Palo Verde trees and scrub rabbit bushes.

   Before long MELVIN ZWICK saw a tree covered hill in the distance.  It seemed sort of out of place in the desert.  MELVIN ZWICK thought they were headed to that hill.

  As they got closer to the hill MELVIN ZWICK  was astonished to see something that boggled his mind.   It was Red’s home.
  Now MELVIN ZWICK has seen many strange homes in his time but never had he seen anything like this.    Red laughed a hearty laugh when he saw Melvin Zwick’s astonished face as he looked at the home. 

   Red said it had taken him several years to put it together.  He bought the land many years ago upon the return of one of his adventures.  He would add another section after each adventure.  Now that he was retired he figured the home was finished. 

   MELVIN ZWICK stepped out of the red truck a little the worse for the wear.  The truck was not know for a comfortable ride.

  Red told MELVIN ZWICK to follow him and he would take him for a quick tour of his “Mansion.”


   All those trailers stacked on top of each other reminded MELVIN ZWICK of the trailer he once had to move to a new spot.  A slight miscalculation in the weight of the trailer led to this.  It was not totally MELVIN ZWICK’S fault in under estimating the weight of the trailer.  It seemed that Grandpa moved a bunch of weight lifting equipment in the back room that was unknown to MELVIN ZWICK. 

   It seemed that Grandpa was trying to look like the great MELVIN ZWICK.


   But never fear, MELVIN ZWICK, being a great architect corrected the situation by modifying the home into a great fishing home.  All one has to do is open the front door and throw out the baited hook.

   Melvin Zwick noted a windmill on the roof of one of Red’s trailers.  It probably provided some power to Red’s “Mansion.”  His “Mansion” consisted of seven mobile homes stacked at various elevations on top of each other. 

   They piled out of Red’s beat up pick up truck and walked to the center of the yard.  They walked by a very small swimming pool.  Red said the pool had a powerful pump that sent water from one end to the other end of the pool.  One could set the pump on and swim in place in the pool.  It was great exercise.

   Red took them on a tour of his “Mansion.”

   The main living quarters was in the big red and white trailer.  That was where Red had a living room, kitchen and a den. 

   He pointed to the solid red building on the right and said it contained a large freezer and refrigerator.  Red said he hated to shop for food so he would make one trip to Wickenburg and load up the old pickup truck with all the food he would need for months. 

   His bedroom was in the gold and white trailer. 

   His workshop was the darker blue and white trailer.  Red said he needed the workshop because he loved many hobbies which included painting, wood carving and leather tooling. 

   The green and white trailer was a large bathroom with a Jacuzzi and steam bath.     

   The smaller red and white trailer was his office where he had a big bank of computers.

   He explained the guest room was the trailer at the top of the structure.  He offered to let Melvin Zwick stay there for as long as he wished. 

   Red said he believed in physical conditioning.  That was the reason for the swimming pool and the stairs to each of his rooms.  Walking up and down the stairs and a swim in the pool kept him in shape.  Red looked pretty sharp for a 74 year old man.



   Two locals sitting with a very strange looking guy would not attract any attention of the patrons of Sara’s Super Burger Café in the small town of Wickenburg if they had not been acting as if they were trying to hide a secret.  Strange looking characters are a common sight in Wickenburg. 

   Chuck with a patch over his right eye and dressed in his “I AM UGLY” tee shirt seemed to be the leader of the three.  He was telling his local buddies Shorty and Stretch they stood a great chance of getting $100k each.  The mark, who Chuck knew when they were working on a container ship off the Somali coast, was named Red and was a very wealthy fellow.  Chuck said Red never joined in any of the dice or poker games on the ship.  He hoarded his wages.  Later he found a very profitable gold mine near his home in Wickenburg.    

   Chuck said Red tried to fool all the local into thinking he was a poor guy.  He apparently didn’t want down and out locals asking for handouts.

   Chuck said they could enter Reds home late at night and hold him until he gave them the money.



   MELVIN ZWICK, thought he might experience his first adventure after leaving Grandpa’s home if he spent some time with Red. 

   So it was that MELVIN ZWICK climbed the stairs first to the gold and white trailer then along the left to the next flight of stairs which took him to the light blue and white trailer then along the front to the next flight of stairs up to the guest room.  Lugging is backpack up those stairs left him somewhat winded.  Old MELVIN ZWICK was not in the condition he had been in his earlier years.
  MELVIN ZWICK recalled those days as he trudged up the stairs.  There were all those secret missions he had been on as an agent for the super secret black ops for the government.  he has been in many fights for his life and obviously had won them all although there were the many scars left from knife and bullet wounds.  But that was than is this was now.  just keep climbing the stairs.

  The guest room was amazing in its decor.  Red had decked the guest room with all sort of western décor.  The walls were covered with Bev Doolittle prints.  There were all sorts of western sculptures on the tables. 

    It had a king size bed and a large shower and toilet.   It was obvious MELVIN ZWICK would enjoy living here for a while. 

   He took a few minutes to unpack his meager belongings from his bag. He switched on his mini laptop and checked for an internet connection.  Sure enough he would be able to search the web.  He then laid down on the bed and wondered where this adventure would lead him. 

  After a brief nap he stepped out on the porch where he planned on climbing down to the main house.  As he started down the creaky stairs he heard the tapping of a hammer in the workshop.  And so it was that he followed the stairs to the dark blue and white workshop.

   Red was there working on a leather portrait. MELVIN ZWICK was fascinated.   MELVIN ZWICK who knows everything realized that leather tooling was not something he knew.  He watched for hours as Red hammered on tools that depressed the leather.  It was fascinating to see a picture develop on the leather.

  There was a small 8.5 by 11 inch portrait of an Indian on the wall.  Red said it was one of his original creations. 

   Their conversation during dinner was about creative hobbies.  Red said he had tried most forms of creating artwork but had settled on leather tooling.  Red said he loved to tool portraits of Indians into the leather then he would stain the leather to create the final portrait.  He said he was very prolific, creating about one picture per month.  He said he gave most of his work away.

   MELVIN ZWICK told Red that he never created any artwork but studied jewelry making under his buddy, Grandpa.

   Red said he would love to create jewelry.  MELVIN ZWICK told Red he could surely instruct him how to work in the lost wax casting field.  To help them they could research the internet for the papers Grandpa had written on the subject.

  MELVIN ZWICK climbed the creaky stairs up to the guest room and looked in his bag for the bola he had purchased from Grandpa.  Grandpa said he would sell it for $400.  Before MELVIN ZWICK left Grandpa’s home he picked up the bola and left him four thousand ZWICKLAND dollars.  He also left a note telling Grandpa he should remember that last time he gave someone ZWICKLAND dollars.  That was when Grandpa gave MELVIN ZWICK money to send to his grandkids for solving a puzzle he had sent them.  MELVIN ZWICK thought he would keep the US dollars and send ZWICKLAND dollars instead.  Grandpa picked MELVIN ZWICK’S pockets and retrieved the US money.  He sealed it between the front and back of ZWICKLAND dollars.  MELVIN ZWICK sent the Grand Kids Zwickland dollars thinking he had the US dollars in his wallet.  It wasn’t until later that MELVIN ZWICK, realized what Grandpa had done. MELVIN ZWICK did the same with four one hundred dollar bills.  Grandpa would find $400 between four $100 ZWICKLAND dollars.

front side
reverse side
  This is what MELVIN ZWICK’S Zwickland dollars look like.

    This is the beautiful bola MELVIN ZWICK bought from Grandpa.  MELVIN ZWICK took the bola down to the living room and showed it to Red.  Red was fascinated by the detail of the piece.

   MELVIN ZWICK got out his computer and pulled up some photos of Grandpa’s work. 

  This is Grandpa’s favorite bola.  It is 14k gold with fire agate cabs he purchased for almost nothing at a gem show in California.  He has had many offers to buy this beautiful piece but he would not sell it for all the money in the world.

   This is one of Grandpa’s famous pieces of pottery.  Grandpa would rather make his pottery than the jewelry.  Unfortunately the pottery is very expensive and does not sell as well as the jewelry.

    Another one of Grandpa’s favorite bolas.  He would not sell this for all the money in the world.  The very large turquoise cab is from Bisbee and is very valuable.

    Here he is.  The great Grandpa and his favorite piece of pottery.  The hallmark is Grandpa’s. 

   MELVIN ZWICK said he would love to learn to create the beautiful leather pictures Red creates.  And so it was.  They struck up a deal.  MELVIN ZWICK would show Red how to create jewelry and Red would teach MELVIN ZWICK how to create leather pictures.

   The rest of the evening was spent ordering lost wax casting equipment for Red and leather working tools for MELVIN ZWICK.

  MELVIN ZWICK pulled up the following Blog Grandpa had created.  It listed many of the papers he had written on the subject of making jewelry.





  Chuck told his buddies he had rented a trailer home across the road from Red's trailers and had  spent many days studying Reds habits.  He found Red was a creature of habit and followed the same routine each day.  He knew when Red got up. Where he went after breakfast.  When he ate lunch and when he ate dinner and went to sleep at night.  Chuck said he knew there were fifteen steps from the ground to the gold and white trailer which was where Red slept.

   Chuck said there was only one stumbling block in the plans to capture Red and hold him for the ransom.  That was the creaky stair steps leading to Reds trailer.  Chuck said while studying Red he had heard the creaky steps every time Red climbed them to his bedroom.  They would have to wait until there was a strong wind.  The strong wind would shake all the trailers and make them creak in the wind.  That would cover their foot steps on the stairs.

   They would have to follow the weather predictions and wait for a very windy night. It would not be long before the monsoon seasons would start. A great sum of money awaited them.  All it would take is a little muscle on a very windy night.


   After the equipment was delivered the two started teaching each other their skills.  They would spend the mornings with Red teaching MELVIN ZWICK how to tool leather.  MELVIN ZWICK worked on lots of scrap leather perfecting his skills. 

  In the afternoon MELVIN ZWICK showed Red hot to carve wax.  Red was a very created and talented individual who rapidly picked up the skills he needed to create great jewelry.

  MELVIN ZWICK noticed that in the afternoon and evening the wind was starting to kick up and he mentioned it to Red.  The trailers would start to shake.  Red said  it would get worse before it got better.  He said the trailers were very secure so there was no need to worry about them falling down. 

  Here it is.  MELVIN ZWICK, first leather picture.  Not too bad for a beginner.  It is obvious Red was a great teacher and MELVIN ZWICK was a talented student.  MELVIN ZWICK strung the bead work himself.
   This is Red's first piece of jewelry. It is a three inch high buckle.  Not too bad for a beginner.  It was obvious MELVIN ZWICK was a good teacher and Red was a great student.
   MELVIN ZWICK had really enjoyed his visit with Red but it was about time for him to move on.  MELVIN ZWICK and Red had learned a new skill and would be able to create great work on their own. 

  MELVIN ZWICK’S plans were to leave in the morning.  His months living at Reds house have been a very interesting adventure but it was time for a new adventure.

    The night before he was to leave the wind was really kicking up.  MELVIN ZWICK could not sleep because of the buffeting the trailer was taking from the monsoon wind.  He sat at his laptop as he wrote one of his adventure stories. 




   Chuck said tonight was the night for their attack.  The wind and the shaking of the trailers would cover their steps on the creaky stairs.  They would leave around 2:00 in the morning and walk from Chuck's rented trailer which was across the road from Red's trailer homes.

   They would carry a big steak to feed to Red’s dog. 

   Red’s dog Tiger.  A little ugly but very friendly.

   That would keep Tiger busy while they snuck into Reds home.  Chuck took out a picture of Red’s home and pointed out where Red slept.  They would have to climb the stairs in their stocking feet so as to prevent any shoe noise on the stair steps.

   Chuck instructed the boys they would be wearing black ski masks, light gloves and would not use anyone’s name.  That would prevent the cops from gaining any identification once they entered the scene.

  Once they were on the landing of Red’s bedroom Shorty and Stretch would kick the door in and they would burst into the room.  Chuck said they would not be carrying any firearms.  Firearms could lead to some getting someone killed.  A death would have them facing a murder charge is they were caught.  They would have to overpower Red and constrain him. 



  Around 3:00 PM MELVIN ZWICK heard a loud crash and a bunch of human noise.  He jumped up thinking something had broken loose.  The noise was coming from Red’s bedroom trailer.  It sounded as if there was a big fight going on.

   He rushed down to Red’s bedroom and entered to find three fellows trying to take Red down.  MELVIN ZWICK’S first thought was to save Red then he thought WOW what a great adventure. 

  MELVIN ZWICK came up on the nearest fellow and gave him a good knife hand strike on his neck.  Stretch went down like a chopped tree.  Shorty the next fellow, who was a very big fellow, turned around and looked at MELVIN ZWICK with a very surprised look.  It was obvious he had not expected to find anyone in the mansion other that Red.  He came at MELVIN ZWICK ready to strike a blow to his head.  Wrong move.  A quick raising block with MELVIN ZWICKS left arm and a quick punch to his solar plexus sent the attacker to the floor gasping for breath.  

  MELVIN ZWICK looked at the next fellow and saw that Red was recovering from the multiple attack and was handling the fellow on his own.  MELVIN ZWICK stood back and enjoyed seeing Red doing big hurt on the attacker.  After a short time the fellow went down as cold as ice.  He would not be moving for a quite a while.

   Shorty struggled to his feet and came at MELVIN ZWICK again.  You would think he would have learned from the results of his first attack that this was not a good idea.  This time he was more captious.  He stood in a fighting stance just out of reach of MELVIN ZWICK’S fists.  MELVIN ZWICK hit him in the head with a good back kick.  That sent him flying into the next room before he collapsed into a heap.

  This is what MELVIN ZWICK’S back kick looked like when he received his Black Belt.

   Red surveyed the bodies and let out with a great bold laugh.  He said that was the first time in a long while he had such a great adventure.

  He rolled the fellows over to look at their faces.  He recognized one as a fellow he had been on board a cargo ship with many years ago.  He said his name was Chuck.  Red said Chuck beat up a fellow crew member and ended up in jail for several years. 

   MELVIN ZWICK took this picture of Chuck after he awoke from the beating Red put on him.  He still looked angry but he body language indicated he was afraid he might get another going over by Red.

   The other two fellows were local trouble makers.  Red explained that Chuck probably recruited the two locals to come and rob him.  Red said Chuck thought he might be wealthy and probably planned on robbing him. 

   Red and MELVIN ZWICK took out a roll of duct tape and bound the fellows and set them upright on the floor.  Eventually they all came back to consciousness.  Red explained to the two locals that he could report them to the local sheriff who was his very good friend. The two knew that the sheriff was know for being a little rough on his prisoners.  they sure did not want to be in his jail for any amount of time.  They would be facing some prison time if they got arrested.  Red said he would not prefer charges but would let them go.  He told them he better never see them again for if he did he would beat the stuffing’s out of them.  I think they got the message that it might be wise to move out of town.  Red turned them loose.  They ran out of the house and were gone before you could count to three.

   He turned to Chuck and stared into his face for a minute or two.  Chuck would be a bigger problem.  He was still defiant.  Red explained that if he brought charges against him the locals would find him guilty and sentence him to many years in the state pen.  The locals did not like people who attack their neighbors. 

   Chuck snarled at Red.  Red punched Chuck in the belly then right in the face.  It looked like Red might have a broken Chucks nose.  A stream of blood poured down Chuck’s lips from his nose and ran on to his “I AM UGLY” tee shirt .  

   Red explained there were no witnesses to what might happen next.  Red said he might beat him until he could no longer get up.  He might even hit him so hard in the head he would never get up again.  Chuck snarled again but without as much aggression.  Red let out with a hard blow into the side of Chucks head.  Chuck fell over on to the floor.  Red sat him back up and looked him in the eyes.  Red asked Chuck if he wanted to end his life here.  Red explained that is what would happen if Chuck did not leave town immediately.  Chuck, with a fear of death, hung his head down and said he would leave for California immediately if Red turned him loose.

   Red pulled out a large hunting knife and cut the tape on Chuck’s hands.  He then put the knife to Chuck’s neck and lightly slid it slowly across the adams apple.  A trickle of blood rand down his neck.  Red told him he better never see him again. 

   Chuck sailed out of the house like the devil was chasing him.

   Red and MELVIN ZWICK broke into very loud and hearty laughter.  The both admitted they had just had a great adventure.

   Red mixed up some lemon aid and raspberry crystal lite and mixed it with some cherry flavored Dr Pepper.  He poured each of them a very large glass and invited MELVIN ZWICK to join him in the living room.

   They talked about the evening adventure and complimented each other on the skills of handling the attackers.

   Red suggested MELVIN ZWICK should stay another day and settle down after the evenings adventure.  MELVIN ZWICK agreed.

   After a while they decided it was time for bed to try to catch a brief nap before breakfast.  MELVIN ZWICK headed back up to the guest room.  The wind finally settled down.  

   Next morning over a great egg omelet and toast Red invited MELVIN ZWICK to drive up to his summer home in Aspen, Colorado. 

   MELVIN ZWICK looked at Red with astonishment.  Red never gave any indication that he would be wealthy enough to own a home in Aspen.  All indications were that Red just got by.  Then his next thought about driving up to Aspen in Reds old beat up pickup truck. The thought of that left MELVIN ZWICK thinking it might be a better idea to ride his thumb on to his new adventure.

   Red laughed at MELVIN ZWICK’S astonishment.  He admitted to MELVIN ZWICK that he was a very wealthy individual.  He owned a very profitable gold mine in the Wickenburg area.  He had invented and patented many very profitable inventions. 

   One invention was a smoke detector with a remote controller to check the battery.  No longer would people have to climb up a step ladder to push the battery test button.  All they had to do to test the Red invented smoke detector was to push a button on the controller.

   Another invention was a string of outdoor lights that could be permanently hung on the eves of the house.  The light string had Christmas lights, Halloween lights and new years lights all in one.  A switch would allow the home owner to select the color that would be displayed for the season.  The owner would never have to climb a ladder again to place holiday lights.

  Red said he invented the mechanical pencil that has the feed button on the finger end of the pencil.  He sold that patent to Pentel.  Pentel paid him a substantial monthly dividend.

   There were several other inventions that provided him very large monthly dividends.

   MELVIN ZWICK said he would love to go to Aspen but he was a little skeptical about driving there in the old red pickup truck.  After all it cough and belched smoke on the trip to Red’s home and might not make it to Aspen.

   Red laughed again and told MELVIN ZWICK, to follow him.  They climbed aboard the old red pickup and Red started the engine.  It was sputtering and coughing to life just as MELVIN ZWICK remembered.

  Red put the truck into gear and headed out to the highway.  Once they were many miles away from Wickenburg Red flicked a switch on the pickups dash board.  The engine burst into a roar and the truck took off like a shot.  No longer did the engine cough and sputter.  That old pickup truck shot up to 110 miles per hour.  It sailed down the road as smoothly as a big sedan.

   Red explained he had the truck modified to sound like a clunker so he could leave the residents around Wickenburg with the impression he was quite poor.  That way he could live without people sucking up to him.

  We turned around and Red flicked the switch again and the engine coughed and sputtered again.  Red said he had one more surprise for MELVIN ZWICK.

   When they returned to the home Red lead MELVIN ZWICK to the old red barn.  MELVIN ZWICK had noticed the old barn and the lock on its frail looking doors.  He figured it was something he should not ask Red about.

   Red opened the door and they stepped inside and Red closed the doors.  When MELVIN ZWICK eyes adjusted to the darkness he realized they were standing between the old barn doors and a large curtain that ran from the floor to the ceiling of the barn..  Red pulled the curtain aside and the next thing MELVIN ZWICK saw was a prancing horse emblem on the hood of a bright red auto. 

That prancing horse could only mean one thing.  The red auto could only be a Ferrari, MELVIN ZWICK’S dream car. 
   That beautiful red car was a Ferrari f 430 worth about $190,00 new.  It had a 500 horse power engine with a 25 gallon fuel tank.  It got around 15 miles per gallon on the road.  It could get up to 60 MPH in 4 seconds.  Lets see.  That is start one one thousand, two one thousand, three one thousand, four one thousand sixty miles per hour. WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Top speed 196 miles per hour. 

  Red explained he hid his Ferrari in this old barn.  The barn dilapidated exterior hid a climate controlled sealed chamber to protect the car.  Red pulled MELVIN ZWICK away from this beautiful auto into a room at the back of the garage.

   The room contained all sorts of electronics equipment and a powerful computer.  Red said he had been driving in a Ferrari to Aspen for many years.  He had spent the first several years plotting a coarse that included the least traveled roads that has lots of curves.  The roads were not well policed by the highway patrol.  Red had picked out check points along the road.  He recorded the time it took him to drive between each check point.  He now drove the road as a challenge trying to best his previous time between check points.   

   Red said his car was especially equipped with special electronics to make his trip safer.  The car had a front looking radar monitor and heat sensing equipment that could monitor the road ahead for animals about to cross the road.  The equipment was so sensitive it could pick out birds in the trees.  

   Red said he had designed the equipment especially for his driving trip to Aspen and back.

   All MELVIN ZWICK could say was, “When do we get started?”

   Red responded he only drove the Ferrari away from his home very late at night.  He didn’t want his neighbors to know he owned a Ferrari.  He suggested the trip could start at around 2:00 am the next night.  MELVIN ZWICK asked why couldn’t they get started that evening.

   Red said the normal driving distance to Aspen was about 800.  He said they would drive about 950 miles on the route he had plotted.

   That night MELVIN ZWICK went on his computer and looked up some of the specs on a Ferrari 430.

            25 gallon fuel tank
            15 MPG on the highway
            Top speed 196 MPH
            0-60 MPH in 4 seconds
            ¼ mile 12.2 sec at 125.6 MPH
            502 HORSE POWER at 8500 RPM          
            Six speed manual transmission

   WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  What a beautiful automobile.  A real piece of art work.

  MELVIN ZWICK packed his back pack and went to bed.  But sleep would not come to MELVIN ZWICK. All he could think of was driving and riding in the Ferrari.  Driving a Ferrari at maximum speed on a twisting road had always been his dream.

   The next day Red introduced the electronics the Ferrari carried to MELVIN ZWICK.  The computer displayed a faint see through map of the road ahead on the windshield.  It was not visible unless you concentrated on it.  The display was similar to the ones on GPS systems.

  The computer generated a voice that described the road ahead and told of the current speed vs. the max speed Red had accomplished on previous trips.  With this system Red could correct his speed to match or beat the previous speed.

   So here the driver had:

            A voice saying:  Curves to the right.  Calculated max speed 93 MPH. previous speed 87 MPH.  Current speed 121 MPH.  Previous speed 119 MPH.  Current ahead of previous by 1 minute and 21 seconds.

   That would tell the driver the road ahead curved to right.  The maximum speed the Ferrari could negotiate the curve with was 93 mph.  The computer had calculated that if the Ferrari took the curve of 94 MPH or more the car would leave the road.  Reds best time on this curve was 87 MPH.  The current speed up to the curve was 121 MPH and the best previous speed was 119 MPH.  That indicates the speed up to the curve was 2 miles faster then the previous speed of 119 MPH.

   With the computer aid one could match or beat the previous times.  Of coarse the driver had to have the skills and courage to hit the straight and curves at maximum speed and keep the Ferrari on the road.   All the computer coaching could not give the driver the skill to handle the Ferrari in all conditions. 

  Red explained the first stop on the trip would be a specialty tire shop in Phoenix. Red would put new racing tires on the Ferrari.  The tires were specifically designed to handle the speeds they would be driving on the trip.  After the tires were mounted they would travel to a specialty motor tuning shop.  They would tune the engine to get the maximum horse power it was capable producing. 

   Then it would be off to Aspen. 

  The first leg of the trip would be from Phoenix to Globe through Salt river canyon then on to Show low.  The first leg of computer timing would start at Superior and end at Show low. 

   Late that evening they left Reds home and drove to Phoenix.  The ate a long breakfast waiting for the tire store to open. 

   The plan was to drive at night as there would be less traffic on the road. 

   The boys took in a movie and ate an early dinner. 

   At dusk Red drove to Florence Junction .   In Florence Junction Red turned the Ferrari over to MELVIN ZWICK and told him to have a go at it.

   The distance between Florence Junction  and Show Low was 131 miles.  The trip to Superior was without many curves.   After that the road became extremely curvy The computer said the trip should take 1 hour 23 minutes at an average speed of 94 MPH.  

  MELVIN ZWICK, slid in behind the wheel, adjusted the seat, turned on the radar detector and the animal detector and took off.  Four seconds later he was going 68 MPH.  The first part of the trip was on a fairly straight road.   After leaving Florence Junction  MELVIN ZWICK kicked the Ferrari up to 102 MPH.  The computer stated the previous speed at this point was 121 MPH.   MELVIN ZWICK would have to speed up if he was to match Reds record.  This first part of the trip was a chance for MELVIN ZWICK to adjust to the car and it road handling ability.

  After Globe the road turned into a real trial for the Ferrari and MELVIN ZWICK‘S driving ability.  Nothing but curves and down hill into the canyon then back out of the canyon.  This is where the driving skills of MELVIN ZWICK would come into play.  He starting down into Salt River Canyon.  The road at this point was very twisty and would test the metal of MELVIN ZWICK. He would have to know when to break and when to turn into the curves, 

   The computer became very busy.  It would send MELVIN ZWICK messages that looked like this:          

            Curve to the right.  Calculated max speed 74 MPH. Previous speed 71 MPH.  Current speed 121 MPH.  Break to 74 MPH.  Current elapsed time 27          minutes. Previous time 22 minutes.

   MELVIN ZWICK pulled into Show Low 1 hour and 28 minutes after leaving Florence Junction.  Red told MELVIN ZWICK he did pretty well up to this point.  He was only 5 minutes behind his best time. 

   That’s the way it went for the entire trip to Aspen.  Red and MELVIN ZWICK took turns driving.

   Red and MELVIN ZWICK reached Red’s cabin exhausted.  They ate a light meal and collapsed into a well deserved sleep.

   MELVIN ZWICK admitted that he had experiences many thrilling times but none to compared to pushing a Ferrari to his and the Ferrari’s maximum speed.

   MELVIN ZWICK stayed with Red in Aspen for several weeks.  One night with much sorrow he decided it was time to move on to new adventures and friendships.

   MELVIN ZWICK was not much for saying goodby so he wrote a long thank you note.  He arose very early the next morning and left the note on the kitchen table slipped out of the house and headed to the main highway.
  He would ride his thumb into a new adventure

   The continuation of MELVIN ZWICK’S adventures will continue in the next book.





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