Eden Hill Journal

Comments, dreams, stories, and rantings from a middle-aged native of Maine living on a shoestring and a prayer in the woods of Maine. My portion of the family farm is to be known as Eden Hill Farm just because I want to call it that and because that's the closest thing to the truth that I could come up with. If you enjoy what I write, email me or make a comment. If you enjoy Eden Hill, come visit.

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Location: Maine, United States

Monday, March 26, 2018

Big and Gommy

You learn something new every day if you're not careful.

Today I learned how to spell gommy. My spell checker doesn't know the word but www dot wordwizard dot com claims to.
An alternate spelling is gaumy.

So I use this word usually in the phrase "big and gommy" which quite well described my second car, a 1952 Buick Roadmaster two-door hardtop with the bigger straight-eight engine and Buick's Dynaflow transmission. This morning I came across the identical car on YouTube, different color, same exact car. I bought mine from my brother Hal. He had it painted bright red with a creamy white roof. It was originally black and belonged to an older related teen in town. It had come from New Jersey so it was rust-free, a rare thing in central Maine even back then in my high school days. My brother had to fish it out of the ditch which was where it was located the day he bought it (May 2 of perhaps 1961 or 1962?) as a result of a late season wet, slippery, six-inch snow. A nice deep ditch too! I seem to recall that he got a good deal on it because of its location. The car was gommy in wet snow.

But yes, gommy, big and gommy. I couldn't lay rubber with that thing even with all that torque. It got something like 8 miles per gallon. Gas was cheap back then but even so... I remember trying to peel out from the Catholic Church parking lot across the street from the high school. The parking lot was dirt so the tires would spin but as soon as they touched pavement... "chirp" was all I ever got from it.

I guess gommy meant uncoordinated, I mean big and gommy doesn't just mean big, it means big and awkward. Stuff doesn't need to be big to be gommy. That wordwizzard post gives some other clues. I guess like gooey stringy icky food stuff qualifies. The way some uncoordinated kid walks and moves might qualify, might not but might.

But that Buick sure did. I replaced it with a 1958 Oldsmobile with a 371 cubic inch "Rocket Olds" V-8. If it hadn't been for the rubber I could burn with that thing that might also have qualified as gommy but mine was a four-door business sedan, stripped, 3-speed manual on the column. My high school buddy's '58 Olds had the same engine but his was a four-door hardtop and had twin four-barrel carbs and a Hydramatic transmission - all factory stock. His burned rubber with both rear tires at the same time. Mine only spun one side at a time. Still if it weren't for the power, those cars would have been gommy.

My brother's first car was a 1948 Pontiac four-door with a flathead straight-eight and a Hydramatic transmission. That car was gommy. I wound up rolling that car over onto its roof when I was twelve or thirteen years old with my best friend Roger sitting right beside me. I don't want to tell you how this happened but we were both inside when the gasoline vapors inside the car caught fire. The car burned to a crisp. So my brother took our dad's old Ford dump truck and an old cable with a hook on it and ripped the body off the frame. The Hydramatic was the last thing burning when the fire finally burned itself out but he put old drain oil in the transmission and got the engine running and we drove the frame around for one summer. Country life, you know. We never drove it on the road but I do recall one day throwing some old cushions on it and loading it up with a few friends and driving it across the airport.
I don't know if that 48 Pontiac frame would qualify as gommy... Not to me but maybe to someone else.

I wound up selling my Roadmaster sometime around 1964 to one of the Greenville Bigney's, the one that was WABI's weatherman. He bought it from me for $35.00. The front shocks were worn out and they weren't cheap! The rest of the car was pristine - well maybe the tires had some wear.


Blogger Jill Sydnor said...

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4:46 PM, March 26, 2018  

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