Friday, December 2, 2016

Deer Pays Tuition for a Semester at Penn State

1976 Chrysler Newport, 2-door with 400 CI V8 engine.

The first deer I killed in Pennsylvania payed a full semester's tuition for me at Penn State Harrisburg.

When I left the Army in 1979, I needed a car.  High gas prices made gas guzzler used cars ridiculously cheap.  So I bought the car in the picture above for $800.  This 22-foot-long, six-passenger car got 9 milers per gallon in town, maybe 17 on the highway at 55mph on cruise control.

A year after I bought it, I was driving north on PA Route 230 at night when a deer jumped from the side of the road into the path of my two-ton car.  The white-tailed doe flipped into the air.

I stopped as fast as I could and walked back to the carcass.  Within a minute, a blue pickup truck pulled of the road and stopped ten feet from the deer and I.  Two big guys in coveralls got out.  They looked at the deer, looked at me and said, "You want that?"

"No," I said.

The one on the right picked up the deer, carried it to the bed of the truck and tossed it in.  The guy on the left nodded, walked back to the truck, climbed in, and they drove away.

The next morning I took the car to the local Chrysler dealer.  They gave me an estimate for $710 for cracked plastic and chrome on the right side, plus a damaged headlight mount.  Insurance pays in full for collisions with deer.  I replaced and aimed the headlight, used duct tape to repair the body damage, and used the insurance money to pay for most of my $850 tuition the following trimester.

You could say I paid deerly.......

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