Sumner float chassis needs your assistance

Word on the


This week I’m going to interrupt my rhubarb ruminations to put out a call for community roadside assistance. For our float, that is. I’m not naming any names, but it seems a huge coincidence that after being back in the float driver’s seat for one year, Jon Swanson reports that we need a new motor (just kidding, Jon). He came to my office the other day lamenting that the 1980 Chevrolet Citation is having engine troubles. It has been a good community float which was obtained at a reasonable price many years ago but, like everything that works hard to perform when called upon, sometimes maintenance is required.

I’m no mechanic (and Rick Shively is quick to confirm this), but if my notes are correct we need a four-cylinder Chevy engine to replace our 30-year-old existing engine, though I’m told a six-cylinder would be OK, too. I’ve also been told that if we could get a corresponding transmission to put in at the same time, the rebuild project would go a whole lot easier.

I know the float guys have been asking around, checking with local auto dealers, wrecking yards, Craig’slist and other resources, but I told them to let me give it a shot and write about our dilemma in my column just in case someone has a spare engine and transmission sitting around for a project they just haven’t been able to get to.

You would have thought I’d suggested panning for gold in the Carbon River based on their response. To be honest, most of the crew thinks I’m nuts anyway but they also know I’m sincere in my efforts so they put up with me.

So here’s my formal request for that community roadside assistance. If anyone reading this really wants to make me look good to these guys and has an engine and/or transmission stored in a garage, shop, potting shed, under your carport or behind the wood stack, that you’d like to donate to the Sumner Downtown Association for our community float, please call me at 253-720-9846 or e-mail me at Since they’re already planning for the Santa Parade in December, they would love to get started as soon as possible.

And if Jon, Rick and Ben are reading this, I’m giving you fair warning that I will be doing a double-time happy dance if someone steps up to answer our call for help with a new float engine. And with the community we have, it wouldn’t surprise me in the least if that happens.

So to our float crew and volunteers, stay tuned for more information and don’t forget that our community float is just another example of how local businesses and residents support our downtown.

No wonder so many folks like to Spend Some Time in Sumner.

Shelly Schlump is executive director of the Sumner Downtown Association.