Monday, August 16, 2021

Conversations with Random People --29

 Perfect afternoon for a bicycle ride and I was taking full advantage of it.  Probably the longest ride I've had this year.  I happened upon a Ram truck with a trailer in tow pulled over to the curb.  Gentleman was checking the straps and ties that secured an old pickup truck weather-worn and from another automotive era.  I stopped.

"Nice set of old wheels," I remarked.

"I see you are a Ford man," the gentleman replied.

"Indeed, I had one much like that.  Mine was a '52."

"This one," he informed me, is a '46 or '47, not sure which."

In a flash and without thinking about it I said, "Forty-seven."

"You're probably right."

(You see, without bidding it to happen I was suddenly my thirteen-year old self who would have instantly known the distinctions between the two years even though I had certainly not thought about that in the past seventy years.)

So I deliberately turned my attention to the windshield.  Yep, flat one-piece.  Confirmation, for I was certain for no reason that I can pinpoint that the '46 still used the prewar two-piece windshield.

"Where did you find this one?" I asked.

"Here.  Well, locally.  Elwood, I think.  I am hauling it to Ohio for my brother."

"That's cool."

He pointed out a few features of the old truck, I told him a bit about the one I had.  He slyly drew attention to his tow vehicle, secretly hoping, I suspect, that I would admire it, and I did.

"Welp, I'd better get along," the man told me.  "Thanks for stopping and visiting with me!"

"My pleasure!  Be safe."

(And if you are wondering, yes, as soon as I got home I used the interwebby thing to look at the '46 and the '47. 

 '47, one-piece; '46, two-piece.)


My '52 nearing completion.





Saturday, August 14, 2021

Mid-America 47th Annual

 I made it to the Mid-America Threshing and Antique Tractor Show!  I look forward to this each August, make a sashay to the 4-H grounds, then it's over for another year.  For me.  There is yet one more day of festivities.


Things have been changed-up a good bit when compared to previous years, but the old machinery is still proudly presented.  As my bicycle and I arrived there was a on-grounds tractor parade in progress with announcer on PA identifying the machines and giving names of owners and operators.  I stopped and watched a few of them pass, then shot across the parade route and continued to the display of my beloved pop-and-spin engines.  Huge flaw.  I took several pictures but stupidly did so with the so-called smart phone and stupid me, I haven't yet mastered the simple task of transferring them to my blog.  Worse, all the shots I took were videos, unbeknownst to me, rather than stills.  The pictures I show here I took with the old reliable pocket Canon.






This combine was state-of-the-art when I was a young man. Today's combine could probably swallow this one up, chew it into bits and spit it out.


A major difference this year is that rather than displaying tractors in long, neat rows by make they were spread all over kingdom come with RV's interspersed here and there and kiddies playing in their "yards."  Also not only were people bringing their golf carts and zipping around, the promoters were providing carts for people who didn't bring their own.  A veritable battery powered rolling zoo to contend with.  I guess the thing has to move into the 21st century if it is to survive.


Tuesday, August 3, 2021

High School, Demerits, and Soapy Water


I do have a high school diploma and this is a tiny bit of what I endured to get it.

Deal was this: infraction of rules or annoying the Dean could result in the issuing of demerits which were prominently posted on the bulletin board in the hallway opposite the office.  Accumulation of 20 or more demerits resulted in the loss of "social privileges" and that was a big deal, because social life was severely restricted in the first place and loss of what few privileges there were available meant, well, isolation from any activity other than going to classes.  During my junior year the Dean issued me twenty-five demerits for a single and honestly my first infraction in over two years.

The Dean and the school he represented were wrong, too, but how foolish of me to try to re-argue the case seventy years after the fact.  Well, he had the strict letter of the law on his side. 

However there was an escape clause.  By putting in hours of labor on campus each hour would erase one demerit.  I worked in the kitchen scrubbing the CEILING with soapy water and scrub brush.  Picture the dripping down on my head and the water running down my arms.  And thus I worked exactly six hours thereby changing the posting in the hallway to "19 demerits" and there it stood for the balance of the school year.