Izzie-3 Problem Solving

9-Problem Solving

I have lived with cats all my life and enjoyed them. You feed them, water them, take care of them, and enjoy the affection you get from them. The problem though is that for most of your life you don’t have enough time to observe them. As a retired person, I’ve been learning things that I wish I had known all these years. Cats are thinkers but you have to quietly watch them for some time in order to pick up on the subtle things that are going on in their little heads.

When Izzie, the inside cat, and I first started going for walks, she checked out everything by smelling, looking, and listening and sometimes by touching with her paws and I’m certain that she committed every detail to memory. One event that convinced me of how observant she is and how she can asses a situation and solve a problem by breaking it down into step-by-step solutions is the “gate” story.

We walked across the backyard and made a right turn and went up the side of the house toward the front where the trash cans are kept. We got there and she stopped and sat back on her haunches. I noticed that she was staring at the top of the gate and continued to do so for a couple of minutes. It finally dawned on me that she was trying to figure out how to get over that gate. I knew that she understood the constraints of the leash and that she probably couldn’t make a direct frontal assault on the gate. After a bit, she looked to the left and saw the retaining wall. She walked over to it and stood on her hind legs and put her front feet on top of the wall. I saw her muscles flex as she pulled on it and tested it for stability and strength. When she was satisfied that it was okay she hopped up on top of it.

Next, she looked at the closest trash can and put her front paws on it. As before, she looked around carefully and then hopped onto the trash can lid. She took another look at the top of the gate from her new vantage point and evidently decided she could do better. She looked over at the adjoining trash can, extended her front legs and placed her paws on the cover. She looked around carefully and then gingerly stepped across to the second can. Now, she sat back on her haunches and again stared at the top of the gate. All this time I had been holding the leash and she knew well what her limits were. You could almost see the wheels turning in her little brain as she assessed the situation. Suddenly she stood up,  placed her front paws on the horizontal brace at the top of the gate and made a mighty leap. Fortunately, I was ready, and caught her in mid-air just as she cleared the top. She wasn’t trying to get away. She only wanted to see what was on the other side. She held on to the top of the gate and I held onto her as we stood there for a couple of minutes and watched the cars go by on the street.

It’s interesting to note that the next day, having memorized the procedure; she just walked right up to the retaining wall and made the series of jumps that carried her to the top of the gate. I was impressed by the way she sized up the problem, broke it down into manageable steps, executed her plan, and then remembered it the next day.

Dave Thomas
December 2, 2013

Fired!

If you read my story “AVS Honey”, you will remember that in 1950, after I graduated from 8th grade, I had a 3 or 4 week period before I was to spend the summer in Arizona with my Grand-dad. I told you about the AVS Honey job because it was interesting and it was fun. I almost forgot that for 3 or 4 days prior to AVS Honey, I had a job in a filling station. Maybe I’m blocking it out of my memory because I got fired. Here’s how it happened.

In Kansas, you could get a restricted driver’s license when you were 14 years old. As a result, the schools offered a driver’s training course to 13 year old 8th graders. I took the course and learned the rudiments of driving and how to take care of a car.

Bill Nutter and Ray Tarman took over the management of a Socony-Vacuum (later, Mobil) station. This is the station that had been run by a man named “Heavy” Stevens at the south end of Augusta where State Street and Walnut Street come together.

Just before school was out, my Mom happened to see Bill Nutter down town and visited with him a little. After Bill told about his new business, Mom told him about me needing a short term job and asked if he could use me at his new place. Bill said it so happened that he had hired a college kid for the summer but this kid wouldn’t be out of school for another 3 weeks or so. He told Mom that he could use some help until the college kid showed up and that I should come down and talk to him. I hurried down and talked to Bill and he agreed to hire me.

Back in those days, the gas stations or filling stations were more correctly called “service” stations. A customer pulling into a station for any amount of gasoline expected to have their windshield washed, oil checked, and radiator water level checked. And, if requested, the air pressure in their tires would be checked. Beyond that, if requested, the attendant would grab a whisk broom and sweep out the car.

The work stuff didn’t bother me. I could do all the necessary things or sweep the driveway with no problem. My shortcoming proved to be that I didn’t know enough about cars or engines. Bill or Ray would be working on a car and I would have to interrupt them so they could help me locate something. The first day, it was a cab-over truck and I couldn’t find the dipstick to check the oil level. The next day, I couldn’t find the gas cap on a customer’s car. Earlier models were easy to find. They were normally in plain sight, a shiny chrome thing sticking out of a rear fender. The manufacturers were just starting to get tricky and hide them behind little doors in the rear fender wells. However, on my second day at the station, I had no idea where the gas cap was on this guy’s car. Trying to look “cool” (rather than stupid) I walked into the grease rack and asked Bill where the thing was. “It’s behind the license plate”, he says. “No kidding?”, I say. Sure enough, there it was.

The 3rd day, I was really intense. I wasn’t going to miss anything. The morning went well but in the middle of the afternoon, here comes this late model Cadillac. The driver told me to “fill it up” so I got the hose and was ready to start pumping gas. I’m in trouble again…I can’t find the gas cap! I checked the fenders, the license plate, and the trunk with no luck. Finally admitting to myself that I had failed again, I went in and got Bill out from under the hood of a car and asked him to show me where the gas cap was on a Cadillac. Bill doesn’t say anything but walks over to the left side of the car, takes hold of the tail-light and swings it up and out of the way. There’s the gas cap! The tail-light lens is hinged! That was just too damned cute for words. Who puts a gas cap in a tail light? I gassed up the car and got the man on his way.

At quitting time that night, Bill told me that I just didn’t know enough about cars and they wouldn’t be able to use me after all. I understood and there were no hard feelings.

Dave Thomas
February 12, 2016

 

The USS Constitution

USS Constitution-Boston 2

Picture Courtesy of Chief Flora, USN Retired.

This picture spans the time from 1797 when the U.S.S. Constitution, Old Ironsides, was launched until now, 2011. Old Ironsides, the sailors on the dock, and the Blue Angel aircraft and their pilots are all on active duty in the U.S. Navy. Old Ironsides was never de-commissioned and is the oldest active duty warship afloat in the world. She is berthed at the Charleston pier in Boston harbor. Her crew is made up of active duty officers and enlisted men of the U.S. Navy.

Another point of interest for me is that our ancestor, William Sprague (my 7th great grandfather), and his brothers helped build the town of Charlestown in 1629.

I feel very fortunate to have a piece of wood from the hull of the U.S.S. Constitution that was cast into a small paper weight. In the 1970’s I was Vice President and Plant Manager of a small manufacturing firm. We fabricated printed circuit boards and also had a department that produced front panels, nameplates, and signage. I was responsible for sales for the company and in that capacity called on the Director of the Aerospace Museum in Balboa Park, San Diego, Lt. Col. Ed Carey, U.S.A.F., Retired. I became acquainted with Col. Carey and the men who restored aircraft or worked as docents at the museum. One day, the Colonel showed up at our shop and said he needed help with a personal project. He had once been in Boston with his family and wanted to pay his respects and take a tour of Old Ironsides. He called, made an appointment, and at the proper time showed up in Class A uniform with his family. As they toured the ship they came to an area where some rotting timbers were being replaced by a crew of skilled craftsmen. Col. Carey, within earshot of other tourists, asked the Naval Officer conducting the tour if he might have a piece of the rotted wood as a souvenir. The officer apologized and said it wasn’t possible. As they completed the tour and were leaving the ship, the Colonel and his family thanked their tour guide and the Officer of the Deck. Colonel Carey saluted the flag and the O.O.D. as is the custom and the O.O.D. returned the salute and handed Col. Carey a sack containing a sample piece of the wood removed from the hull.

After telling me this story, the Colonel said he was going to take pieces of his wood sample and cast them as small paper-weights and wanted a small aluminum nameplate to identify the source of the wood. He provided camera-ready artwork so I made the nameplates myself, over a lunch hour, and provided them at no charge as a goodwill gesture from my company. A couple of months later Colonel Carey showed up at our shop and presented me with one of the paper weights containing an original piece of Old Ironsides. I kept it on my desk and showed it to every visitor to our plant.

Dave Thomas
June 1, 2011

Old Iron PW

 

The Roadrunner

I spent a month in Arizona with my Grandpa during the summer of 1950. Grandpa lived in Safford but had a farm in San Simon (San See-moan). The first time he took me to the farm, we were getting ready to spend the night. Grandpa told me that if I heard a pecking noise on the window at dawn not to worry about it. He said its just the roadrunner.This got my interest real fast because I was already a fan of the Roadrunner and Wile E. Coyote cartoons. Grandpa went on to explain that one night he had thrown out some table scraps for whatever birds or critters might show up. Later, he was sitting outside enjoying the coolness of the evening when a roadrunner appeared and began pecking at the scraps. Grandpa knew that they mostly eat snakes and small animals but the next day, when he was in town, he bought some mixed grain and corn. He normally woke up about dawn so he got in the habit of going out in the yard early and tossing out a handful of feed. The roadrunner seemed to like the handouts and could be seen in the yard every morning. One morning, Grandpa slept in. He was awakened by a pecking noise at the window and looked up to see the roadrunner sitting on the window ledge and doing the pecking. Grandpa got up and took a handful of feed and tossed it out into the yard. After that, if Grandpa didnt get the feed out there early enough, the roadrunner would be pecking at the window.

Ive always found it interesting to watch creatures as they process information, develop habits, and commit things to memory. Food is the driving force in their lives and obtaining it, the obsession. Grandpas roadrunner had learned that if there was a man at the house he would be getting something to eat. If the man doesnt show up at the pre-determined time, dawn, he can go peck on the window and get the man out there with some food. Hes going to keep an eye out for this guy and when he shows up hell be at the house every day at dawn because its easier than scrounging for the morning meal.

Dave Thomas
August 3, 2014

 

Grandpa and the Rocking Chair

My grand-dad was Albert Adelbert Thomas, known to his family as “Del” and mostly to others as “A.A.”. I got to know him best in 1949 and 1950. At that time I was 13 and he was about 85. I saw him daily due to my paper route. I delivered the Wichita Beacon and Walnut Street where Grandma and Grandpa lived was a large portion of my route.

We had a regular routine for my daily visits. I would usually show up around 4:30 P.M., give or take 15 minutes. Grandpa would be sitting in the living room in his rocking chair and listening to the radio. Grandma would be in the kitchen preparing a snack for me. Grandma, “Etta”, was 77 at the time and she felt it was her duty to feed me every day because “a young boy is always hungry”. It was ok with me because Grandma’s snacks were always delicious and usually amounted to a bowl of her home-canned peaches, bread and butter, and a glass of milk.

I would come in the front door, hand Grandpa his paper and go on to the kitchen to see Grandma. I’d sit at the kitchen table and while I ate, we would each tell our stories about the happenings of the day. After eating I would join Grandpa in the living room and listen to whatever serial was playing on the radio. As I recall, the radio networks began playing the 15 minute adventure serials at 4:00 P.M. and continued until 5:30 or 6:00. Some of the shows I remember were The Green Hornet, The Shadow, Roy Rogers, Sergeant Preston of the Yukon, and Jack Armstrong the All-American Boy.

Grandpa loved the noise and the action and as the sound effects grew louder and more hectic he got more and more excited. The stories were gripping and as they developed to the point where the fights started, Grandpa was all fired up and ready for action. His rocking chair would start going back and forth faster and faster and he would start waving his arms and shouting “Get the black-hearted devil” or “Set the dog on him” or whatever words were needed. A few times, Grandpa rocked faster and faster until his rocking chair tipped over backwards. The first time I saw this, I had just come through the front door and saw it happen. I yelled for Grandma and she came running in from the kitchen and saw that he wasn’t hurt. She said it had happened before and when she was by herself she just rolled Grandpa out of the chair and had him get on his hands and knees and then stand up. She said it was hard for him to do so since I was there to help, we would just lift up the back of the chair and set it upright. Well, I wasn’t so sure about that. I don’t know how big Grandpa was but I would guess that he was over 6 foot and probably weighed 240 or 250. I was a 13 year old pip-squeak that hadn’t had the final growth spurt to make him man-sized. Grandma was 77 years old and wasn’t very big. I didn’t know it at the time but Grandma, like all pioneer women, was stout as an ox. We got behind the old man and straining for all we were worth, finally got him upright. He was no worse for the wear and since he couldn’t curb his enthusiasm, I saw it happen one other time. As the Shadow says, “danger is lurking everywhere.”

Dave Thomas
April 23, 2013

Here’s Another One!

Thinking about it, our family has a lot of stories that involve birds and animals. Well, here’s another one.

One of the most interesting and enjoyable experiences I have ever had is the ride on the Palm Springs Tramway from the desert floor and up toward the peak of Mt. San Jacinto (haw-sin-toe). The peak, itself is at 10,834 feet. The tramway starts at Valley Station at an elevation of 2,643 ft. and rises to the Mountain Station at 8,516 ft. That’s an increase of 6,000 feet, over a mile, and the ride is actually longer than that because you are riding the hypotenuse of the triangle.

Tram 1

Valley Station

The city of Palm Springs is in the desert and the temperature can easily be 115 degrees in summer. Imagine how good it feels to ride to Mountain Station where you may need a jacket. The temperature difference is usually about 40 degrees. 

Tram 2

The tramcars have windows all the way around for maximum viewing. Pat has ridden the tram 3 times and I have ridden it twice. At the time of our rides, the cars didn’t rotate so we had to move from one side of the car to the other to get a good look at both sides of the canyon. In the year 2000, the new tramcars were installed that slowly rotate 360 degrees and make 2 complete revolutions as you go from the Valley Station to Mountain Station.

Tram 3

In 1967, the first episode of the TV detective show, “Mannix” was shot on the tram and featured some wild scenes on top of the tramcars. (The star of the show, Mike Connors, is a distant relative of our son-in-law, Steve.) Pat and I enjoyed this show and also saw an episode of the TV show, “I Spy” that was shot on the tram. The stuntmen on both shows performed some harrowing stunts.

At Mountain Station there us a large lodge with a restaurant, gift shop, and viewing decks. There is a good selection of souvenirs and post cards in the gift shop in case your own pictures didn’t turn out well. Of course, the brisk mountain air will make you hungry and you’ll need to visit the restaurant for a meal or at least, a hot cup of coffee. The observation deck has telescopes mounted in a number of places and as you look around at this wild, mountain country you will further appreciate the amazing amount of planning and work that went into the building of the tramway.

Tram 4a

The first tower was the only one that could be reached by a road. The materials and workmen to build the rest of the towers were brought in by helicopter. All together, helicopters made 23,000 trips before the tram was completed.

Our daughter, Terri, and her husband, Steve, were taking the kids to Palm Springs for the weekend and invited Pat and I to go along. It sounded like fun to us. Grand-daughter, Christie, was nearly four and grandson, David, was a cute little infant. We enjoyed the ride over as Palm Springs is less than two hours from San Diego and we were looking forward to riding the Palm Springs Tramway.

We got to the Valley Station and Terri decided that she and David would stay at the bottom while the rest of us took the trip. We were mainly interested in the spectacular ride and didn’t plan to be gone long.

Tram 5

The ride to the top was just as extraordinary as it was touted to be. The height, the rugged cliffs, the changing micro-climate zones, the amazing construction of the thing, and the views, added up to an incomparable 10 or 12 minutes. We looked around Mountain Station to see what it was like. Steve read some signs about a hiking trail that went on up the mountain. Farther up, there were even camp sites where you could spend the night. Steve said he wanted to take a look at the hiking trail, thinking that he and Terri might want to return sometime for a hike. We all headed outside to enjoy the amazing view. We found the trail head and probably walked half a city block. The area was populated with pine trees, bushes, boulders, and big flat rocks. Steve found some signs telling about hiking trails and camp sites and was intent on reading them. Christie asked her Dad if she could climb on the big rocks next to the trail and he told her to go ahead but to be careful. She crawled up on one of the big flat rocks that was part of a pile and sat down. I got involved with the view and was busy taking it all in when I heard Pat saying Steve’s name. Steve and I turned toward her about the same time and she immediately pointed toward Christie. We looked and saw Christie sitting on her rock and just behind her was a big bobcat! Steve stayed cool and climbed part way to Christie and told her that there were some neat little animals near the base of the rock and she should slowly and quietly come to him so he could lift her off the rock so she could see them. Christie did as she was told and when she got close enough, Steve grabbed her. The bobcat faded back into the brush and a Dad and two grandparents breathed a sigh of relief. That being enough excitement for one day, we headed back to the tram so we could go down and join up with Terri and David. It was a memorable excursion from start to finish.

Dave Thomas
April 3, 2015

 

 

Terri and Alex

The boys, Russ and Doug, were six years old, so they were in school. Terri, only three at the time, was hanging out with her Mom as they waited for a plumber to show up. Pat had errands to run so she and Terri both were wearing their “go to town” clothes. Terri was wearing her favorite red, plaid dress.

After lunch, the plumber that Pat had called showed up and got busy. Terri was playing with Alex, the dog, while Pat kept an eye on the plumber and watched his progress. After the plumber finished his job and packed up and left, Pat realized that she didn’t hear Terri out on the patio. She went back in the house and went from room to room calling Terri’s name. That didn’t get a response so she went back to the yard and started searching. Terri wasn’t in the yard and Pat began to get anxious. She thought Terri might have gone to play with her friend, Susan, who lived on the corner but Susan and her Mom hadn’t seen Terri that day. Pat was beginning to panic and hurriedly ran from door to door, checking with other neighbors. No one had seen Terri.

We lived in a rural area just outside the city limits. Police work was shared by the Sheriff and the California Highway Patrol with the CHP being more available as they had an office near our home. Pat called the CHP and reported Terri missing and then called me at work. My job was half an hour from home so I jumped in the car and took off as fast as I could go.

When I finally arrived at the house Pat and some of the neighbors were out in the front yard. Pat filled me in on what had been done and what was taking place at the time. Some of our neighbors were checking the neighborhood and the Highway Patrol was searching a little further out. Terri was a self-disciplined little girl and never left the yard without permission. We couldn’t imagine her just taking off so were scared to death that someone had taken her.

As we talked we were scanning the area. Behind our house was a steep hill running up to the east. The hill was terraced and had been a vineyard or an orchard before being abandoned many years ago. After you crested the hill there was a canyon (now Interstate 8) and then you could pick up a dirt service road that went uphill into the foothills. This area was hundreds or maybe thousands of acres in size. At the top of one of the hills was a giant boulder that could be seen for some distance. This boulder gave the place its name of “Big Rock”.

As we glanced around, Pat suddenly spotted a patch of red with something brown beside it moving down the hill toward us. She realized then that being so worried about Terri, she hadn’t been aware that Alex was missing, too! As they got closer, we could see that it was indeed Terri and Alex. I took off up the hill to meet them. As I got up to them and made sure they were both okay, I asked Terri where they had been. She told me in a matter-of-fact way that Alex wanted to go for a walk so she went with him. There I was, heart pounding, adrenaline pumping, and ready for action! But, there was no action to be taken. Terri was a very good girl and never did anything wrong on purpose so for me to go crazy would have been the wrong thing to do. When we got down to the house, I explained what had happened to Pat and she and I thanked everyone for their help and concern. Then, we went in the house and explained to Terri (and Alex) that we don’t just wander off without permission.

50-022

Dave Thomas
September 6, 2014

 

Alex the Dog

Alex the Dog was rescued or saved by Pat. One day she heard a dog crying outside our door. She opened the door and found this half-starved puppy, 2 or 3 months old, crying for help. She touched him and immediately had fleas jumping all over her hands. She took the pup into the kitchen and found some left-over’s in the fridge and fed him. Since he was so miserable from the fleas, she put him up in the sink and gave him a bath with dish washing soap. Then, she put the dog in the garage, gathered up the kids, and went to the store and bought dog food and flea soap. A can of dog food and another bath and the little guy was stabilized to the point where he could settle down and take a nap.

Over the next couple of days, Pat talked to the neighbors about the dog and determined that he must belong to the man at the end of the block. His house was set back from the street quite a ways and in his back yard he was raising fighting dogs. The current litter was half Pit Bull and half Rhodesian Ridgeback. I don’t know what the rest of them looked like but the one that escaped and came to us looked more like a Rhodesian Ridgeback or a German Shepherd than a Pit Bull. He grew up to be a fair-sized dog and had a handsome face, unlike most Pit Bulls.

After 3 or 4 days the man that owned the dog showed up at our door. I was at work so Pat told me what happened. The guy demanded his dog back. Pat asked him why and pointed out that he didn’t care of the dog and it was covered with fleas and half starved. The guy said he had to keep them hungry so they will fight. Pat told him that this dog wasn’t going to fight. Again, the guy demands the return of his dog. By this time, Pat was sick of him and says “You are not getting your dog back and if you don’t get out of here I’m going to call the cops and tell them what you are doing with those dogs down there!” The guy takes off and Alex became part of the family. He protected the kids, protected our home, and was the smartest dog we ever had. Once in a while he was too smart for his own good and got himself in trouble.

In these animal stories I’ve tried to come up with at least one anecdote to illustrate that the animal showed a certain amount of reasoning or developed an idea and acted on it. Alex was a “thinking” dog. He figured out all kinds of things like how to climb over a 6 foot chain-link fence. He looked like a man climbing a ladder and when he got to the top he took a couple of seconds to get his balance and then simply jumped off.

We had moved to the outskirts of El Cajon. It was a quiet suburban area and people let their dogs roam free. Alex had a bed in the garage and that’s where we put his bowls for food and water. We usually left the back door of the garage open so he could go in and out and get a drink or take a nap. One Saturday, Pat and I were going to go get groceries so we gathered up the three kids and closed up the house. Alex was in his bed in the garage so we left the back door open but gave him a lecture about taking a nap and staying out of the street. He had been chastised for this many times and he knew what the words meant.

We had an outing and picked up the groceries we needed and headed for home. As we made a right turn onto our street, we looked down toward our house which was the fourth one down the block, and saw Alex out in the middle of the street. He looked up and saw our car and high-tailed it for the house. He rounded the corner of the garage and disappeared into the back yard. I pulled up into the driveway and got out and opened the garage door so we could carry the groceries straight into the kitchen. The first thing we saw was Alex in his bed. He stood up and stretched like he was getting up from a nap and came toward us all bright-eyed and with his tongue hanging out and what looked like a big grin on his face. We weren’t fooled for a minute! Pat lit into him with “You lying dog! You weren’t taking a nap…you were out in the street, weren’t you?” Alex got kind of a sheepish look on his face, hung his head, and proceeded to slink back into his bed. BUSTED!

Unfortunately, Alex never learned his lesson and refused to stay out of the street. One day he took up with the neighbor’s female dog and when they went running on the highway, both were struck and killed.

Dave Thomas
August 31, 2014

 

The Two-headed Snake

Leland and the 2-Headed Snake

I believe it was in the spring of 1950, our 8th grade year, that our classmate, Leland Collins, brought a two-headed rattlesnake to school. He had caught it over the weekend and brought it to school so we could all see it. I’m not sure who was most fascinated by it, the teachers or us kids.

It was a young snake, between 6 and 9 inches long, as I recall. Both heads were perfectly formed with bright eyes and those tongues that dart in and out. Leland and his snake were the center of attention for several days as he carried it around town and showed it off. There was a write-up in our local newspaper, the Augusta Daily Gazette,  and one of the large city papers in Wichita even carried the story with a picture of the snake. I don’t remember exactly, but I think Leland ended up donating the snake to the Wichita Zoo.

Dave Thomas
October 27, 2013

 

Life Is Hard

Model T

My great grandma, Minnie Peebler, lived at 1120 School Street. Next door, on the south, lived Joe and Rosella Pimlott. Joe was a nice old guy but he didn’t say much or move around too much. Rosella was a stout, grandmotherly type lady. She was a seamstress and a good one. She always had work stacked up. I knew them because they were Grandma Minnie’s friends and because my Mom sometimes had Rosella make things for us. Mom made me a lot of nice looking shirts out of feed sacks but some projects she deemed to be more suited for Rosella.

Joe had a Model T, black in color (of course) and it looked to be in perfect condition though the paint had faded a little. I’d see Joe, now and then, driving the Model T to the store or wherever he had to go. Joe kept the Model T in his garage which was out in back of the house like most of the older places. You entered the garage from the alley.

When we were little kids, Mom always made my sister and I go with her to Mrs. Pimlott’s house. Mrs. Pimlott was perceptive enough to know that I wouldn’t be too interested in dresses and that kind of stuff and would tell me to go on out and check out the back yard and the garage while I was waiting. Joe had tools and all kinds of stuff hanging on the walls so I could entertain myself for quite a while. I could even get up in the seat of the Model T and pretend to drive.

Time passed and then Joe Pimlott passed as well. Meantime I’ve turned thirteen and have started thinking about cars. In Kansas you could take Driver’s Education when you were thirteen and then get a restricted driver’s license when you were fourteen. The year was 1950 and cars were getting more expensive with V-8 engines and all that other stuff. I knew I wouldn’t have much money so I started thinking about old Joe Pimlott’s Model T Ford hidden away in that garage on the alley. Mrs. Pimlott liked me so I could probably get it for a good price. Model T’s were supposed to be easy to drive and easy to fix and practically indestructible. I knew that this was the car for me and now I had a plan. I would save my money and keep a secret that there was a perfectly good 2

Life IS Hard (cont.)

Model T stashed in Mrs. Pimlott’s garage. The weeks rolled by and I was taking Driver’s Ed. And whenever I went up to visit Grandma Minnie I would slip over and look through the crack between the doors to see if “my” Model T was still there. Everything was fine until one day when I was riding my bike down the street and here comes this Model T driven by Ross Larcom, a kid 2 years older than me. “Hi Ross””, I yells, “Where’d you get your car?” He yells back “I got it from Mrs. PimLott for 15 dollars!”

I was wiped out!

Dave Thomas
January 2, 2014