1915 Model T Roadster

Lowell Stories: Stalled On The Tracks (& more)

Dad once told me that if he hadn't been an airplane mechanic, he would have been a journalist. I believe it. He should have written a book. He didn't; but he sure had some good stories.

Back in 1999, my wife Cindy emailed Dad with several questions about memorable events during his lifetime. Here's a few.

"Hitting the parked car with Chuck on the running board?"

"This would probably have been in 1938 when I was sixteen and still a novice driver. Dad was working at a filling station after supper and had given Chuck [Dad's brother] and I permission to use his Model A Ford to deliver papers. I would drive, Chuck would stand on the running board and make the delivery at the various houses.

We were coming south down Nodaway Street, turning left onto 8th st. At the southeast corner of this intersection sat the station where Dad was. Seeing him out in front, we both started waving, and hollering - 'Hi Dad!'

Well, I was too busy being sociable to Dad and let the turn widen out so that suddenly - Crash! Right into the rear of a car parked parallel with the curb adjacent to the station - and right in front of my Dad!! Talk about embarrassed! Whooooeeeee!

He took a look at the one I'd hit - bumpers were real bumpers in those days and guite functional - no damage, and then to our car. The radiator was banged in and steam hissing out.

What did he say? Not much really, and I think that had more effect than any tongue lashing could have done. He said 'Well, do you know what the problem was?'

'Yes, sir.'

'You can get the radiator fixed from your paper money.'

I did - it cost me somewhere around $13.00, but it was nearly two years before I again asked for the car to get my license! Lesson very well learned."

"Your first date-prom, losing the front wheel on the borrowed car?"

"On our first date at Gin's senior prom in 1939, I had permission to borrow our neighbors new Chevy. We went to the prom in style I tell you!

After the prom, we drove out north of Corning to investigate some real estate that we knew of out there. :>) The road back home followed the ridge of several hills in the area, and as we cruised along no doubt with radio music on and love in the air, suddenly the left front dropped down and there was this awful crunching sound.

As I looked out, there went our front wheel in the headlights down in the ditch, up the other side, and down the hillside out of sight! All I could hear was Gin saying - rather loudly and in distress - 'I've got to get home, my Dad will kill me!' I don't recall what I might have said.

Sufficient to say, I got out in my best prom clothes etc. and followed the path in the grass down to the bottom of the hill where the wheel had come to rest. Talk about luck - all the lug nuts were still in the hubcap - they simply were never properly torqued down on the wheel and just finally let loose. I jacked up the car, put the wheel back on and away we went. Our parents never knew, nor did the car owner!"

"... dating Gin, tell [us] about the car stalling on the tracks."

""Gin and I and her close friend Madge and her boyfriend Barney were going on a picnic in Gin's dads' 1915 Model T roadster - Copper radiator, brass headlamps, the works!

Coming to this railroad crossing we had to go up a little grade to the tracks, then back down the other side. As we chugged up the grade and got on top on the tracks, it was too much for the car and it stalled out.

Way down the tracks we saw the headlight of an approaching train and the girls started getting nervous. (Nervous? - more like panicky.) Nothing to do but for Barney and I to jump out and push the car off the tracks. Fortunately they weren't heavy cars, and we got the job done well before the train got there."

Category: Stories
Topics: People
Tags: Lowell Foster

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