Saturday, September 17, 2011


Travelling in the Good Old Days
By Eugene
Horseless Carriages / Automobiles
Maybe a 1913 Dodge?
Grandpa Boel had one of the first of its kind in Springville.  No one seems to remember what kind it was, but it was fancy with lots of  brass, shiny and polished.  Looked like a million dollars but was quite unreliable, sometimes it would not start, always had a flat tire and sometimes he never got there.  I guess my father drove it more than he did.  Dad would crank the motor until it started and off they’d go.  There were no traffic lights and no rules of the road.  Who had the right-of-way, I’m not sure even witch side of the road they drove on.  But Grandpa was always in trouble, he always thought he had the right-of-way and went way to fast through the cities.  He said he hated cities and had to hurry to get out of them. 
Eugene's 1931 Chevy
My first car was a 1931 Chevy Coup.  The gas tank was over the engine.  20 inch wheels, a lever on the steering wheel to start and move to run and another for something or other.  I loved that car, I’ll never understand why I replaced it with a stupid
“Ford”Fix Or Repair Daily  
Dad always had a ford but because of a poor fuel pump would not climb the hill to our house in Telegraph.  So, we backed it up the last half a mile to get home.  I remember leaving it in places that day and having to come back the next to get it.  It had mechanical brakes and Dad was always working on them.   They looked good but we left our house more or less out of control.  Lee drove up under a big semi when he couldn’t stop.
1929 Ford Model A
In those days every gas-station was a repair shop to help the unfortunate driver.  Very few women would dare drive, if they did not far.  When you went to get gas, you could never tell them to fill-it-up.  You could only ask for so many gallons.  He would then grab this pump handle and pump five gallons into this glass cylinder above the pump stopping at five gallons; gravity would send this amount to your tank.
With a screw-driver, a wrench (ever hear of a monkey wrench), a hammer and some bailing-wire, you could always get home.  If the ignition failed you could shine them up or replace them.  Gas ran by gravity to the engine, no problem.  If the battery failed, you pushed it and someone would pop the clutch to start it.  If that failed you could jack one of the rear wheels off the ground, put it in gear and turn the suspended wheel until it started.  I started many vehicles this way.  We were lucky to go a hundred miles without a mechanical problem of some kind.   Generators (now alternators) never seemed to work but most gas-stations carried them.  Admiral Ray of the Bingham Navy said his skills at the shifter-shop got us to the High Uinta’s once. 
I drove down this road to get to Fruita, Utah--Capitol Wash
The roads were terrible back then.   There were two-lane roads in the city but some had a street-car on tracks to contend with, Grandpa got a ticket for refusing to allow the street-car to go first. 
Rural roads were narrow, mostly one lane where you had to pull off the road when another car approached.  Once I was in a spot where it was unreasonable for me to back-up so we sat an looked at each other until he decided to back up.  You can still see some of these old roads, if you look close while travelling to Logan you can see why it was called “Sardine Pass”.
To get to Fruita down in Wayne Wonderland (now called Capitol Reefs), if there was no rain you could drive down Capitol Reef Wash but take a shovel because there could be rocks and holes to contend with. Once I had to leave Dads car at Bowns Reservoir and come back the next day and build a road. 
But there were no people and hardly anyone fishing or hunting.   It was a wonderful time to live.  

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