This morning I had to go to the local VA sub station to have some lab work done. While there I struck up a conversation with this 82 year Veteran of the Korean War. Eventually the topic got around to Model T.s and he told me he first rode in one in the 1930's and then more recently
he was admiring a Model T on a trailer that was passing, and the owner was gassing up his truck.
He said the T. looked brand new and the new owner
stated he had bought it out west for $5500. Lyle said at first the new owner said he spent a ton of money, but then corrected himself. Then Lyle said the man asked him, if he would like a ride ? That was like asking you kid if they wanted a candy bar. Of course Lyle answered in the affirmative.
The T. was unloaded, and soon the owner and Lyle were crusin down the road and then they turned around and went back to the gas station. Lyle
told me that all in all, that was the best time he had had in a long time. I gave Lyle a standing invitation to come visit whenever he wants. I was telling him about the MTFCA and their web site and he asked to to say THANKS
to the individual who gave him a ride.
God Bless those who drive Model T's and give rides
out of the kindness of their hearts.
Great story John. Had a recent experience in somewhat the same vein. Yesterday I drove my '25 Fordor to our weekly morning coffee gathering of car guys here in Ajo, AZ. When we came out of the coffee shop a couple came over where our cars were parked and were admiring the cars and asking questions. Turned out they were from Northern England and touring the Southwest on vacation, stopping in Ajo for three days. I asked them if they would like a tour of Ajo in the Model T and they were delighted to do so. We had a great tour and visit and at the conclusion the gentleman said he just had to have a Model T when he gets back to England. A great morning by all concerned.
I like to call this "Paying Forward" I think its great when we can brighten someone's day. Seeing their smiles gives one a sense of purpose.
This last weekend I went to the Milwaukee Train layout where they use the 10 inch track like you might see at the zoo. I gave 2 kids and their mother a ride around the parking lot. Mom was way more excited than the kids.
Then I drove some more and stopped in a gas station to fill up. I saw this:
While I was admiring the A another man pulled up in a Mustang and drooled over my Speedster. He got a ride around the block.
On my way home I stopped at a Ford dealer and gave a couple of small children a ride around the parking lot. The dealer and father were awed.
This is what driving a T is all about. The smiles and joy of giving a short ride to someone that never thought they were ever get a ride in an old car.
Sure made my day.
OT, John you mentioned meeting an 82 yo vet. My wife and I have been going to the Seahawks games for years and have had the same door usher for most of those years. This year he was moved to another door, so I went over and said hello.
In our conversation he mentioned he was a vet and 87 years old. This job supplemented his retirement. I asked what he did in the military. He retired from the military after 30 years. His claim to fame was being a helicopter pilot. Most interesting was he was Eisenhower's helicopter pilot during his presidency. He flew in and out from the White House on a regular basis to Camp David and to the Eisenhower farm at Gettysburg.
Unless I had asked I would have never known.
I am showing my age....
It is amazing what a little jaunt will do for the uninitiated.
These "pay it forward" opportunities come up all the time. Here are a few memorable ones-
Although I don't have a Model T, I do have a stock Model A. Once while on a long trip, wife and I were staying at a hotel on day 2 or 3, and a gent was standing outside looking the car over closely as I approached to get in and drive to another area to load the car. I started it up to warm the motor and he asked some questions. I asked, "Have you ever been in a Model A?" He replied, "no". So, I said "Jump in!" and away we went around the hotel (the long way) to the loading spot near the front. He had a ball and started asking all kinds of questions about the car, why we trusted it on a long trip, how it did on the highway, would it make a good daily driver, etc.
Another time, our Model A was entered in a Concours event, and I drove the car over a day early to beat the rush and leave it there for the event the next day. The people checking in the cars were stationed in various areas helping to guide the arrivals to their designated display spots on the beautiful lawns. The final parking attendant was a lady in her 30's with a young girl, probably around 9-10 years old. She was directing me to a spot on the lawn for the car to park. I asked her if the young girl had ever been in an old car, she replied "no". I asked the young girl if she would like to get in and help "park the car", and she jumped at the chance. We looked around and made sure the coast was clear, then I took off like crazy and drove around the whole lawn area (hitting 2nd gear a couple times), honking (ahoooga!) for the old farts to clear the way. She had a blast! Then, we got back around to the area where our car was supposed to go and the mom was standing there, having watched this whole thing, laughing her head off. We parked the car and she got to turn off the motor. When they were walking away, the little girl was skipping merrily and saying how she couldn't wait to tell her friend what she just got to do.
A friend I know from a volunteer gig I do was passing through my hometown with his family on the way to a national park. He called and we planned to meet for lunch. I drove the Model A that day for whatever reason. When they arrived, they were very interested in the old car out front, and they found out it was mine. It just never came up before when we were volunteering together that I had an old car. Anyway, I offered to take them on a tour of my little town, and they accepted. So, with dad in front and mom, brother, and sister in the back seat, away we went! Despite outdoor temps being just over 100 degrees, and no A/C in the Model A, they were all very happy to see the town from the Model A perspective and still talk about it today.
A lot of people, when invited, refuse for fear of soiling the car or whatever. However, I still offer all the time to someone that seems more than just casually interested. Met a few new friends this way too. I think it is important for Joe Q. Public to see our old cars as "real cars" and not just some toys on the road. And, especially to be friendly and not all stuck-up snobs like the hot rodders.
You probably have to be at least as old as me, and/or remember a TV show called "Navy Log" from years ago, to appreciate this little incident I'm about to relate:
My first car was a '28 Model A Ford Coupe that I put together from "parts" and drove in high school in the late '50's. One day, I was driving down a residential street in another part of the Chicago suburb where I grew up. Two kids about upper grade school age were walking down the sidewalk and one of them spotted my Model A as I drove by. The one kid waved, so I gave him a little "Aaaooga" with the horn as I drove by them, and the other kid hollered,..."DIVE, DIVE!" Only time I ever got that particular reaction but I've never forgotten it!