Yesterday, I spent several minutes staring at my Touring transmission and trying to figure out the first step in the process for disassembling the transmission. My two year old grandson decided to show me how to do it. We (and mostly his dad) managed to figure it out. Now I need my grandson to help me put it back together!
He's into it, ain't he ? Good on ya !!
You can't start them too young! He should grow up to be a great mechanic!
Hap l9l5 cut off
When they're that age, they're still connecting synapses...and the car stuff gets hard wired in.
It's always good to see the little ones in and amongst the old iron.
This is called "the poisoning of young minds". Chances are, anyone
reading this had it done to them and has wasted a lifetime chasing
I cannot figure out how the poison got into my veins, but from my very
earliest memories of "excitement", it has always been about old things,
weathered wood, barns, fences, telephone poles, old metal, equipment,
19th century glass, you name it .....
A very early memory I have is of going by myself out into my Grandfather's
shop/garage and standing there, taking it all in. His new 59 Buick Electra
convertible sat next to Grandma's 53 Roadmaster coupe, which sat next to
the 150 Roadmaster coupe. The sun fell through the dirty windows in glowing
shafts of angled gold and sparkled on all the chrome, which cast sparkles
all over the rest of the unlit shop.
His workbench was directly under those windows and I remember lots of
cool old tools. Behind the door was a bunch of shelves, lined with old fruit
jars, filled with different kinds of nails, screws, and hooks.
My life was ruined, right then and there !
Speaking of hard wired learning, at the same age my oldest was equally inquisitive...at three could actually fetch a wrench with the right size when I would call out for one...at 4 tried to teach him to steer but wanted no part of it until 6, by 8 he could drive it!
At 16 decided to take one of my T apart without help. At 16.2 he found girls so that car is still apart....lol
Today at 39 he is a VP of one of the major national auto retail groups, can buy and sell his old man a few times over...has his own car corral of more toys than he will ever get to...and yes....I DO chalk it up to that precocious awareness at 2 and the Model T
Get 'em while they're young!
Great photos, keep him interested Eric.
A few years ago, I started writing letters to my then unborn grandchildren. These letters are mostly buried in an Excel file with dates and mileage attached. I go into detail about the dumb things I've done as well as shortcuts like "Tie a string on the end of old wire so you can pull the new one back into position". I hope they'll get to know and love cars like my son and I do. I also hope they'll avoid some of the skinned knuckles.
My daughter now has children and I make sure they're exposed to the old cars every time they visit Michigan.
Burger- my mind was "poisoned" exactly the same way as you described and I wouldn't have had it any other way.
Cute pictures! The best feeling is to be able to share your way of life with a child. It sure takes a lot longer with "help" but it's worth it in the long run.
As Dan just said, cute pics and a cute kid. I couldn't help but notice he was wearing pretty nice, clean clothes...wonder how long they lasted! LOL...reminds me of myself, I have a large box that contains more "ruined" sweatshirts, T-shirts and Jeans than good clothes in my dresser & closet! Never was one to put on a fancy show.
Eric: Does he have his own set of ford wrenches yet?
Funny that you mentioned the clean clothes. Guess who was spraying his sweatshirt with Spray and Wash last night? I will gladly accept that job any day. At one point he noticed his hands were oily and he seemed concerned. I showed him that mine were just as dirty, and he dove right back into his work.
G.R. - on the way out to the garage, he picked up one of his plastic wrenches and was determined to "help Papa." He got out to the garage, used his tool a bit, saw the bigger tools, and opted for more power. I am afraid to give him a real set of tools since he may take all of my cars apart when I am not looking.
I had a friend growing up that always looked as if he just put on new
clothes. Not that I would have ever noticed, except my mother would
holler at me and/or my brothers "Why can't you be more like ..... ? he
goes home as clean as he shows up." We would be all covered in dirt
grease, wood chips, whatever ....
Today, he's an aircraft engineer and wears suits. I am forever covered
in dirt, grease, and sawdust, and my hands are rough and often black.
As Tim said, I wouldn't have it any other way.
As an amusing side note .... I build homes, buildings, bridges, whatever.
I regularly hear the wifeperson's friends and clients telling her to be
grateful, as their husbands cannot fix a gate, repair drywall, let alone
know which end of a hammer to pick up. My wife often thanks me for
"bringing character" into her life. And it all started before I can remember,
being fascinated with old junk.
Flee kid, while their is still hope !!!
Mom once told me that when I was a toddler I hated getting dirty. It didn't last. She said a couple of year later I came in from playing one day absolutely filthy. When she commented that I was a mess I told her, "You can't have any fun without getting a little dirty." Words to live by.
If you end up missing a small bushin or washer, you might want to have that little tyke X-rayed.
Or take him to the airport and see if he sets off the buzzers.
In High School I had a good friend, a few years older than me, and we would go 'old car hunting"back then there were cars to be found in the woods, model Ts, Model As and other stuff (we were looking for As, my T affliction came much later, but his dad usually went after the Ts we found, so they weren't lost (and yes, we found things like a late coupe body still covered in factory paint under some trees in the woods).
Anyways, we would come back from such a day trip, and my mom commented, "How come Duane looks like he walked around the block and you look like you've been camping for a week?
Never did figure it out, but it was true. He became an Architect, I, well, I took the road less traveled. Still, if I walk down the street and there's some grease on the other side of the road, it ends up on me, somehow.
Neat pic of the Narrow Gauge!
My dad built a shower in the barn so that I wouldn't upset Mom by tracking in "everything from the great outdoors"
My first car experience that I can remember I was about 5 years old. I was in my dad's 49 Chevy playing with matches and totally engulfed it in flames. Told my kids to never do that.
We didnt have a garage barn or shed when I was little. My grandads barn is where dad went if the yard wouldnt work. I remember laying on the dirt floor holding the light for my dad. Usually getting told " dont shine the #%$&* thing in my eyes". The dirt was the real special kind that you sunk in about an inch and moved slow as to not stir the dust. If you dropped a wrench it would go "poof" in a big cloud of dust. It was like brown flour! He had all the old tools and a great big hand crank drill press. The barn was like 30x50 and had two small lightbulbs. No shoes wearing shorts and no shirt I managed to get about as black as humanly possible. As soon as I was old enough to hold a light or hand a wrench I helped dad on the cars. Mom told me a few years ago that she was glad when I was old enough so she didnt have to help. I was poisoned early. I can remember sitting on the fender of a 53 chevy with the hood off my dad steering and my uncle towing the car trying to get it started. My job was to pour gas in the carb with a 12oz coke bottle to see if it would run. Sitting on my knees steering a car home from the junkyard with my dad towing me down 131 in Michigan. Oh can we still call them junkyards? Start them young and the poison will stay for life. If you try things like that today it would be jail time for sure. Different time but what fun! Eric good on you for taking the time to let them be creative.
I hope this is not seen as hijacking a thread ... it seems entirely related
to me, but it a subject I have been beating me head on now hard, for the
last few years .... where did this fixation/fascination/obsession come from
for old stuff and history for me ?
For some, it was a Dad or Grandpa that poisoned our minds, but I never
had the Dad with the old stuff, and while Grandpa had it (it wasn't very old
at the time), he and I lived 1000 apart and I rarely saw him or his stuff.
We lived along a busy road that had a frontage "lane" in front of it. I was
free to ride my tricycle on the lane, but keep away from the busy street just
20 feet beyond. If I peddled east on the lane, it turned north along the east
side of our property with a leg continuing east a short distance and deadending
at a berm with the yellow and black angle-striped safety painted barricade
there to keep errant tricyclers from speeding through the barricade, going
up the berm, and launching into the irrigation canal at the top.
I would ride my tricycle down to the berm, duck under the barricade, and
saunter up to the canal to lay in the alyssum that grew there, listen to the
cars going over the wood-decked trestle-type bridge of the busy road, and
simply watch the clouds pass overhead. It was peaceful there, and for what-
ever reason, this 3-4 year old found that appealing.
On the other side of the dark, slow moving water were orchards, and on the
bank just downstream was a rather phallic looking water pump that gave off
a low and soothing hum. Above it was a weathered old wood pole with some
black and rusty metal cans (transformers) and some sparkly glass things (insulators)
on it. And lots of thick, black wire curled about.
This is my earliest memory of a self-motivated "happy place", and it involved
old weathered wood, rusty metal, old colored glass, and a peaceful place of
quiet repose. This is where is all went wrong for me. There was no getting
the egg back in the shell.
What baffles me is WHY ? WHY did this place fill me with joy and other
places that most 3-4 year old kids find stimulating were of little or no interest.
How did the poison get in my veins ? I cannot connect the dots back any
farther than that time and place.
But from that time forward, anywhere we went, I ran down the alley looking
for old junk, I looked out the window at the passing barns, railroad tracks, pole
lines, fence lines. I looked for old cars and trucks.
Another murky memory is of going up into the Gold Country with my parents
and grandparents and standing on the wood sidewalks with the overhead wood
awnings and watching the old cars and trucks go by, the sunlight dancing off
the glass and chrome as they passed. It was warm, and I have fuzzy recollections
of looking at the wiring on the poles and outside of buildings, and of nearby empty
lots, where tall grass grew up and obscured even older cars and trucks that had
not seen the road in decades.
My mother says I was a weird kid, this way. Later, when asked about it by the
wifeperson, she deftly replied, "Well, it was sure a lot better than having them
being into drinking and drugs" ("them" meaning my little brother and I. We both
have the affliction.
Anyone else remember where it all went south for you ?
Being turned loose in the local junkyards while dad looked for parts. Being educated on tailights grills, and all the traits that made one car different from another and why. Living a mile frome the town dump,yup we called it a dump not landfill. They didnt cover all those treasures up they were just laying there for me to drag home. Never could understand why people threw all that good rusty ,worn stuff away. Alot of my " homade " gocarts and bikes came from that wonderfull place. My best toys and even clothes came from there if I took a notion. My folks liked going and sometimes brought home more than we left. Im with you Burger. I still search fences and tree lines for the glint of chrome or the lovely shade of rust. Probably why all my buildings are full. My wife doesnt and probably will never understand why. Not sure I do but why change now. To this day upon seeing an old car I tell my wife that a 19?? Ford,chevy,dodge.... and she rolls her eyes and says "your sick"." You need help!" Pure poison, thats what it is.
More drift along Burger's line -
I have no idea why but anything mechanical and most electrical fascinated me as a kid. I played with crystal sets and ham radio receivers, built coaster cars and later added lawnmower engines. I watched for the new models of real cars to identify make and model. Built models of hot rods and cars I liked. Burned/blew them up with my home grown gunpowder. My dad was a carpenter and didn't like grease or cars other than as a necessity. He couldn't afford a good car so when they would need work my uncle who was a diesel/heavy equipment mechanic would come over. I was always there to watch and when I got old enough to pass tools or help I did. Eventually it was cleaning parts and finally got to assembling things. By my teen years I had learned enough to do most work on my own. My uncle was great with a wrench but liked Kaisers and other odd brands and never cared about hopping things up. That uncle helped me get my first cars ('61 Skoda, '52 Chevy, '59 Simca and '57 Ford). All came from Nix Auto Wrecking in Seattle with "some assembly required".
I still treasure the time with that uncle. It was almost 20 years later before I got my first T. My dad never really understood my interest in cars in general or T's in particular but that was OK too, he was great in every other way.