| November/December 1970

Old Engine

Courtesy of Bob Hartwig, 1442 Lincoln Drive, Flint, Michigan 48503.

Bob Hartwig

1442 Lincoln Drive Flint, Michigan 48503

If Elmer Smithwick ever reads this, I'll just have to leave the country. Even though Elmer isn't a day over ninety, he'll get me. I'm sure. You see, it's this way. Many, many years ago, perhaps in the beginning 30's, we had an old car fixed up with a Model T coil. Juice going in, one pole grounded with a chain, another pole connected to the car frame. You've guessed it. When someone was standing on the ground and touched the car, we pushed the button. They lit up a bit. It was a sort of fun thing. Most of the fellows around were at one time or another working on old cars, or tractors, or old engines. Getting a poke now and then wasn't too unusual.

Well, one day my brother, Jo, and his buddy were visiting Elmer at his farm. Elmer came near the car -- didn't touch it. We wouldn't have shocked him. Too old, I guess. But -- Elmer was a hunter. A hunter has hounds. And hounds are inquisitive. Elmer's hound was inquisitive -- about the front tire and wheel. Then someone pushed the button. Now I have seen a lot of fast hounds -- but not as fast as this one. I'll not forget that little cloud of dust heading around the barn, thru the gate, down the lane a half mile or so and into the woods. And I knew that in that little cloud was a hound. Anyhow -- we were never quite sure if Elmer knew exactly what had happened. Only thing he said was, 'He must have bumped his foot.'

See story -- Elmeretta.

Rumely Oil Pull 15-30 single cylinder. One of the early models. Eagle 16-30, No. 618.

Now -- nearly forty years later -- we had been talking around the farm community about old engines. Elmer heard of our interest and had his wife call us. Said he had put one in the shed a few years ago; it ran real good then, and he would be willing to sell it now. We couldn't help but go out to see it -- but somehow we wondered just how much he really knew about the dog incident, and if he might just be going to get even a bit.