1072 4th Street Ext. Charleroi, Pennsylvania 15022
I was always interested in gasoline engines from my teen days on up to the present. They fascinated me a great deal.
When I was in service in World War II, I was a part of the U.S. Air Force as an airplane mechanic (as Sergeant).
I went to two different Army Air Corps airplane schools: Gillport, Mississippi, and then I went to the B-24 Ford plant at Ypsilanti, Michigan. I worked on B-24s, B-25s, B-26s and P-38, P40, C-47, etc. So you can see that engines were a great part of my life.
When I was discharged from the service back in 1945, my dad and I started to go to farm auctions once again. We went to one on a Saturday and they had a lawn mower on the auction block. Dad wanted this mower so he put a couple of bids on it. He asked the auctioneer if it would run. The auctioneer asked his helper to start the mower. They pulled and pulled, but no start. Not even a sound out of it. The auctioneer said, 'I guarantee 100% that it will run, because we had it running yesterday and it sounded good and was okay.'
So Dad bid on it and the mower was his. I watched Dad take the mower to the truck and before putting it in, he pulled a few times and nothing. Not even one fire!
When we got home and settled down a little, I tried starting it, having once been an airplane mechanic. I don't know what made me take the gas cap off. I put my finger into the tank and smelled it. Kerosene!! No wonder the engine wouldn't start!!
I drained the kerosene out and put in fresh gasoline and gave a few pullsand off it went with a cloud of dense white smoke, a half-block long for a few seconds. Then clear air.
A couple of months later we went to another auction sale and the same auctioneer was in charge. I told him why they couldn't get the mower engine running because of the kerosene in the tank. He said they had it running a day before the auction and it ran out of gasoline, so a fellow brought a can with liquid in it and refilled the mower. They didn't try to start it once again until Dad asked them to try it the day of the auction.
I am 74 years old and proud of it and find that one learns something everyday!