SPARK PLUG OF THE MONTH


| July/August 1973



COMET 30

Courtesy of Joe Fahnestock, Union City, Indiana 47390

Joe Fahnestock

Take a 13-year old red-headed, freckle-faced boy -- a wrench in one hand, screwdriver in the other and grease smeared all over -- with an old 5-horse Briggs and Stratton Engine to work on and you have the picture.

'Doug's happiest when he's the dirtiest,' sighs Mom (Kitty) McDonald. 'And, when he gets grease all over him, which is about all the time,' says she, 'He's mighty hard to get clean again.'

It's all part of Kitty McDonald's business as secretary and treasurer (the boys call her 'the Boss with a ball-bat') -- keeping one eye on young Doug and the other on spouse Dick who's titular head of that long-established institution known as Snyder-McDonald's, the gas-poppin'est brotherhood of carburetor-adjusters and spark plug gappers in the Troy, Ohio, area. For years anyone and everyone who ever had a sick gas engine that 'home medicine' wouldn't cure, the final word has always been, 'Take it out to Snyder-McDonald's.'

And here it is that young Doug McDonald, red-headed, freckled-faced and very inquisitive about what makes a gas engine run inside, became indoctrinated over the growing years into the awesome world of small-power internal-combustion, observing his Dad and the veteran Bill Snyder make the 'blamed things' pop like new again. Is it any wonder that Doug, the lad, is following in the footsteps of Dad and 'Uncle' Bill whose skill in doctoring old lawnmowers and tractors adds life to their years.

Spark Plug, Doug McDonald helps Dad, Dick McDonald, adjust a lawnmower 'in for repairs.' Mom (Kitty) McDonald approves or disapproves from shop entrance at rear. Doug is all energy, verve and go -- which pleases Dad, you can betcha. (That's not a halo over Doug's head, but a neon light).

'At only thirteen, Doug's already retired. From the racing field, that is,' mused Mom McDonald. 'Two years ago he won the first heat in the Troy Soapbox Derby. Last summer he didn't do so well, his father didn't have the time to help him re-build his racer.'