SPARK PLUG OF THE MONTH


| July/August 1967



Hercules of 1920 vintage

Courtesy of Joe Fahnestock, Union City, Indiana

Joe Fahnestock

Dayton Daily News & Radio's 'Joe's Journal'

Not always is ye SPARK PLUG OF THE MONTH confined to the mere nut-and-bolt, crank-and-joint echelon of our society. Sometimes duties higher and nobler in the way of civic and the public good beckon than that of hacking asphalt pavements to pieces with lug-tractors and/or swapping their wive's wedding silver for vintage one-lung gas-poppers.

In his backyard are such gems as the Grey Marine 1-cylinder reversible engine (foreground) and the Hercules of 1920 vintage, which he is looking over.

Like Spark-Plug, Clark Davidson, for instance -- lived in a log-cabin since a lad of seven, served variously as town marshall and councilman, and for the past ten years has served as head of the village government during five two-year terms as mayor and leading citizen of the village of Gordon, in southern Darke County, Ohio. Sort of keeps our SPARK PLUG OF THE MONTH hopping and commuting to get all his daily routines of earning a living, serving the town government, appearing as 'Hizzoner, the Mayor' at the many civic and public functions -- and still have enough time left in a day to pursue his favorite past-time of hunting the highways and by-ways for more historic gas engines, farm tractors and odd jalopies to add to his already impressive museum of gasology.

For example an average day for Spark Plug Davidson means rising at the crack o' dawn -- four o'clock to be exact -- and setting off for the Metropolis of Dayton, Ohio, where he earns his daily bread as licensed fireman at the Delco Products. Home by three of an afternoon, Davidson fondles and fidgets at gapping sparkplugs and setting carburetors, turning fly-wheels and cranking motors of his large odd-assortment of historic farm tractors, utility engines and trucks. Come 6:30 of an evening, it's out the front door and off the porch, a mere hop-skip-and-a-jump for 'Hizzoner' Clark Davidson to the door of the council house hard by -- to preside over the village council session. But it's all so conveniently worked out in this uncomplicated village of Gordon where even butterflies can be seen peacefully wafting from flower to flower -- the major living practically on top of the village council house, and the chief of police, Chester Fen-ton, living next to him -- the two often hoofing it to council together, arm in arm for the evening session.

Whether it's tossing out the first baseball of the season at the village baseball diamonds, or addressing the annual Decoration Day exercises, 'Hizzoner' the mayor is always on hand to attend the ceremonies, while his many friends and supporters are in the bleachers approving and applauding.