Mon
Apr 6 2009
07:51 am
By: WhitesCreek

By Ray Collett

Hello Readers, I hope you enjoyed the "April Fool's Special Announcement that I sent out. I never knew so many of you readers were born on Easter Sunday. Our oldest grandson was born on Easter Sunday also. Carolyn "Bunny" Hinds Bullens told me that she was the "original" Easter bunny. I got an email from a friend in Virginia who told me that her grandson changed the dentures between her and her husband that night. That must have been quite an April Fools Day surprise.
While researching the 1925 mine explosion, I ran across a couple of interesting things in the Nov. 6, 1925 edition of The Rockwood Times. Remember now, the automobile was just beginning to make its presence known and they were still rare in Rockwood, even though Molyneaux Chevrolet advertised a "brand spanking" new one for $250 dollars, and the "touring sedan" for $650, that money was hard to come by. Driving one of those cars truly had to be an adventure. Probably very few lady drivers too. Here is a column that was in that edition that I would like to share with you......

I AM THE MOTORIST

I'm the motorist that has not yet learned to drive a car. Oh, of course I have learned to run one, but when it comes to driving one and being in the class of the "nice steerers", I'm about as near as Jack Dempsey is to another title fight.
When I stop my car I always choke it to death just to keep from turning the switch-key. I always leave the gas lever down so that when it starts the engine races until I get ready to change gears. When I let the clutch out, my car jumps and leaps like a kangaroo doing the 220 hurdles, till the wheels catch up with the motor. As I let my engine race, I of course change gears with a noise like doing a high dive off the Brooklyn Bridge. Nine times out of ten, i leave my brakes on and run for half a block screeching like a file over a rusty screw. When I park against the curb, I hit it hard enough to move the sidewalk, building and all, back.
Most of the time I leave my spark down when starting, not knowing or thinking that someday I will cause the engine to back-fire and tear up the starter. When I am running, I push the spark up, or retard it, and then ignorantly wonder what causes my engine to boil over like a pot of water on a hot stove. When I start out on a cold day, I let my engine race in a suicidal effort to warm it up.
When I back out from the curb, I blow my horn and blindly back out taking for granted that the other fellow will stop or go around, while it is he, and not I, that has the right-of-way. Or maybe I will meet a fellow motorist on the road, and instead of dimming my lights and pulling over to side of the road, I go blindly on my way hoping that I won't get hit. I never keep enough oil or water in my car and then wonder why I burnt out a set of bearings.
Perhaps I know that when I choke my car to stop it, that raw gasoline is forced into the cylinders and it not only leaks down through the piston rings and dilutes the oil in the crankcase, but it helps the formation of carbon like a spring helps a clock. I know that if I took time to move or lift the gas lever up, I would have a great deal less trouble starting, but I'll go right on leaving the lever down and choking my engine because I'm THE MOTORIST.
I'll keep right on hitting the curb with the force of a steer in motion, never thinking that there is a force of about two tons crashed against the structural parts of my auto. Letting my engine race in an effort to warm it up on a cold day never causes me to realize that the fast moving fan sucks the cold air through the radiator at a much greater speed. Neither do I put alcohol in my tea-kettle or a piece of cardboard over it to keep it from freezing, because--I'M THE MOTORIST.
Some day some gentleman will run into me when I back out from the curb and the courts will give him damages and give me a much needed lesson ; but until all of these lessons are taught to me, I will go right on running my car instead of driving it, because---I'M THE MOTORIST.

Those loveable old cars must have been a pleasure and yet quite a head-ache. I remember some of them with a gas lever, and a "spark" lever on the column. This was written in 1925, so everything was the newest.
I just noticed, the Rockwood Times, (this particular edition) had 16 pages, a Spring City section, happenings from all of the surrounding communities as far as Grandview and the was a nickel. Subscription rates were Six Months for one dollar and a year was two dollars...PAYABLE IN ADVANCE. The news back then was just like it is now, the great depression was right around the corner, jobs were getting scarce but America pulled through it. Thanks again for all of your emails. Remember my books, "Rockwood Memories" Volume 1 and Volume 2 are on sale at "Shack's Restaurant", "O'Those Were The Days Antiques", "Gail Score's Western Apparel", and "Yonder Hollow" all in Rockwood...and David Webb's "Rocky Top General Store" in Harriman. Or just call me at( 865) 354-7680 and ask for the ordering and shipping department. (just kidding about that part).........Until next week, Ray

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