Random Thoughts

A Lot of Hot Air

... seven blowouts in 20 miles

Bill Jodrey

One beautiful summer Sunday, out of yesteryear, my father and mother decided to drive to Revere Beach to enjoy the sights and weather, and I was invited to go along.

The top of the model T was down and the breeze, at our rate of speed, was just nice.

I rode in the back seat with the wooden milk case which was always used instead of a jack, to elevate an axle when an inner tube blew out.

We arrived at the beach via Saugus and Malden, drove the beach to take in the sights, and returned home via Lynn, Saugus, and Wakefield.

Blowouts were not uncommon, and my father's procedure to fix a flat was to brace his back against the car, reach down and lift the wheel as I slid the milk case under the axle. Then, with two metal pry bars, he would slip the tire and inner tube off of the wheel, patch the hole, put some air into the tube, and reassemble the tire, tube, and wheel.

The next step was to get the proper pressure into the tire, and then, when he lifted the wheel, I pulled the milk case out, and "away we go" to the next blowout.

A blowout once in a while can be accepted, but seven blowouts on a trip of about twenty miles, really taxed my father's usual good nature close to the limit, and it took a lot of the pleasure out of a trip, but "those were the days."

December 3, 1999


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