The Model "A" to the rescue

On a hot Sunday afternoon when you had a car with five wheels to take you to the nearest swimming hole you were the King of the road. So off we went to a pond located on a side road. This pond was part of a watercourse that at one time supplied a mill. There was a goodly flow of water to the mill but a road had been constructed across part of the pond creating a dam to the water flow. This had been compensated for by the installation of a culvert under the road. On the up side of the road the pond was a great place to "swim" besides there was no charge to jump in. As there was no conservation Authorities around in those days to regulate the usage of a water hole, there were no permits or regulations required for a cooling dip.

 The old A got us there in grand style and we paused long enough on the side of the bank to note a raft tied up to a tree with a stout rope. Some other swimmers had thoughtfully provided a diving platform. Not wanting to pass up a good thing we untied the raft and pushed it out into the pond. Great fun and splashes of water as we enjoyed this convenience were underway, without much regard as to securing it in place.

 At some point it was noted that the raft had departed and was well on its way toward the culvert under the road. Before anyone could catch it the culvert did the trick and the water pressure tuned it across the culvert. There was now an effective gate in the dam blocking the water discharge. Well we would just go and drag it back so we could resume our fun. We were about to get a first hand lesson about the weight of water and no amount of tugging or pulling could get it away from the culvert. As the water was slowly rising in the pond we stopped to ponder on the solution to this situation. Ah ha! The model A would get us out of this. Backing the A up and attaching the rope to the rear bumper then we would haul the raft out. This done the A was put in gear and began the pull. Gravel and sand flew from the rear wheels but the raft stayed right there with the water getting ready to wash out the road as it would if it spilled over the top.

 Time to rethink this operation was at hand. Observing that in order to remove the raft we would have to lift it up over the culvert opening. How to do that using the A was the next order of business. We removed the spare wheel and tire from the back of the car and removed the spare tire from the rim. We always carried tools for this, as flats were common. Next the rope was placed over the wheel rim standing up on the road above the culvert and attached to the car. The magic of physics with the help of the A did the trick with the raft coming away from the culvert nicely. We then got to finish the swim in order to cool off after all this as I am sure the A was smiling at us about then.

 What’s that old saying? “Necessity is the mother of invention, if you have an old model A”

Al Howlett

 

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