When Susie was about five, we joined the YMCA Indian Princess program. I cannot remember all that we did but I do remember how cute Susie was with the band around her head and a single feather sticking up at the back of her hair. We did a lot of Indian craft stuff and had some great one on one time together. We continued to make our annual trips to the coast. We usually went down to South Padre. We all enjoyed these vacations and did a lot of fishing and crabbing.
I have always been interested in Model A Fords. They are amazing vehicles. They were built from 1928 until 1931. I contacted the National Model A Club and found that there was a group of guys starting a chapter in Dallas. I contacted them and arranged to meet with them. We got a charter but I did not have a Model A. They helped me find one, and in a month or so I bought a 1929 Sport Coupe that was in rough shape. No wheels and a little tree growing up through it. They all helped me pull it up on a trailer and we hauled my trophy home.
I disassembled it down to the frame. I put the frame in the back of our 1955 Chevrolet Station Wagon and took it too the sand blaster. I brought it home and put it on four jack stands and started building my Model A from the frame up. I researched every part before installing it. Many of the parts were either missing or the wrong year for my A. My car was originally assembled in November 1929. In those days a lot of the wrecking yards had Model A’s sitting somewhere toward the back of the yard.
My favorite was the yard in Sunset, Texas. They had about ten old Model A’s lined up along the back fence. I would load the family up in our station wagon and head for Sunset early on Saturday morning. I would take my tool box with lots of Liquid wrench and head for the back of the yard. I would spend most of the day lying under one of those old cars taking off some part that I needed for my A. Charlotte and the kids were so good, as they would spend hours waiting for me. Charlotte would crochet and the kids would play games on a quilt spread over the back floor of the station wagon. In the evenings after work, I would spend time out in the garage working on the A. It took me five years to complete the job, but when I finished we had a brand new Model A Ford to drive around in.
Later in the project, I was looking for a left front fender with a wheel well for a spare tire. I heard of one up in Oklahoma. I drove up there one weekend and after a search I found it. It was an A sitting out in a pasture, but I could see that the rusty left front fender was one with a wheel well. I went up to the farmer’s house and asked if I could take a look at it, if it was for sale. He said ok so I went down in the pasture and sure enough it was rusty but in pretty good shape, definitely restorable.
I went back up to the house and told him I needed a left front fender. I then asked how much. He said he would sell it for $50.00. I said all I wanted was the left front fender. He then said he did not want to sell after all. I turned to leave and he said I won’t sell you the fender but you can have the whole thing for $50.00. I came back the next weekend and loaded the A on my trailer and brought it home. I had no room in the garage so I put it in the back yard and started taking it apart. My neighbors understood and no one complained about me having a junk car in my backyard.