Saturday morning at the Wheels & Water Show starts with everyone walking around the field admiring the vehicles on display. As always, my favorite is Dana Watson’s Model A with “seasonal accessories.” Back in the day roads were maintained for horse-drawn sleighs, not cars with rubber tires. Each town would have a large team of work horses pull a huge roller to pack down the snow on the primary roads. If you wanted to drive your automobile, you’d jack up the front to attach the wooden skis to the outside hub of the axles. Then you’d jack up the rear and run the steel traction tracks around both rear wheels on each side. THEN you’d be in business and could maneuver across the icy lanes dodging horses and sleighs and kids on sleds. Today, Dana still drives the thing across the pond each winter to visit the ice fishing shacks of friends and neighbors. It might not go very fast, but it can haul a lot of firewood (and maybe some brandy) to keep them shacks warm.
In spite of it being Father’s Day Weekend (i.e. mid-June and almost summer), the gentlemen gathered around this Model A got to sharing winter stories such as this one:
Skip and Agnes Bailey lived near the end of the peninsula just far enough that it was easier to get to the store across the pond than to drive down the road. One year, early in the winter when most of the pond had frozen over, Skip asked Agnes if she would walk across to get him some smokes and beer. Since it was a bright day and a walk would do her good, she agreed and asked him for some money. He told her not to worry. “Just put it on our tab, old man Stacey won’t mind.” So Agnes walked across the ice, got the smokes and beer at the store and then walked back along the same route. When she got home with her packages, she asked Skip, “You always tell me not to run up a tab at Stacey’s store. Why didn’t you just give me the money?” Skip replied, “Well, Agnes, I didn’t want to send you with cash when I wasn’t sure how thick the ice was yet!” They say Agnes had a December 1st appointment with Attorney Lester “Divorce is my Middle Name” Bradford.