This was one of Grandma Fanny’s favorite stories. Grandpa Ted won this experience, even if he got sort of snookered in the process. My brothers and cousins all have versions of the story that differ in many details, but the result doesn’t change. Ted got a fancy new car.
Any time two people tell a story, or any time one person tells a story twice the story changes. It’s no different from the old childhood game of “Telephone” where one child tells a story to another child, who tells it to another child, and so on until the story is totally mangled. In Sunday School when I was about ten we played this game. I mangled the story more than anyone. Maybe the girl telling me the story didn’t speak loud enough? It couldn’t have been my fault.
Grace Writes …
Mama told the story of how they got a new Chandler car in 1929.
There had always been “open range” before that so people had to either let their livestock wander where they wanted or herd them. As people farmed more of the land they needed to keep the animals out so it was then that the barbed wir fence was built so all the farmers started to fence their land.
The Brown Fence Company in Chicago was an enterprising company so they put on a contest. The first prize was a Chandler car for the man selling the most fence.
Papa ordered enough fence to fence his own land plus some extra so there was enough to make a train-car load.
The company wrote him commending him for selling so much fence. They told him that he was in second place and if he would sell some more he might get first prize. So he turned fence salesman and sold to many of the neighbors so he could order another carload. He of course won the car, and got a trip to Chicago to accept it and drove it home.
It was a very nice car, one of the more expensive of its time. We had the brown mohair seats from it for many years as Henry made a loveseat from them when he took shop in Hi school. They used the chassis from it for many years as a “jitney” (where they got the name I’ll never know) to pull the hayrake and push the hay buckers.
Originally published 2014-10-29