Last weekend we butchered one of the steers. Abe and Grace and Ray and Cali came to help. We pushed the old Model A car out of the garage and turned that space into a temporary meat packing plant.
While the men cut the meat, Levin climbed in and out of that old car and played “going to town.” When he would wander back into the garage and get underfoot, Abe would give him a penny and tell him to go to town and buy more hamburger bags, or rakes, or something, and Levin would run out and pretend to drive to town again.
He kept asking, “Gwamma, will you go to town with me?" After repeated askings, I swept out the sunflower hulls and mice rice from the passenger seat and said I would go.
He ran excitedly to the car and I called after him, "You have to be a gentleman and open my door for me."
He stopped, turned back around and said, "Oh! Oh! Ok! I'll be a gentleman," then ran to the passenger side, climbed up on the running board, worked and maneuvered the door handle till it opened, and then got down and ran around to climb in his side saying, “I’m a gentleman” over and over and over. It was pretty sweet.
After we went to town and bought more things (rocks, sticks, wrappers, weeds, etc) from "the lady" he asked me to drive home. I drove making old car putt-putt sounds, moving the gear shift around, pretending to honk the horn, and pushing in the clutch and brake. Likewise, Levin played with the knobs on his side of the car and made his noises.
I don’t care if that car ever runs. It is a great toy just like it is.
I remember when I was a little girl and we had an old pick-up truck parked out by the corrals. The truck bed was filled with syphon tubes. Childhood friends and neighbors, Bryce and David, and I played “going to town” for hours in that truck. I usually brought my doll and her blanket so we could go to town as a family. I waited patiently in the truck and bounced the baby while Bryce or David (whoever was playing the dad that day) drove us to town, went into the store to get tractor parts, and then drove us home. Sometimes we took a lunch with us and sometimes we didn’t. If anybody else wanted to play, they were our extra kids and rode to town in the back on top of the syphon tubes. Playing “going to town” was even better than playing “house.” That's why I'm so sure that Model A will get plenty of miles whether or not it ever sees the highway.