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        By this time I was getting handy with driving and the T was easy to drive. The Model T was harder to start on the magneto than on the battery and most of the time the battery was dead. We solved that problem by parking on a hill above the barn. I learned to start the engine while coasting down hill. That worked fine until I stalled where I couldn't coast to start. Then I had to wait for Dean to start it with the crank. Dean seldom had to haul manure because I would beat him to it so I could drive the Model T. I couldn't drive it around unless I was doing a useful chore. For some reason, no one ever stopped me from hauling manure.
       We used the Model T from the fall of 1941 to the spring of 1943. During the summer of 1942, Dad extended the house 12 feet on the north side. That area had to be excavated for a basement after the extension was in place. One side of the new room was left open so dirt could be thrown out. The T was parked close to the wall, and every day after school, Dean dug dirt and threw it up 12 feet to the bed of the truck. Then while he dug more dirt loose, I drove the Ford to the road side and dumped the dirt over the bank. On one of those trips to dump dirt, Dean was driving, and Ernest and I were standing on the floor boards. Dean backed up too close to the bank and we went backwards down a 30 foot slope into the woods. Ernest had lost his balance and by the time we stopped he had fallen through the open frame and was standing on the ground. He wasn't hurt, but it was a close call. It took Dean a couple days to cut trees down so he could get he T back on the road.  Dean also dug large stones out of the bank along the road for the new wall. He loaded the stone on the Model T and I hauled it to the house and dumped it where the mason could use it. Dean and I slept in the barn for three months that summer while the house was being enlarged.  Trips were made into the woods with the Model T to get kindling wood. We burned coal for cooking and heating, but needed lots of kindling to start the coal fire in the mornings. On those trips we sometimes overloaded Henry and couldn't make it up the hills. We found that by turning around we could back up a hill that we couldn't climb driving forward. Reverse appeared to have a lower gear ratio than low. Stories are told about the Model T being backed up hill so gasoline would flow from under the seat to the carburetor. In 1927, the gas tank was up in the cowl like the Model A and fuel flow was no problem for Henry.
        Also in 1942, Dad bought a 1930 Model A to make another home made tractor. That car was given to Dean to drive on the highway and was never converted to a tractor. Dean now had a 1930 Model A Tudor Sedan and was interested in keeping it road worthy. He was happy to have me haul manure while he worked on his Model A and I was happy hauling manure alone so I could drive the T. One afternoon I was hauling manure while Dean was inside the barn working on his Model A. The manure pile hadn't thawed out from the winter and some of the frozen lumps couldn't be spread. I devised a plan where I would dump piles of manure in the field to spread later after it thawed out. After lining up about ten piles of manure in a row I started running over them to break them up with the crank and front axle. On this day, the gas tank was almost full and the lid wasn't on tight. As the Ford bounced over one pile after another, a small amount of gasoline splashed out and ran down between the tank and cowl to the hot exhaust manifold. By the time I arrived at the barn, flames were coming up through the floor boards. Realizing flames were not compatible with barns, I stomped on the reverse and brake pedals with both feet, slid to a halt and yelled for Dean. Dean ran from the barn with a burlap sack and flogged at the flames but flames continued to burn inside the cowl for a few minutes. I thought it was going to explode, but it burned out on its own after the fuel was gone. That was probably the most exciting thing that happened while we had the Model T.

       In February of 1943 the ground had thawed out and then the top 3 inches of surface froze over the mud. I loaded up the T with manure and drove on the field, thinking it would support the load. As soon as I stopped, all four wheels broke the ice and Henry sunk in to the axles. After spreading the manure I had to abandon the Ford in the mud because it just wouldn't move. It was two days before the ground froze again and Dean had time to get it loose.

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