The Lincoln Highway holds a lot of memories, other than coast to coast. The two-lane road with its twists and turns yielded to a top speed of 45 mile per hour. Long trips usually required two spare tires strapped to the back. Blowouts from stone bruises, along with normal flats needed a patching kit, pump, and customary flat tire tools. Other required items were extra fan belts, and for summer use and for traveling great distances an evaporator was needed. This gadget was hung on the passenger side window. The evaporator had an opening on the front for air to enter and pass through the wet wood shavings from Waynedale Lumber Supply, to the inside of the car. Yes, the high humidity gave way to cool circulation.
One summer on a trip down south we discarded the wood shavings for local Spanish Moss. We were in seventh heaven. How did we ever get along without air conditioning?
During the summer of 1940 Wendell Wilke was chosen to be the Republican candidate for president. His hometown of Elwood, Indiana celebrated with a big ‘Wilkie Day Blow-Out.’ It was a very very hot day in more ways than one. All the red-hot republicans were there and if you had anything to display you were expected to fall in at the end of the parade. Thousands of cars were parked all around the city of Elwood. If it weren’t for the speakers, cars would still be parading.
On the way back home we sung tunes like ‘Some Enchanted Evening’, ‘Baby, It’s Cold Outside’, ‘Far Away Places’, and ‘Dear Hearts and Gentle People’.
The next day was wash day. One can’t help but notice the drastic differences. Todays mothers don’t have to look forward to washing 50 diapers per week, then run them through the wringer to two tubs of rinse water and back to the wringer, only to hang them up to dry. Don’t forget the ironing, which included Dad’s shirts and handkerchiefs. Tablecloths, sheets, and towels were saved for that new mangle (a machine for pressing and smoothing cloth, especially sheets and other flat pieces).
And if you got tired of housework and decided to try office work, just look the job over. It is very frustrating to correct a typing error, especially when the boss asks for 5 carbons. Remember cutting a stencil for the mimeograph? Tillie the Toiler remembers.