Brother Can You Spare a Ride?

Watching “Young Sheldon” bump heads with his older brother on the TV show, or same with Brick on “The Middle,” reminds me of when I was in third grade and my brother, Don Stuffelbeam, was a high schooler.  He was my idol. I was his little pest. He was an 18 year old senior at Wethersfield High School in Kewanee, Illinois, I was a nine year old third grader.  Don was quite a big shot in high school, a star on the basketball and football teams. I was a little squirt, just learning to properly carry scissors.

And, he had his own car. 00000_MODEL_A2A Ford Model A Roadster, for which he paid $25. (Later, he sold it for $50 and moved up to a 1946 Ford. )

Our home in Kewanee was on Chestnut Street, about a twenty minute walk from school. More often than not I would walk to school, and back home. My brother “Stuff,” as I called him, would seldom give me a ride. Usually if he drove past me, on my way home from school, he would ignore me, pretending to look the other way, and cruise past. It was as if I was invisible. That is, until the day Don was driving up Tenney Street, when the battery fell out of the Model A. Clunk!


Actual photo of Don’s “new” Model A.

It happened right along the street where I was walking. I helped him put the battery back in the car and amazingly it started back up with one crank. Mumbling something about rusty bolts, Stuff gave me a ride the rest of the way home. Don has been retired for years, and some time after the passing of his wife, Louise, he decided to treat himself to a (you guessed it) a vintage Model A Ford.  He now proudly drives it around Glen Ellyn, Illinois in good weather – and the battery has yet to fall out.

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