My father told me a story about my grandfather, Michael Weiten. The story goes like this: my grandfather lived on a hard scrabble farm just south of Makinak, Manitoba, which just east of the boundary for Riding Mountain National Park. Now, during the 30s and 40s, apparently there were plenty of wildlife in the area, especially up near the park. Don’t tell anyone, but my grandfather and the other hard-scrabble settlers in the area, would hunt near, and sometimes in, the park (shhhhh!).
My grandfather and his buddy, whom I think was Archie, used to hunt together. Archie had an old wobbly Ford, probably a Model “A”, but quite possibly a Model “T” – life was pretty hard in the area. My grandfather quite likely, had no vehicle.
Did I mention it was hard scrabble? He used his back to clear land, build railroad, and build road. Ugh, I am tired, just thinking of it!
Anyway, Archie and my grandfather had been out hunting (probably poaching) one day, and they were grinding their way back in the old Ford, bouncing down the rutted, muddy rural road. They are talking about cars, the amazing technology they contained, and how it made life so much better than walking, quicker and more convenient even than horseback.
Archie pats his trusty Ford, leans over to my grandfather and says:
Yeah, Mike, they can’t improve on this much, can they?
For Those of You Who Need The Humour Explained…
Yes, that was probably 1935 or so. The car was possibly a model “T”. The roads in rural Manitoba up near Skane’s Crossing were probably mostly mud. Maybe, just maybe, things have improved somewhat in the 80-plus years since then.
Waxing Philosophically for a Moment
I sometimes think of this story when I’m cruising in my DTS at 80 MPH down the Interstate, sipping my Diet Pepsi(tm) and listening to old Robert Johnson delta blues music. Damn, grandfather would have appreciated the good life! Because of his effort, I am able to live it.
Here’s to those who’ve gone before us.