Monday, August 5, 2013

The Little Rolltop Desk Part Two

Yesterday, I awoke with a revelation about why the dump truck wouldn't run.   The little voice in my head shouted "IT'S CRUD IN THE FUEL TANK, STUPID!".    Earl arrived at the property shortly after I did and I told him what I thought the problem was.  I didn't tell him about the little voice, of course.  Earl looked at me thoughtfully, puffing on his pipe.  

"OK.  Pull the fuel line."

I removed it from the carburetor and turned on the ignition, which starts the electric fuel pump.  Nothing.  Next I removed the inline filter.  Earl took it and shook it.  Chunks of rust came out.

"It's full of shit." said Earl.

I resisted the opportunity for the manly retort "So are you!".   We took the filter to Earl's garage and blew it out with his air compressor.  All kinds of rust and gunk came out of it.  I guess for a 40 year old dump truck that mostly sat unused, it's to be expected.

We returned to the truck and reinstalled the filter, adding another before it that has a clear plastic body so we can see when it's getting clogged.  I hopped in Dumpy, turned the key, let the fuel pump do its thing for ten or fifteen seconds, and started it up.  It ran perfectly.  It ran so good that I was able to get Dumpy stuck again.

Earl, of course, proceeded to lambaste me for my lack of dump truck driving skills, while I regretted refraining from my "So are you!" retort.  You women readers may not get this guy talk.  You guys do.

Dumpy got unstuck and I parked it by the foundation hole so that Earl could fill it.  While he was doing so, I decided to take my old motorcycle to Earl's barn to keep it away from the bears.  The battery is dead so I used the tractor.

Jeremiah the horse saw me coming and freaked out, running to a far corner of his corral.  Horses are big.  I don't know why they're afraid of everything.

Earl and I spent the rest of the day working.   While Earl filled the dump truck, I scooped gravel out of the gravel pit with Bessie the Tractor and filled in the top of the driveway, and later worked on the wood pile sorting the fire wood and bonfire wood to their respective piles.

Pam and her mom went back to the antique flea market at the Washington County Fairgrounds.  They left early in the day.  It was after 4 PM when they pulled into the property.  I asked how it went.

"Well, the first thing I did was to make a beeline to the tent where the lady had the old rolltop desk you had when you were a kid.  It was gone.  I was really disappointed."

"No big deal," said I.  "It was just an old kid's desk."

"The lady wasn't there, so I left to shop around.  As I walked out of the tent, there it was right in front.  She moved it."

Pam opened the aft door of the Kia and there it was.

If you look closely, you can see the screw holes where my dad mounted a pencil sharpener some 57 years ago.

Pam  bought some other stuff as well, including Knox Gelatin recipe books.   Knox Gelatin was manufactured in nearby Johnstown, New York.  The Knox plant was built in 1890 by  Charles Knox.  When her husband died in 1908, Rose Knox took over operation of the factory.  One of the first things she did was to close the women's entrance at the back of the plant, saying all of her employees were equal and would use the front door.  She established a five day work week and two weeks of paid vacation for her workers.  She was decades ahead of her time.

Rose wrote many recipe books for Knox Gelatin, distributing millions every year.  Knox Gelatin is now owned by Kraft.

Speaking of food, Pam also stopped and bought a Hand Melon from Hand Melon Farms.  Hand melons are locally renowned for being the best.  And it was, juicy and sweet beyond anything you've ever had.  There was even an article in the NY Times about Hand Melons.  

Can you imagine melons so good that they rate an article in the NY Times?

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