1927 Red Lincoln Pedal Car
That's me on the left - Brother Paul, and Sister Aldene on the right.
Our family moved from Parkersburg, West Virginia to LaGrange, Illinois when I was three years old. For Christmas Santa brought a classy pedal car. A red Lincoln, on the left in the picture above, and in the picture below. I was standing on the seat when some kid pushed the car. I fell on the windshield, put a big gash in my forehead. My Mother called our Doctor. He had retired and was replaced by a young Dr Julius Blumenstock, who came to our house and stitched up my forehead.
This became one of the very important events in my lucky life. He became "Uncle Jay" and a lifelong friend and mentor.
He came to the United States from Estonia*, went to engineering school, then to the University of Chicago Medical School. He had no children, used to eat Sunday dinner with our family, picked me up after school, took me with him on his calls, or to visit his many friends who had X-ray machines or other things of interest to me. He bought a "Popular Science" magazine subscription for me. I read it cover to cover every month. He mounted my electric train tracks on a sheet of wallboard, showed me how to fix our wind up Victrola - pretty sophisticated repair. We had to anneal the springs that powered it, drill holes for re-rivet attachment to the spring housing, re-temper the springs, then re-rivet to the spring housing. He gave me my first watch, gave me a Western Electric movie theatre amplifier (given to him by a friend at Western Electric) which was my first high fidelity system. I used it in 1941 as a Freshman in College (push-pull 45 triodes for you techies, probably 10 watts rms). He taught me about chemistry (the benzine ring), and many things about life and the world.
Our family took him with us to New Orleans at Christmas, 1939. He showed me the tarantulas on the bananas coming off the boats, antiques, all sorts of things. He was a wonderful influence, became a friend of my family and my Wife until he passed away at 65... a truly wonderful man who I was blessed to have in my life.
He was the one who inspired me to go to engineering school, and to the school he suggested, Rose Polytechnic Institute in Terre Haute, Indiana
We did not know we lived in the frozen north!
- 2-24-2008 Interestingly, little Estonia has become a high tech success - fast internet access for everyone!