After looking at this picture of my Great Uncle Albert Schumacher, and learning of his love for machinery from my cousin Shawn Frederick, I have decided that while my Uncle Bill Spencer does not look like his Uncle Albert, he is indeed very much like him in many ways, as is my cousins Tim and Shawn Fredrick’s dad, Gene, and Tim’s son, Daniel. These are men who like the inner workings of machinery, as well as their design. “Great Uncle Albert’s claim to fame”, according to what Shawn told us, “was that he studied machinery constantly and could fix ANY kind of machinery. He was also the only one in the territory to own a Ford car and always dreamed of owning a Rolls Royce. He also taught all of his boys to repair cars.” I have to think that maybe he handed down his talents by way of the genes to a number of other men in the family too.
Uncle Bill, who is Albert’s sister, Anna’s oldest son, and the one who got many of the Spencer side of my family interested in the family history, put together a tractor made from a pickup. According to Uncle Bill, “It had 1927 Dodge 4 cylinder engine with a 6 volt electrical system. The front axle was turned upside down for clearance. The rear axle was a worm gear drive gear system that was 18 inches top to bottom. It had 10 x 20 truck tires from a 1915 5 ton Wilcox Truck. In low gear the engine turned 18 times to turn the wheels once. It could do twice what a team of horses could do, and it didn’t have to stop to rest.” Uncle Bill was pretty proud of that tractor. He also bought an old school bus, back when his kids and my sisters and I were little kids. He spent quite a bit of time converting that old bus into a camper/motorhome for his family to travel in. I can vividly remember the fun times we spent in that old bus. We used to take trips in it with them, and we would hang out in it when they visited us or we visited them…especially us kids. It was almost like a club house.
Daniel, being a young man of just 12 years, does most of his design and building work at home, and much of it is done with Legos and such, but his dad tells me that Daniel is constantly building and inventing things…sounds a lot like his Great Grand Uncle Albert, doesn’t it? I think Daniel’s future possibilities are endless. He is a smart young man, and very motivated, so he will go far. It’s amazing to me that these men, while generations apart, are so much alike. I have often thought that when there are generations and generations of people in the same line of work, that it was just following in their parent’s footsteps, and maybe to a degree it was, but maybe it was just in the genes.