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.
A couple of weeks ago, my brother-in-law, Ron gave his dad, my father-in-law a calendar from 2012 that he had used at work…not for the calendar but for the pictures. They were all pictures of tractors through the years. We all took a look at that calendar, because it was interesting to see how much tractors had changed over the years, and the different makes for that matter. I remember seeing one that could have easily passed for a travel trailer, were it not for the tractor wheels. And there were makes that even my father-in-law hadn’t heard of, and having grown up on ranches, I would have expected that he would know them all.
Since the Industrial Revolution, which occurred from 1760 to somewhere between 1820 and 1840, when manufacturing transitioned from hand production to machines, technology never stops changing. There are always new ideas, and someone to invent them. I recalled seeing a couple of pictures among the old pictures I have been going through, that showed a couple of different tractors used by members of Bob’s and my families. Even though these pictures probably weren’t taken that far apart in years, the two tractors are very different from one another. I suppose that the tractors themselves could have been much different in age, since you often use a machine for many years before it wears out, and they could have been for different work, thereby requiring different designs, but I was struck, nevertheless, by the vast difference in their design. My father-in-law also told me that it could depend on the area of the country, as to what makes of tractor were available. That makes sense too, in that different climates, and growing seasons might require different types of wheels and designs. I suppose that humidity could play a part in how the engines ran as well, and so could affect what tractor make would work better in those areas.
Technology is changing so fast these days that tractors may one day be obsolete, you never know. I mean…who ever thought there would be a vacuum cleaner that cleaned by itself, and yet now we have them. I don’t mean to say that crops will ever harvest themselves, or that the ground will just stay plowed, but one day there might be a machine that does those jobs with just a little bit of programing. Then, like the Roomba, which is no longer called a vacuum, the tractor might change its name with the modern advancement of automation too.
When my first niece, Chantel was born, my parents were so excited about being grandparents. Chantel was just so little, and still is for that matter. Her small size brought about the nickname that my dad came up with…Teensy. That name progressed into, or perhaps from teeny tiny, and then to little teensy, and teens (not to be confused with the adolescent). Maybe my dad just knew something the rest of us didn’t, because, Chantel has grown into a beautiful 4′ 10″ woman…and I do use the word “grown” pretty lightly, since we can all tell from my description that growing was not something Chantel excelled in. She is definitely vertically challenged, but that is the extent of her “challenges” in my opinion.
Chantel, always had flair. From the very first picture, you knew she was special. She was very much a girly girl. She loved posing for pictures, and is very photogenic as you can see. She loved makeup and bling. It was one of the things about her that made her fun. I don’t know, maybe we were biased, because she was our first niece/granddaughter, but everyone in our family was pretty taken with teensy. For much of her early life, she was like another sister to my younger sisters. She went a lot of places with them, and while they did fight some, they all had a good time.
Chantel is grown now, and many grandchildren/nieces and nephews have followed in her little footsteps. She has moved on to motherhood and one day soon I’m sure she will become a grandmother, although there is not big hurry for that. While she has become an adult, her flair for the beautiful has not diminished. She adds her special touch to every part of her life and the lives of those around her. She has a knack for interior decorating, and her home shows it. She has created a lovely home for her family…something not everyone can do. She could easily be an interior decorator. She is a natural when it comes to style. After watching her from birth to adulthood, I know that her sense of style is something she was born with, because it has always been there.
While Chantel can be as tough as the next woman when she needs to be, it is her sweet spirit that most impresses me. She would choose to love others over any other way of life. She has a kindness about her that is very endearing. Her smile and laugh can lift the clouds from a dreary day, and bring back the sunshine. She is as much a blessing today as she was the day she first arrived, if not more. Love you Chantel!!