Kawartha Lakes Public Library - Digital Collections
Looking Back: Flat tire
, p. 30

Hooper, John, Author
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Item Type:
Written: 7 March 1995
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Geographic Coverage:
  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 44.35012 Longitude: -78.73286
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Protected by copyright: Uses other than research or private study require the permission of the rightsholder(s). Responsibility for obtaining permissions and for any use rests exclusively with the user.
Kawartha Lakes Public Library
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190 Kent St W.
Lindsay, ON K9V 2Y6
(705) 324-5632

Full Text

Sunday was always a busy day around our house. First it was rise and shine, and off to church where your scribe, his mother, and two sisters sang in the choir at St. Paul's and Dad helped take up the collection. Then it was home for a feed of bacon and eggs, toast and coffee after which Dad would plan an afternoon drive in the car.

We never knew until the last minute where we might be going but that didn't matter, it was usually a fun thing for all of us.

I recall us heading out Kent St. W. and stopping at a little refreshment stand about four miles out of Lindsay called the "Dew Drop Inn" where one could gas-up and where, for five cents, we had to make a choice of having a bottle of pop, a chocolate bar or an ice cream cone. The decision having been made we would take off for Sunderland where Dad's sister Lula lived but, depending on luck, we sometimes failed to reach our destination. Driving along and chatting away we would suddenly hear Dad say "oh no, a flat tire!" He would pull off to the side of the road and would dig out the necessary tools to remove the wheel from the car. The "jack" was placed under the axle and then, having it secure, he would insert an iron bar into the "jack" and raise the car up until the wheel could be removed and the next step taken. At the opposite end of the bar was a wrench that was used to remove the wheel nuts from the bolts. One had to pull a cotter pin out of the rim so it could be "broken" allowing removal of the tire and tube from the rim. Then it was check out the cause of the flat (which was usually an errant nail picked up along to road).

Of course everyone with a car or bicycle carried a repair kit that consisted of rubber patches and cement and the top of the can was rough so that the area where the puncture had been made in the tube, could be roughened up before the rubber cement and patch was applied.

These steps having been taken he then had to re-assemble the rim, return to cotter pin to its proper place and then, using a "tire iron" (somewhat like using a shoe horn) would force the tire back on the rim being careful not to pinch the tube and thereby create another hole in the tube.

That was a disaster which was not very uncommon.

With that task completed he would then attach the air pump, which was about two feet high, to the tube valve, stand on its base, and begin pumping air into the tube.

Finally with the wheel back in place, he would then flip a little knob on the "jack" that would cause it to reverse its task and lower the car and thus the tire back to the road.

Depending on conditions, one could usually count on about a half hour wasted fixing a flat and sometimes would cause a schedule to be completely out of whack and therefore a change in our destination.

At any rate it was still a fun day out for all of us excepting, of course, for Dad.

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Looking Back: Flat tire