Grandpa looked around and said to George, “I don’t see any model T’s.”
The sales guy heard the sound of the letter T in Grandpa’s German and picked up on this hint.
“No T today, Mr. Epp. All sold.”
He simplified the English as much as possible since Grandpa obviously didn’t speak the language.
“George. I want a black T like the other people drive to church,” Grandpa said emphatically.
“There is no T today. We have to look at something else.”
The sales guy showed them a 30 Studebaker, a 29 Buick, a 31 Chrysler and a fine 32 Chevrolet. All had 4-doors and came in “good” running condition. But the prices were too high for Grandpa. He wanted something practical and relatively inexpensive. Simple transportation was all he needed.
Finally the sales guy perked up and said, “You know. I have just the car you are looking for. Here we have, in running condition, a marvelous car with an outstanding reputation. In addition, it’s rare. You will be the only one owning this wonderful car.”
George by now was well taken in and eager to see this marvelous creation. They walked to the back corner and there she stood, all alone.
“What is it?” George asked.
“A 1928 Chandler. Remarkable luxury and heavy, comfortable ride. Powerful engine and strong gears for mud and snow.”
Actually it was a white elephant.
The Chandler was a car everyone in the know stayed away from. The price was low because it had been on the lot for a long time.
George hesitated. Quickly the sales guy slipped George a dollar bill while Grandpa wasn’t looking.
“Let me drive it,” said George.
Grandpa and George clambered in and away they went. It obviously drove and stopped wherever or whenever they wanted it to. George pondered. Did he have to give back the buck that was burning a hole in his pocket if Grandpa didn’t buy the Chandler? Better go along with the deal. What harm could come of it if Grandpa bought this car?
“We’ll take it,” said George.
“What can you pay?” replied the sales guy.
After consulting with Grandpa, George made a proposal. It was agreed upon, and the papers were signed. Grandpa owned a car.
The sales guy offered to drive the car to the farm if George would drive him back.
“Just park it under the trees on the east side,” said George.
Time passed. Summer droned on. Healthy vegetables were coming in and ripening fruit needed to be canned. Grandpa and Jake worked the fields and prepared for harvest.
One day, Mr. E came calling. Grandma was home alone preparing the supper meal. She didn’t offer him coffee since she wasn’t particularly fond of Mr. E. Although he was a second cousin to the Epp family, she felt uncomfortable with him around.
“I see you have a car,” he opened.
“Grandpa can’t drive,” Grandma replied ruefully.
“I’m sure Yash will learn. It’s not that hard.”
“I hope so,” mused Grandma.
“But that’s not what I came here for.”
Grandma avoided his eyes.
“I thought it my duty to come and tell you that people are saying your Jake is friends with an English girl.”
Grandma remained speechless, trying not to show any emotion in the presence of the man known to everyone as a gossip and busybody.
“Yes. They say it’s more than only a friendship. It looks like Jake is serious about this girl.”
Finally Grandma couldn’t restrain herself any longer.
“Das glaub' ich nicht,” (that believe I not) she spit out at Mr. E and left the room.
Mr. E found his own way out of the house and off the yard. He left with the self- righteous feeling that he had done his duty before God. He assured himself he would gain his due reward someday in the afterlife.