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The Story of Woodrow the Li'l Tin Woody

May 9, 2012
The Story of Woodrow the Li'l Tin Woody

 March 22, 2011


Hello everyone my name is “Woodrow”, I’m a little tin woody, but I’m really made of steel. (tin woody is just my nickname) I was made in Cleveland, Ohio in 1951, well part of me was, my body.
One day I got to ride on one of those great big transport carriers to a place called an ''Assembly Plant'' that's where my frame, engine, transmission and everything else was in Janesville, Wisconsin.
A man put me on something called an assembly line that’s the place where they put me all together, they gave me a brand new coat of green paint which the painter called Fathom Green #458, and other parts were made to look like real wood, and inside they trimmed me out in number ''#202 which was ''Imitation Leather with a Pig Skin Texture'', and they gave me something called ''Options'' like a "Push-Button Radio", "Fender Mounted Antenna, Cigarette Lighter, Wind Up Clock and little Clothes Hook" and a lot more nice things and when they were all done I looked so pretty, shiny and new, then a man got inside me and turned my key and it started my engine and I thought I sounded really good if I do say so myself, then the man drove me off the assembly line and outside of the building and right up the ramp of another great big transport carrier with a load of my friends in different colors and shapes.
I was at the very front hanging over the truck driver, and as we drove down the road I felt like I was king of the world, the driver said ''I'm taking You And Your Friends To A Place They Call An Automobile Dealership'' that's where people would come and take us for test rides and kick our tires, and that hurts.
One day a man and woman along with a small boy and a his little sister bought me and their name was Mr.& Mrs. Smith my original owners, and they took such good care of me always taking me to the car wash and cleaning me up and giving me wax jobs.

The Smith family kept me for many years and we used to take trips all the time once we went to a big hole in the ground Mr. Smith called it “The Grand Canyon” I didn’t see what was so grand about it, It's just a big hole with a lot of dirt.

But one day Mr. Smith came outside and said “Hi pal your going to a new home today” I didn’t quite know what that meant, but Mr. Smith kept waiting outside with me until another man was dropped off by a taxi cab and the men talked for a while and the new man gave Mr. Smith some money and the new man climbed inside started my engine and just before he drove away he told my Mr. Smith ''Don’t Worry I’ll Take Really Good Care Of Him'' but he didn’t, he broke his promise to the man and his family, I remember when I drove away the children were crying, and I was very sad.

The next day the mailman came to the house and handed my new owner his mail then said “Have a nice day Mr. Jones” we’ll he took me out of the garage and down to the car wash for a bath and wax job, he had me looking almost new again. We drove up and down the streets waving to everyone. He took me all over town showing me off to his neighbors, friends his doctor, the butcher and even Johnny the paperboy.
But that didn’t last long as I got older he stopped parking me in the garage, and in my place he put a little red sports car.
I would see the man coming and going everyday in his little red sports car as I sat out in the rain, sun and snow year after year, Wisconsin wasn’t very nice to me, there was salt all over the road in the winter and it was eating my body up, then one day the man sold me to Johnny the paperboy except Johnny was much older now and he didn’t use me for his paper route, the paperboy I’m mean Johnny turned me into something he called a" Hot Rod.

We’ll the life of a hot rod isn’t very glamorous I would stay out late and Johnny would let his friends sit all over me and scratch my paint, and Johnny would squeal and burn the rubber off my tires, he didn’t change my oil very often and my engine started to puff smoke out my tailpipe, and I was leaking oil everywhere and then one day Johnny put me next to his garage where I sat for over a year until one day a man came to Johnny’s house and inquired if I was for sale and Johnny said “For $150 bucks he’s all yours” so the new man who's name is Mr. Schuller bought me and I had another owner who wanted to drive me to his home in South Dakota.
We’ll it was a long trip to South Dakota for me, I was coughing and spitting a lot of smoke out my tailpipe even worse than before, but I made the trip for Mr. Schuller but because Johnny didn’t take care of me my engine just stopped a block from the man’s house, the man was so mad that he got out and starting speaking in some foreign language a lot of four letter words I think. Well he slammed my door and walked home.

The next day a tow truck came to the man’s house and hooked me up and drove me away to his auto mechanic named Hank. Now Hank looked me all over plugging wires into me checking me with gauges putting me up in the air. All he kept doing was shaking his head and saying “This is Not Good” we’ll Hank went into his office and called Mr. Schuller and said “This is gonna cost you $500 dollars for a New Engine” We’ll I was so happy because I was going to get a new engine, and then I could go on trips again. Hank pushed me outside next to the garage and said “You’ll be safe here until your owner comes for you”, we’ll I sat outside for several days and finally one day a tow truck backed in front of me and hooked me up to his truck and drove me away, he took me way outside of town to a field with hundreds of old rusting cars and trucks and I said “What am I doing out here I’m suppose to get a new engine”, and then I saw my owner talking to a man named Junk Yard Jake who's real name is Mr. Michlitsch, and he gave my owner $75.00 for me and then he said “He’s all yours”, Junk Yard Jake turned to the tow truck driver and said “Drop him anywhere”.

By the looks of some of these old cars and trucks they look like they’ve been here a long time so I guess I wasn’t going to get my new engine after all.

The junk yard is a cold and scary place it’s where you go when nobody wants you, and where I’ll have to spend the rest of my life, we’ll at least I’m surrounded by all my new friends.

One day a tow truck brought an almost brand new car in to the junk yard but it was so smashed I couldn’t see what kind of car it was but I did notice he had a 2009 license tag on his rear plate, that means I have been sitting for thirty nine years, ever since 1970, and no one ever drove me again.  I have been sitting in this cold wet field year after year for so long that my bottom has rusted away and a family of field mice and wasps were now living inside of me.
Well one day I heard some men come and they opened up my hood and I thought they were going to fix me up and drive me to a new home but alas all they did was take my head off and walk away.

So here I sit again, and I was pretty good at doing that, but the days came and went for many months until one day after the rain stopped and the sun started peaking through the silvery clouds, I said “Oh How The Sun Feels On My Top”, then all of a sudden off in the distance came a funny looking machine and it came closer and closer until it stopped right in front of me, I heard the man on the ground say “Hey Lou lift the front up with the forklift” and then Lou said “Hey Carl is that far enough” and Carl gave Lou a nod and Carl started putting old wheels and tires on me and then Carl said “We’ll old boy it looks like your going on a trip” “A Trip” I said I new that word every time my owner Mr. Smith would take me out driving, but I knew I couldn’t drive anymore because those men took parts off my engine along time ago.

We’ll the night sky started to darken and I heard Lou say “Come on Carl it’s getting to dark, lets go” so they both left, well a couple of weeks went by and I thought those men changed their minds and didn’t want me anymore, but then I heard a noise coming over the hill, it was Lou and Carl coming back for me, they were driving a truck and towing a trailer, they stopped near by and hooked a cable around my bumper and started pulling me up on the trailer, then Carl said “Hey Old Boy Your Going To A New Home In California”, I was so happy because I remember a sign that read “Welcome To California” once when my Mr. & Mrs. Smith and the children took me on a trip, I remember it was so warm and no rain, “Yipee”, I said I’m going to love California, then all of sudden I came to a screeching stop and I was surrounded by buildings and people and cars and I was so confused, because this didn’t look like California, our trip wasn’t long enough and right then the ground started to shake and the light was turning dark and I was getting scared, and then I saw what was causing it, It was another great big beautiful transport carrier coming to take me to California, to my new home.
Oh I’m the Happiest Li’l Tin Woody In The World.
gene w. newton
p.s. parts of this story are based on real events… be cont’d


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