Thursday September 24 2020
Port Clinton, Ohio
“You’re gonna want a hat, girl” says my friend, Ann, as we position ourselves in the navigator seats of our two respective Model T’s.
“’S’alright,” I say. “I’m good.” I pull my neat little hair scrunchie from my pocket to show her.
Thirty minutes later, I’m in a boutique shop on South Bass Island considering a wide-brimmed straw hat.
“I’m not a hat person,” I say to the Husband.
“You need a hat,” he says. He’s looking at the hat in my hands, not me. Good lawdy, how bad is my hair anyway? Fine. It’s on sale, so there’s that. But dang, this thing is huge with a generous brim the size of a Volkswagen tire.
We meet back up with our friends for a lunch of fried Lake Erie perch.
“So, I guess you found a hat,” says Ann.
“Yep,” I say. I feel like my head is the circumference of our café table, which isn’t far from the truth as I bump into said table’s umbrella.
“Huh,” she says.
And we leave it like that. It’s for the best, really.
Other things also turned similarly sketchy on today’s tour, Model T-wise, with some rough riding until our first tourist stop at the Butterfly Gardens & Caverns & Vintage Car Collection place in Put-in-Bay. A fellow T-owner offers up a carburetor to replace our backfiring one (Gun shots? Naw, just our Model T.) and a team of three brass car veterans replace the offending car part.
We need all three of these guys, of course. One with the tools, another to supervise as per protocol. The third guy is to share Model T tales of yore as he stands on the engine hood that was carefully placed on the ground. But these experts prevail and before you know it, I’m holding onto my hat as we tool along the bucolic roads of the island at the brisk pace of a golf cart.
Oh, sure. If the golf cart was started by a hand crank and was unreasonably aggressive in its putt-putt-putt decibel output.
Seriously, whenever the Model T missed a putt, which it would, I would stop breathing for that moment like one of us needed to hook up to a CPAP. Look, these cars were built over a century ago and, despite their simplicity, they are prone to stop running for no discernable reason.
Oh, the wind shifted to south-southwest? Sorry about your luck, traveler. Hey, at least it’s not raining.
But as they say, another day riding in a Model T is another day survived.
Actually, I say that. Just me.