Some Smiths and Keys















   April 1939








More writing to come when time and inclination permit.






This 1926 photo was taken at the Oklahoma Portland Cement Co. plant in Ada, Oklahoma,  and a copy of the photo appeared in the Ada Evening News in 1950.

Don Turley, my cousin, scanned that copy and sent the scan to me by email in January of 2005, shortly after he belatedly found and made contact with me.

Don is with me, his older brother Gene, and our Granddad Smith in the April of 1939 photo above.

1926 Whippet 96 Roadster

AUS 2000
4th 5th MARCH 2000

In conjunction with the AJS NINE CAR OWNERS CLUB

The web page from which I "borrowed" this photo gave me the info beside the photo and went on to say:

"According to its driver, Robert Dix, the Whippet doesn't like to start, but is unstoppable once it does.

"But, the car is currently still running on a 6 volt system and is going to be changed to 12 volts. So hopefully it should start well soon.

"A 'ground up' restoration in 1971 included Robert rebuilding a few panels, the mechanicals were in good condition. Robert mentioned replacing a selection of brake parts but I suspect if he were to write out a list it would be as long as my arm. It was painted in Robert's back yard and the hood was made out of BMW fabric by a 23 year old fellow who was taught his trade by his grandfather. The original hood bows were retained."

I guess you are wondering what the last photo and info bite are doing on this page. Well, it's to serve as a preamble to this tale:

Sometime prior to the time that the first photo on this page was taken, Granddad Smith and Mama were still living a couple of miles west of  Ada and he was driving me in his old jalopy to downtown Ada.

 I remember the jalopy well and think I have it identified correctly as a 1926 Whippet 96 Roadster. Above is an edited  copy of a photo of a 1971 reproduction of that car and of the story about it that was on the page where I "borrowed" the photo.

As we approached the main intersection in downtown Ada, I noticed (and, I presume, so did my Granddad) that a new traffic light, Ada's first, had recently been installed at that intersection.

Although the light was flashing red, Grand-dad never boyhered to even slow down until he was past the intersection and was whistled to a stop by Ada's only policeman at the time.

 The policemen spoke first by congenially asking, "Will, don't you know that you have to stop when the light is red?" Granddad answered in a firm voice, "Yes, I knew it - but, I was here before the damn light was."

 The policeman just asked that he please stop the next time, and that was the end of that.   Another memorable (to me) event happened about the same time when Uncle Lynnval (Will's son only a few years older than me) and I were guilty of a minor malfeasance and punishment time had arrived.

 Granddad made us both sit in a corner of the house and watch him methodically and ceremoniously slice the bark off of two small willow tree branches. He gave us the Hobson's choice of taking our beatings with them or to chew on them until he said stop. I can remember to this day the bitter taste of my willow tree branch. 

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