GREAT FUN ON A HOT AFTERNOON
Great Fun on a Hot Afternoon
By Lynn E. Koenigs, Lifetime Member and Active SCHS Participant
Did you ever have a day that didn’t turn out the way you expected? My husband John and I were delivering thank you notes to our sponsors for Music in the Park. One was to Al and Jean Timm. We were invited in and after a pleasant visit we were taken to their “Museum” where various memorabilia from relatives has been collected.
What a surprise! Neatly preserved were some interesting artifacts. Did you know they have a clock that has never left Osborn Township? It seems that the oak chime clock was purchased in 1902 for Grandpa Simpson who lived next to his son near Five Corners. He was supposed to come to their house for meals but was always late. So, his son went to town and purchased two clocks, one for each household. (We don’t know if that plan worked.) After the death of Grandpa Simpson the clock was stored in an attic.
David Timm purchased it at an estate sale in 1972. It was cleaned and with a few minor repairs the clock was once again running. The original price tag on the timepiece was $3.50 and it still has the wind-up key.
Standing in one corner of the room was a wheelchair similar to one that Franklin Roosevelt used. A sturdy chair was simply fastened to wheels. Did you know that early wheelchairs had three wheels? It was impossible for the patient to be mobile by himself. Someone had to push it and they couldn’t go very far because of the clumsiness of the contraption. The third small wheel is hidden in back of this chair.
I was surprised to learn that ice skaters from bygone days may have owned what is called a skater’s lantern. Today a special date night is a dinner and a movie, but in the 18th and 19th centuries skating was the ideal date night. Can’t you just picture boys and girls, men and women, bundled up in thick clothing, knit caps and scarves moving gracefully over the ice in circular patterns? Usually a bonfire was lit on shore for warming and lighting.
Early skates were tied or strapped to shoes or boots. Skating was extremely popular and people skated anywhere and everywhere they saw frozen, cleared ice...fishponds, rivers, lakes, and flooded fields.
Some skaters owned lanterns with white, red, green, or teal colored-glass globes. How beautiful that must have been! The glow emanating from the lanterns as they moved across the ice surely must have set a romantic mood. The light weight lanterns had a burner with a wick. The globe and bottom burner dismantled for easy cleaning. If you own one you might be surprised at its value especially if the globe is green or teal colored. As seen in the picture, the skater's lantern is much smaller than a regular one.
If you have ever wondered what happened to the barber pole from Nichols, wonder no more! Al Timm found it in his father-in-law’s garage stored in the rafters. Realizing the sentimental value, he brought it home and it is safely protected in the “Timm Museum”.
FOR YOUR INFORMATION: “Smitty the Barber” lived in the back of his shop located on Main Street in Nichols (1940s). In later years, the shop was run by Mr. Mert Baker who only came on certain days to cut hair. After that, the building was sold and the pole and chair were left behind. (The chair has also been saved, but that is another story.)
SAGE WISDOM FROM 1935: (Taken from a Case Tractor brochure) "No one would ever have crossed the ocean if he could have gotten off the ship in the storm." --- Kettering
"The world has too many snow-shovelers looking for work in the summer and too many lawn-trimmers looking for work in the winter."
How did Irvin Timm entertain his two boys, David (8) and Bob (4), when they were quarantined with scarlet fever in the 1940s?
Being creative and mechanically inclined, Irvin decided to build a homemade thresher for his boys. The belts from a sewing machine moved the gears, peach crates were used for the general construction, all mounted on a small coaster wagon. An old paint can became the hopper, and a garden duster replicated the blower. That pretty much completed the project. When he carried it upstairs to surprise his boys, his son David said, “I need a tractor now!”
Irvin headed to the basement once again thinking about a tractor design. He built the tractor using wood and tricycle parts. The steering wheel was an old water faucet and cast iron drawer pull knobs were painted to represent the radiator and fuel cap. The fevered boys loved lying on the cool floor playing with their new toys.
The tractor, with the belt, was hooked up to the thresher and the gears actually turned. The boys could drop grass clippings into the feeder hopper and the blower blew them out in piles. Imagine the fun those boys had!
When boys grow up the fate of toys is sometimes a sad one. These toys were stored in the farm granary for years until being restored by Al Timm. Al then gave them to his father, David, as a Christmas present. These once favored toys had found the little boy who played with them so many years before. Oh, how he loved that gift! A month later, at Al’s birthday, his father, David, returned the gift to Al knowing he would take good care of them, and keep them safe.
Each piece of equipment was at least three feet long.
In the evening, Irvin Timm and his two sons often saw the same car parked in the Moravian Cemetery near Freedom. Guessing what was probably happening, Irvin decided to have a little Halloween fun. He cut out eyes in three old sheets and then hid behind a gravestone with his two sons. Sure enough, the car returned. After waiting for a time…until things got interesting inside the car…they jumped out making ghoulish sounds.
The frightened driver started up the car and made a fast get-away busting down the gates of the cemetery. On Sunday, the pastor wondered how the cemetery gates got ruined. He asked if anyone had information regarding the incident? Upon hearing this, Irvin Timm began to laugh so hard and loud that he fell into the church aisle. His boys? Well, they were scared stiff thinking they were in trouble.
Does anyone have any information regarding the driver of the mysterious car?
P.S. The car never returned to the cemetery again.
THE TIRE CAPER
During World War II procuring rubber tires was very difficult because they were rationed. Knowing that, David, and probably his brother, decided to play a trick on unsuspecting drivers passing by their road. What did they do? The boys would lay a tire out near the road’s edge which was attached to a fishing line. The innocent driver would see the rubber tire and turn around or back up to get it, even though it was worn and patched. You guessed it…by the time the driver could claim his “treasure” the boys had reeled it safely in.
And that my friends, is the fun one can have with Al and Jean Timm on a hot afternoon while delivering thank you notes.