T – Times

Volume 31 Issue 1

March 2011

P. O. Box 7083

Kennewick, WA   99336

“T-Times” is the publication of the Three Rivers Model T Ford Club and is published monthly solely for its members and exchange with other antique automobile groups.  Editorial copy and advertisements should be sent to: Editor 218 NE A Street College Place, WA 99324 by the 25th of the month for inclusion in the next month’s issue.

The Three Rivers Model T Ford Club is a chapter of the Model T Ford club of America.  Membership is recommended and encouraged.  Make membership requests to: MTFCA  P.O. Box 126 Centerville, IN   47330

2011 Officers

President -                 Marlene Coder

Vice President -           Dean Stokes

Secretary -                 Wanda Stokes

Treasurer -                   Mike Porter


Board of Directors -
Marlene Coder -    1 year

Russ Armstrong -  2years

Fred Fraser -          3 years



The Three Rivers Model T Ford Club is dedicated to the restoration and enjoyment of the Model T Ford.  Ownership is recommended but not a requirement of membership.  Annual dues are $20.  Monthly meetings are held the third Thursday of the month at the Reata Springs Baptist Church, 2830 Leopold Lane, Richland, WA at 7:00 PM.


Special Dates

February's birthdays are:

 Larry Coder             February 2th

Howard Frye            February 4th

Sandy Ellingson       February 8th

Bill Betts                  February 12th

Lucille Knutson        February 13th

Dan Danko              February 13th


Anniversaries for February are:

 Richard & Becky Sewer - February 14th

Bill and Nancy Betts - February 26th


 March Birthdays are:

 John Carrarher        March 8th

Nancy Betts             March 15th

Mike Porter             March 19th

Jim Patterson           March 23rd


March Anniversaries are:

 Dan and Judy Danko    March 10th

Raymond and Angela Lehrman  March 25th

Herb and Lois Mettler  March 28th

Wayne and Lorraine Williams March 29th



March 12                            Sunnyside High School Car Show 10 AM.  Meet at the Sunnyside High football field, $10 for car, driver and passenger.  Proceeds to support senior graduation party expenses.  

March 17                            Monthly meeting in Richland

March 26                            Toppenish Mural Tour.  More info at the March meeting, Dean Stokes tour chairman.

April 16                               Cherry Blossom Tour.  See Feb minutes for details, Marlene Coder tour chairman. April  21                              Monthly meeting in Richland 

June 27 - July 1, 2011  MTFCA National Tour, Pincher Creek, Alberta, Canada



Three River's Model T Club

February 2011 Minutes


The Three River's Model T Club met February 17, 2011 for their monthly meeting.  The Pledge of Allegiance was said as President Marlene Coder opened tonight's meeting.  The meeting was small as many members are out of town.


There were no minutes read from the January installation of officers luncheon. 


Treasurer, Mike Porter gave his report.  We have money in the bank.




Old Business


Ivan Dike asked about the room for the installation dinner as being on the small side.  Everyone agreed and said that it would have been really crowded for the Christmas party. 


It was recognized that Russ and Jane Armstrong were awarded the Trouble Truck trophy.  Congratulations!


Marlene asked for a report about the National Model T Tour to Alberta, Canada.  We have five cars going on this tour and it promises to be a lot of fun.  There is an 80 car limit for this tour and it has been closed for registration.  Thank you Mike Porter for being so prompt in mailing those wanting to go applications.  It is appreciated.


Marlene asked for everyone who has not paid their dues to please get those in to Mike.


New Business


Marlene read an e-mail asking our club to participate in Sunnyside High's School car show to help offset expenses for their graduation party.  Last year there were 150+ cars and they are hoping to top that number this year.  The car show will be Saturday, March 12, 2011 at the Sunnyside High School Football's field.  It starts at 10:00 with judging beginning at 1:00 and awards being handed out at 3:00 p.m.  The cost is $10 per car and driver with passenger. 


It is tour time!  


The Coder's  would like to try and do the Cherry Blossom tour this year.  Marlene was looking at the calendar and thought April 16th should time it about right for the blossoms to be in full bloom.  It was pointed out that the valley's Annual Spring Barrel Tasting offered by the wineries will be that weekend in April.  Everything was moved up a week because of a conflict with Easter falling earlier this year.  This will be in consideration in planning on the Cherry Blossom tour.


Dean Stokes said that he would like to put together a tour March 26th to Toppenish to look at the murals and a day of touring.  Several people thought Saturday seemed to work better for them in order to participate in tours.  If you are interested in a tour to Toppenish, please contact Dean.  It will be mentioned again at the March meeting.


Larry Coder mentioned that he would like to help the Boy Scouts of America with their interest in Model T's by offering the scouts rides in our T's sometime this summer.  More later regarding this event.


Dean Stokes also mentioned that Bill Sheller, longtime member of Three River's Model T Club, is retiring from the railroad.  A surprise party will be February 21st for Bill.  If you want to attend, please contact Dean so he can let the planners of this event know. 


Jane Armstrong mentioned that there is a quilt show March 18th and 19th at Trac in Pasco.   Please keep the date in mind if you want to go.


With nothing more to come before the members, the meeting was adjourned.


Respectively Submitted,  Wanda Stokes, Secretary



World Travels

Dale Peterson


   Well, I’m back and working hard to make up for time away from work.  The trip to Nicaragua was rewarding but ended much too soon.  Travel there started with a flight to Omaha, then drive to Lincoln, Nebraska.  The greatest highlight of that part of the trip was a building in Omaha.  Unfortunately, I did not think to snap a quick picture.  My son Jeff was driving when we passed a building and he looked over at me and said, “I’ll bet you don’t know what that building was.” It was three stories high with windows filling most of the side walls and several hundred feet long.  After scratching the top of my head to the point he felt sorry for the few hairs left he told me that it was the assembly for Ford in the early part of the last century!  Good start for a trip that would take me away from Daisy and my other Model T projects for the next 4 weeks.

   Two days later I left with a contingent of 26 students and faculty from Union College in Lincoln for Omaha and a flight to Houston, Texas.   Most were limited to their carry-on baggage and one checked bag of 50 pounds.  Because of my medical supplies, I had two 50 pound bags along with my day pack and computer.  You have no idea how little space that is when you are needing to take a tent, sleeping mat, bedding, and all the cloths and extra shoes to make it a month in the remote jungle.  There are a few things that did not fit and were left behind in the basement of Jeff’s apartment in Lincoln.  The plane was one and one half hours late leaving Omaha so the three hour planned layover turned into a scramble to get our final American food before boarding the plane to Managua, Nicaragua.

   We arrived at Managua just three and one half hours later—closer to Houston that Pasco where the adventure began!  One last night was spent in a very nice Best Western motel across the street from the airport terminal with air conditioning.  The next day, we were to leave in a bus at 11:30 AM.  The trip leader called at noon and was told the bus was on its way, but didn’t arrive until 5:00 PM.  That was my first lesson in “Nicaragua time.”  All of our personal, medical and equipment supplies were loaded onto the top of the bus and we were off for an “adventure.”  Our first hint that this was more than the 8-12 hour bus trip promised was the presence of three drivers in the front of the bus.  One in the driver seat, one sitting on the front steps and the other in a hammock stretched from the door opening handle to the window post behind the door.  The trip ended up being 38 hours of first concrete road (20 miles) and then gravel and finally two parallel ruts in the forest. The chuck holes in the road we were dodging could easily swallow the bus.  Every few miles there would be a bus, truck, or rare private vehicle stopped in the middle of the road undergoing repairs. No one pulled off the road to fix their vehicle, and believe me, they all needed repairs before they ever left on their arduous journeys!  Across the mountains and into Puerto Cabeza for a final shopping trip for the perishable food, then we set off for the final 8 hours to the farthest point in Nicaragua from Managua, Francia Serpi.

   All along the way, I was on the lookout for old cars.  Gary Petersen had asked me to find a “Staghound” or armored WWII vehicle used by the Nicaraguan’s during their civil war in the 1980’s.  Outside of Managua, I rarely saw any not old vehicles, but no luck on finding any Staghounds.  However, if it is not running in Nicaragua, it is soon sold for scrap so as opposed to other third world counties I have been to, there were no old vehicles anywhere that were not running and usable. 

   One sad fact about the area is the extreme poverty.  The average income of the Nicaraguan’s is a mere $880.  Most of the money is in the area around Managua and a few other resort areas.  We were working with the Mosquitu people in the northeastern area of the country and they had much less.  At the medical clinic, they ask the people the pay 10 cord era for their visit which is about 50 cents.  Most of the people did not have this and instead paid the equivalent in goods—bananas, coconuts, papayas and such. We ate good!  We had 3 native cooks that baked fresh bread daily and made the best rice and beans and you could want three times a day seven days a week.  Occasionally we were treated to fried yucca (taro) and plantain.

  The second day at the mission station I was asked to help Dr. Caldera take an ill patient to the hospital.  The emergency transportation at the station is a 1980’s vintage 4 door Toyota Hilux pickup (mini pickup with 4X4 foot box on the back).  The passengers ended up as Dr. Caldera driving, the Minsa (government clinic) nurse in the front passenger seat, a student nurse on one side in the back seat and the patient’s family member on the other side of the back seat with the patient stretched out across the seat on their laps.  That left me with my 6’3” in the middle leaning over the back of the front seat to take care of the patient on the 2 hour very bumpy ride to Waspam.  This trip was repeated in like manner several times during my stay.

   My reason for being there was to assist with teaching the Union College students and medical clinics in Francia Serpi and the surrounding villages.  This included a 3 day back pack trip to 4 villages not accessible by vehicle.  We were there during the “dry” season, I decided I didn’t care to experience the rainy season as it rained almost every day.  They assured me that this was not the usual, but never-the-less I was glad when at home I finally dried out and go most of the mud out and off of my things.

   All too soon it was time to leave, just as I was feeling comfortable in diagnosing and treating the ailments we were seeing.  As we were loading up the Toyota to leave, the number of people that just had to go along was increasing.  You see, with almost no income, they did not have cars, few had a motorcycle, and still few had even a bicycle.  When we traveled to the villages, we usually had a few villagers on for a ride to and from their fields that were usually a few miles away.  The Toyota was showing its age, the brakes sometimes worked and the clutch was on its way out.  Going up hills the clutch would start slipping and sometimes smoke and going down the hills, the driver had to gear down and clutch the steering wheel.  On that last trip we ended up with 19 people in and on the pickup that just had to go along for one reason or another.  On the way, we broke a log on the deck of a bridge, smoked the clutch going up a steep hill and fortunately made it up unloaded, and got a flat tire 30 minutes out of Waspam.  The lug nuts resisted being taken off with an American sized lug wrench (didn’t fit Japanese metric) and finally attempted to cut it off with a chisel (no hammer, a Crescent wrench substituting).  To our rescue came that bus we had spent 38 hours on and in his 5 gallon plastic bucket of old rusted tools and bolts a big and then a bigger hammer emerged.  After one hour the tire was changed and we were off to Waspam.  We had been warned that if we were not there two hours before the flight, they would probably sell my ticket to someone else!  Not to be disappointed, though, the plane was 90 minutes late, and there were only 5 on the 5 passenger Cessna Caravan as we lifted off the grass runway and climbed out over the river ant over Honduras before turning toward Managua.

   Lesson learned this day, the Mosquitu people of Nicaragua are the nicest, most appreciative I have ever had the privilege of serving on these mission trips and I cannot wait to go back.  Only next time I have committed to staying for the whole three months of the college semester.



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