T – Times

Volume 31 Issue 3

May 2011


Three Rivers Model T Ford Club

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. Email


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. Annual local club 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.


2010 Officers


Club President        Marlene Coder


Vice President         Dean Stokes


Secretary                 Wanda Stokes

Treasurer           Mike Porter


Newsletter Editor   Dale Peterson


Board Members


1 Year -- Marlene Coder

2 Year -- Russ Armstrong

3 Year -- Fred Fraser



Special Dates

Birthday's for May are:

 Judy Danko - 5/6,  Wanda Stokes 5/16,  Russell Armstrong 5/27  Happy Birthday to you all!


Anniversary's for May are:

 Ralph & June Anderson 5/08,  LaMar and Faye Barnes 5/12, Ivan and Judy Dike 5/25

Happy Anniversary to the happy couples!

Note From the Editor


     The weather is sure looking good outside finally.  I don’t know about the rest of you but I have been itching to get out in the T.  Sunday the 15 came out of the trailer and our middle son Jeff got his first lesson in driving a model T.  He had a head start since he was on the last team that Don Gibbard took with his Model A on the Great Race.  A few pointers on the three peddles and we were off.  The drive took us to the hummingbird sanctuary in Dixie.  The only problem was that one steep hill where a slow Ruckstel shift led to a stall.  Otherwise, we now have three in the family that can drive a T.  Now I just have to get one of the others T’s ready to go and we can have a T tour whenever the fancy strikes us.

   April has been pretty busy.  My mother has been doing better and by this writing is back at home doing well.  We have made several trips to Idaho to see her and are thankful she has improved.  Jeff (the middle son) returned from Nicaragua and we flew him in to Boise so we could pick him up there on one of the trips.

   Finally, I was able to get Uncle LaVar out for a T tour.  We went to the Bakersfield Tour and Swap meet in April.  Leaving from Idaho, we decided to make the trip down Highway 93 and across to Tonopah, Nevada.  Our first night was spent along the road near Ely in the camper within 250 ft elevation of snow.  And wouldn’t you know it, the furnace quit in the middle of the night.  For the rest of the trip, LaVar insisted on staying in a motel, said his internal furnace just wasn’t good enough for those cold nights. 

   Since Sharon and I had never been there, we fell to the temptation to drive though Death Valley.  I never realized how much it would add to the trip going over several 5,000 ft passes and down winding back highways!  As soon as we drove in to Death Valley a strong wind started to blow and all we were able to see was the dust and sand in the air.  But, at least I can now say I have been there and seen it.

   Once in Bakersfield, we got the 15 Touring out of the trailer and joined up with the “large car” tour sponsored by the Horseless Carriage Club.  This tour took us through the farm and dairy country outside Bakersfield and finally to the Wind Wolves Preserve.  This is one of the largest Nature Conservancy properties and stretches 22 by 13 miles.  Wind Wolves gets its name from the waves blowing in the long grasses across to hills.  Part of this tour took us down a 20 mile dirt road to “Dorothy’s house.”  This house was used in the “Return to Oz” film.  I haven’t seen the film but imagine that it was used for the house after the tornado.  It was in fairly sad shape.  It was great to see the line of old cars stretching out into the distance over hill and vale down the dirt road.

   The swap meet was almost as much fun.  I picked up a good steering wheel for the Foredor and several parts for my next project, a 1912 commercial roadster.  Between Bill Betts and the swap meet, I now have frame, motor, axles, drive line and springs for the running gear.  If you go to the HCCA website and click on the Bakersfield Swap Meet 2011 Highlights you might just see a picture of Uncle Lavar and me with my 15 Touring.

   Now that we are back home, I am even more motivated to get the Speedster and 26 Foredor together and running.



Coming Events


May 18                        Monthly meeting in Richland May 19 Monthly meeting in Richland

June 16                        Monthly meeting in Richland

June 16 or 18?             Tea Tour.  Details at May meeting.

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

July 25-27                   Ritter Hot Springs Tour – Dale Peterson tour chairman

July 21                        Monthly meeting in Richland

September?                 Annual Tour with Gary Ellingson

August 18?                Annual Picnic

December                    Christmas Party


Monthly Minutes

Three River's Model T Club

April 21, 2011

   Tonight's meeting was opened by President Marlene Coder with 14 members present.  The Pledge of Allegiance was said.

   Wanda Stokes, Secretary read the minutes with one correction, the minutes were adjourned instead of cancelled from the last meeting, the  minutes were accepted as noted.

   Treasurer, Mike Porter gave his report with $40 income from dues of the Barns and Ellingstons.  We have money in the bank.  A check for $100 was sent to Riatta Springs Church for letting us use a room for our monthly meetings.  It was also noted that member Howard Frye donated $50 toward his dues.  The balance of his generous donation Howard indicated it should go to the club's treasury.  Bill made a motion to accept Howard's gift and all approved.  Thank you Howard!

   It was also noted there will be a Graceland Car Show May 27 and 29 in Memphis, Tennessee.  Also of note is another car show in Republic, WA sponsored by Les Schwab Republic Tire and Auto.  This event will take place June 11th at 9:00 a.m. For those interested; please contact 509-775-3355.


Old Business

   Marlene apologized for not being able to put on the Cherry Blossom Tour.  There will be other tours in the future.

   Mike gave a report on the tour around the Tri Cities area visiting some members who we haven't saw in quite some time.  Only three members participated and had a nice time.

   Dean Stokes brought up the idea of giving every tour leader $50 to use towards expenses.  After much discussion, it was voted that we do not do this.  It was noted that trouble truck drivers be reimbursed for their fuel.  This was Jim Langdon's idea and everyone agreed. 

   After more discussion of how to attract more members, Linda Porter suggested that we put an ad in the "Thrifty Nickel"  of any event that we will be active in.  The ad would be to invite interested people to come and visit with us and see the cars.  All agreed this was a great idea.  Mike Porter pointed out that Sacagawea Park is centrally located and we could use the park free of charge.  Mike is investigating the idea to have a potluck in the park and invite members to come and share their cars.

  Fred Fraser also noted that most of the local museums would love to have our club participate in conjunction with the museums to spark interest for both.   Fred also pointed out that most younger people are simply not joining any clubs of any kind.  This is sad, but true.

   The Ritter Springs Tour that Dale and Sharon Peterson are hosting is exciting and Phyllis Langdon pointed out that we are invited to square dance in the upstairs ballroom of the hotel.  Phyllis said we should bring along equipment to play square dance music and have someone "call" the dance.  This is a great idea.  Jane & Russ Armstrong said they have a record player that would work.


New Business

   Mary Fraser and Jane Armstrong plan on hosting a tea and tour June 16th or June 18th to see the ABC Houses in Richland.  ABC houses were built for Hanford employees are quite interesting.  The tea would be at the Armstrong's with the tour following.  It was suggested that members dress vintage (or at least wear vintage head wear).  There will be more forthcoming in the next newsletter and meeting to finalize plans regarding date and time.

   Mary Fraser also read a very interesting story by US author; EB White entitled "Farewell by Lovely - Remembrances of Model T Experiences".  Everyone enjoyed listening to this and we thank Mary.

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

 Respectively Submitted,

 Wanda Stokes, Secretary




Toppenish Tour Report

March 26, 2011

By Bill Sheller


   The Toppenish, Washington “MURALS” tour put on by Dean and Wanda Stokes was a huge success in spite of Mother Nature’s unpredictable attitude toward old Ford operation and the world in general.  Let’s face it, it’s really her choice to be “naughty or nice” and sometimes it just turns out to be the time of the year where she just can’t make up her mind!  Thus was the case for the Toppenish tour.  It was cold and rather uncomfortable with rain on and off during the drive over the Horse Heavens for the Landon’s and me on our journey to the meeting place of “EXIT 80”.  Once there, I really wanted to pour the hot coffee over my hands and feet, and return for a re-fill, but resisted and just drank it instead.

   In true “let’s go for and drive and make one of Dean Stokes’ memories” spirit there were eight old wore out Fords and their keepers ready to brave the cold and wet and take a wonderful drive down yesterday’s highways to Toppenish and share a great time together.  Those in attendance were, Dean and Wanda Stokes, Jim and Phyllis Langdon, Larry and Marlene Coder, Mike and Linda Porter, Jim and Sandi Elenbaas, Howard Frye, and myself.

   Dean had done a wonderful job of route planning and as we followed the Yakima River towards Mabton, at one point we were directly across the river from Ken and Bernice TerMaaten’s place.  Dean pulled us over for a moment of silence, followed by a great salute of Model T and Model A horns to our departed friend and tour partner Ken Termaaten.  Gosh, I didn’t realize until that moment just how much I Missed Ken.  Thanks Dean!

   We journeyed on towards Toppenish over some wonderful back country roads filled with the abundance of the American Farmer as he toils to feed the world.  I couldn’t help but notice the stard contrast between this magnificent abundance, with tilled fields filled with crops ready to feed the nation and beyond, and shabby single wide trailer houses with junk piled EVERYWHERE and what looked to me to be extreme poverty.  If there were to be a low point of the day, this was it for me. 

   On to brighter thoughts and a day filled with friendship and the magic I’ve always felt every single time I get behind the wheel of one of these fantastic old Fords.  Once we arrived in Toppenish, we were on our own to tour the murals and then we were to meet at an old fashion soda fountain for lunch.  Everyone dispersed to do their own thing until “lunch time”.  Because of the above mentioned “Mother Nature” I was chilled and in search of another hit cup of coffee.  I was joined in that search by a couple of my favorite Model T folks, Larry and Gary Ellingson.  We did indeed find our coffee at the very same place we were to have lunch as a group two hours hence.  I can’t begin to tell you what a wonderful two hours I spent with these two gentlemen.  We filled the time until “lunch” with coffee, conversation, and the most important human element … friendship!  I had a wonderful time.

   After a great lunch, we all … invited ourselves … to Jim and Sandi Elenbaas’ place in Granger for a tour of Jim’s wonderful stuff.  I have really wanted to see Jim’s built from scratch 1916??? Pie Wagon ever since I learned about it at last year’s Model T Ford Club Western National Tour in Glacier National Park, Montana.  I have to admit that I was NOT surprised at the craftsmanship of Jim’s work.  Everything I’ve seen that Jim drives with a Ford Logo on it is nothing short of top notch stuff!  Perhaps someone, other than me, should tell him of the reputation of the origin of the “rattle trap Ford”!  Just kidding, Jim, I for one am very proud to say … I know Jim Elenbaas and consider him a true friend!  Here’s a tip.  If Jim ever invites you to his place to have a look … WELL … just don’t miss the chance!

   As we headed home in, at times, POURING rain, I felt very glad, happy and content, that I braved the whims of Mother Nature and spent the day with the most wonderful folks … ON EARTH!

   Henry built a darn good car … Yes he did.




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