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Changing a tire with no jack – a true story

My late father, Joseph Marion Clark, was an unbelievably powerful man. He died when I was a young man, leaving my mom as his widow.
With her death only months away, I tried to visit her often. I delighted in hearing how difficult it was rearing five children with virtually no income.
I asked her one day to describe how strong my late dad was. She thought for several minutes, no doubt trying to choose an example. Finally, she spoke in a clear voice.
“James, when we got married, we were so poor. We saved every nickel so we could get a car. Without a car we had to use a buggy with a team of horses.
Finally, our neighbor died and Joe bought his car from the man’s daughter for $25.00. That’s what it was worth; it was a wreck but it did run.
In the trunk was a tire, slick as an onion, which was used as a spare. There wasn’t a jack, just a lug wrench.
When we had a flat, which was often, your dad would just get on the side of the car with the flat and just lift the car up so I could change the tire. That took quite a while but he held the car up until I finished, then we’d be on our way.”
-james a. clark


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