Auto Trip to Schooley's Mountain

by Jack Keegan


In the Nineteen Twenties a motor trip was somewhat of a very interesting adventure. It meant getting up early in the morning, checking out the many parts and features of the then remarkable machine, the automobile. Gasoline, oil, water in the radiator, spare tires and side curtains. Side curtains were made of a leather substitute and had transparent panels of celluloid and were required if it rained, because the car was an open touring model. After all was checked, it was now ready to accept driver and passengers.

The kids were assigned to the rear seat, with the picnic basket. With Mother up front and Dad driving we set out for the Schooley's Mountain. The first part of the trip was uneventful as Dad navigated the streets of Newark, not to many problems as there was little traffic to contend with. Going west on Market to Springfield Ave., following it to Millburn to Route 24 thru Morristown all the way to Long Valley and the Mountain. Not much of a ride but along the way we had a flat.

Now this is where Dad shows his skills with things mechanical. First remove the spare, get the Jack under the car and jack it up. Now remove the wheel. Then separate the tire from the rim, that's done with a device called a Tire Iron. When the tire is loose, the tube must be removed from the tire. All tires in those days had tubes, unlike today's tubeless tires. Next came out the repair kit, it was a round box that contained several rubber patches, rubber cement, the top of the box was made of steel and had a section that looked like a cheese grater.

The grated part was rubbed over the area of the puncture to rough up that spot on the tube. Next rubber cement was applied and the patch was seated over the hole. Pressure was put on the patch to make sure that it held. Now the whole process was repeated in reverse, tube in tire, tire on wheel, wheel back on vehicle, jack down and stowed. Now we are on our way again. Reaching the mountain, enjoying our picnic lunch, another good day in the country. After a long day we are again back home, tired but grateful for the outing.


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