Editors note: Dave Trainer brought in this story, which was written by his uncle, Haldane W. Bean. It is about a father and his three sons who traveled from southern Illinois to Yellowstone driving a 1916 Model T. Dave is the son of Dean Trainer, who started Trainer’s Shell Service Station on the corner of Lower Huntington and Bluffton Roads in 1949.
Father reflected awhile and decided we were close to Custer Battlefield. He had read about it when he was a boy and wanted to see the place. We wandered awhile through Montana and found where Custer had made his “last stand”. This was as far north as we cared to go so we again headed west. On Sunday afternoon I was driving in the mountains west of Billings. On my immediate right were mountains. On my immediate left was nothing. And I mean nothing as far down as I could see. The road curved around mountain after mountain and we were never sure where we were going. Just ahead on one of the curves I saw a car coming our way. I figured he would get to a certain bend about the time we would. I hugged the right hand mountain about as closely as possible and kept driving. Just before we got to the curve a car came around in a hurry. It was a Buick car and we were in the way. I will swear that the emblem on that Buick was a yard square. All I could see was that emblem and the mountain on the right. He kept coming but he missed us except for the left front hubcap. By that time we were stopped up against the mountain. As far as I know, he is still headed east as fast as he can drive.
We picked up the hubcap, put it back on and proceeded on our way.
About an hour later, at a much lower level, we crossed a concrete bridge over a ravine. At this particular moment the right front wheel decided to part company with the rest of the car. The curbing on the bridge saved us from taking a bath in a mountain stream. I had to walk about a mile to a hardware store in a small town, pay a quarter for a King bolt, and walk back to the car. In a few minutes we were again on the way. Harold asked to drive but I was still willing to take my chance at the wheel. I am not sure whether he was scared or if he thought I was.
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