by Don Chaney

Don Chaney is the former mayor and a long-time resident of Crane.

Article #70
Taken from the Crane News, published August 24, 2000.


     Today I read that Motorola is coming out with a new product.  It is an I Radio for your car.  That is a paired radio and Internet.  Drivers will be able to speak a single word and get instant stock quotes or say "traffic" and get road information.  It will give you the quickest route, the closest gas station, the next big hotel down the road, sports scores and all the other things that Internet brings you including e-mail through the car's computer system. Now this is mind-boggleing to an elderly guy like me who remembers B. R. - before radio.  I mean just a plain old radio.  I remember the first one I ever heard. It was in Wink at the house of Mr. and Mrs. Cass, parents of Lewis Cass of Crane.  This was about 1929.  It was considered a miracle in those days.  The cars had no heaters, of course no radios, no air conditioners, no self-starters (we used a crank) and no accelerators (there was a lever on each side of the steering wheel to regulate the speed and the ignition).  There was a clutch and a brake pedal.  They had only the basic things to keep them running and very little consideration of passenger comfort.  By the way, the overnight accomodations along the narrow highways were called tourist courts.  They had a real small space between the sparse rooms into which you drove your T-models.  The gas station had an upright pump with a long handle.  You pumped gas up into a glass container of about five gallons.  In the tourist court if it was hot you pushed up the windows and latched the screen door.  Most cars were small and would fit in the narrow slot between the rooms.  I remember the bedroom in front but I am having trouble remembering whether they had a bathroom or kitchen facility.  I saw one of these antique structures not long ago in New Mexico.

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