When I grew up our city had a Bookmobile. It was the size of a big Winnebago. It came to our neighborhood every week or two weeks. We checked out books and used it regularly.
My dad worked at a Standard Oil station and serviced AAA members. One night in the middle of the winter the bookmobile, which had been heated and lit with a “shore power” hookup, would not start. We had a 1960 short jeep, four cylinder, with heavy tires
, a push bumper, and low range, lockout front axles. The driver called my dad from the pay phone at the grocery on the corner across the street. Dad stopped at the house and picked me up and we went down to Lincoln school to get the Bookmobile started. Dad got behind the motorized library. It was heavy. My dad bumped the rear bumper about four of five times and then timed the next contact with a healthy dose of clutch and the engine sounding like an angry hive of bees. He pushed that bookmobile about a block and half, the driver dumped the clutch and the engine started. At that time most push starts cost about $3.00. The driver stopped, engine running, and dad went in the door to settle up. The guy says, “We need a new battery
but nobody has one. The guy yesterday charged $15 to start me, how does that sound? My dad had him sign the ticket with the AAA Card number and he scheduled the rolling library for a new battery
in the morning. Then we drove the two blocks home and dad had a toddy and a good feeling at the end of a long day.
I loved starting cars in the winter, learning to push snow, pulling cars out of ditches and snow banks. Books really weigh up.
A boyhood memory from: