Alfred "Fred" Carreiro (1918 – 2017) (Photo credit: A. Keith Carreiro, 2015)
It has been a bit over nine weeks (65 days) since I lost my dad. Since his passing, I have learned that not only was he my father, obviously, but he was also one of my best friends. Barring
his contradictions, character flaws and idiosyncrasies, perhaps even with them, he was one of the most fascinating, frustrating and finest men I have ever known in my life.
— Victor Hugo (1802-1885), 83 years old
Victor Marie Hugo was a French poet, novelist, and dramatist of the Romantic movement. He is considered one of the greatest and best-known French writers. Outside France, his best-known works are the novels Les Misérables (1862), and The Hunchback of Notre–Dame (1831).
Alfred “Fred” Carreiro was born in Fall River, Massachusetts on Thursday, September 26, 1918.
(1880–1952) Vavu || (1883–1977) Vavo ||
(1902–1964) Manuel ||
(1911–2013) Rosalina ||
(1915–2003) Adeline ||
In the early 1920s they bought a farm on Locust Street, in the now historic section of Hortonville in Swansea. All four children, including their parents, worked themselves to the bone. Yet,
they were in America. They had their own land and home, they had family, a deeply held belief that right was on their side and they were proud to be new citizens of an amazing nation.
My grandparents and parent’s generations lived during the time before, and when, electricity was beginning to be an accepted modern convenience. They lived in an agricultural world. Horses were the main means of conveyance and helped them perform work on the land. The hard scrabble life they lived and the amount of physical labor they performed are not to be taken lightly. I do not believe that my generation and those following me can even fathom the toll such toil takes on a person’s body and mental attitude. Given the quote below by Jefferson, and despite the labor my family experienced, I would say they were the luckiest and most blessed people in the world given the amount of sweat equity that was exacted from them at this time in their lives.
I am a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it.
Q: How do you make holy water?
A: Boil the hell out of it
A lot of my father’s stories were about the practical jokes he and his friends would play on one another and on those in the community around them. One story in particular comes to mind. He was annoyed by the sarcasm one of the older men in the neighborhood always gave him, especially as Dad was an immigrant kid and Portuguese as well. To get even with this gentleman being so irksome, Dad and his friends waited for him to visit the local store. Once the man was inside shopping and talking to the owner, Arabella Cummings, the boys went over to his 1925 “New Model” T Ford Sedan.†
At the same time three of them lifted the back end of the flivver, two more placed wooden coca–cola crates underneath either side of the rear axle. When the Tin Lizzie was set down on them, the crates could not be seen and the back end tires of the automobile were only about an inch off the ground.
One time during the late fall of 1931, the family’s tractor would not start. All the men working on the farm took turns on trying to get it going, but to no avail. My grandfather, Vavu, had them go get Dad, who was working in another part of the farm. When they brought him back to the field where the tractor was standing, Vavu told them to watch his son fix the tractor.
I hope to continue his story in the next blog . . .
To cold start the car, the engine must first be primed (Fuel needs to be put up into the cylinders to ensure that there’s gasoline to burn for the engine to start.). To prime the engine, the ignition key must be in the off position. One then has to go to the front of the car. The choke needs to be “popped” out. It is located at the bottom front left of the radiator. While the left hand holds the choke, the right hand holds the crank in preparation to turn it. Usually, it needs to be done three or four times. The crank is turned clockwise in about a three–quarter turn. Once the engine is primed, the handbrake—which is located on the left side of the front floor where the driver sits—is checked to see that it is engaged to prevent the car from rolling forward. The key (which is at 12 o’clock) is turned clockwise to the right to engage the magnetos, or to the left to the battery. Make sure that the spark advance lever (left side of the steering wheel) is completely all the way back. In this instance the lever is all the way up in its position. The throttle (lever on the right side of the steering wheel, which also acts as the accelerator) needs to be barely open. Returning to the hand crank at the front of the car, the driver uses his or her left hand to crank it. Using the right one can be dangerous. The engine rotates in a clockwise direction. If the engine “kicks” back while the crank lever is being held by the right hand, the right wrist can be easily broken. The crank is then engaged (pushed and then locked in place, which now places the lever in about the 8 0’clock position). The right hand, advisedly, holds onto the front fender to help stabilize one’s position. Then with a good half turn tug on the crank, the engine should start. Returning to the driver’s position, the spark advance lever is now advanced to ensure the engine runs more smoothly (the timing is now correct). If not done, the engine will not have power and fuel will be wasted.
Kindly check out the link below that demonstrates starting a 1925 Model T:
For more information about my father’s side of the family, please see my 16 February 2016 weblog, “The Storytellers (Part I)”.
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
© 3 April 2017 by A. Keith Carreiro