Many readers have wanted to know more about Clare Vincent, the sister of the main character Myles. Throughout the book, Clare writes letters to friends, to Henry Ford and even to President Hoover. She writes and sells articles to Good Housekeeping and local papers. The new edition includes her letters and articles as an appendix.
Here is one of them.
Clare Grace Vincent
October 1, 1930
Mr. Henry Ford
Ford Motor Company
Dear Mr. Ford,
My father has one of your gas-powered tractors. He says with your tractor he can plow 40 acres in 3 days. If he had to use a team of horses it would take weeks. I am wondering if you can make something like a tractor for my mother. We have no electricity, so my mother and I have to do everything by hand. Laundry, dishes, pumping water. Our stove uses coal, which makes a big mess, which we have to sweep up because we don’t have a vacuum cleaner.
The other day, while my mother and I were hanging laundry, I heard what I thought were the drums of a marching band. I asked myself, what is a marching band doing in the middle of Kit Carson County, Colorado? Well, I saw dark cloud coming our way and white hail stones bouncing off the ground. The cloud was still a quarter mile away, so I knew those hail stones were going to be egg-sized at least.
My mother and I shooed the chickens into the hen house and pulled the cows into the barn. Cows can be really stupid and stubborn, so it took a while. We hid in the woodshed when the hail hit. The woodshed has a tin roof, and it sounded like we were inside a kettle drum. I thought my head was going to explode.
When the storm moved on we went to check on the laundry. Every sheet and nearly stitch of clothing had been snapped off the line and was covered with mud. Some were torn up. I have never seen my mother look so tired, so I didn’t complain, which I am often accused of doing. We started all over again with the laundry.
Is there a way to make a gas-powered washing machine? If there is, please let me know how much it would cost. Thank you very much.
Clare Grace Vincent