OPA & ELI BY LILY MUSICK (NEW YORK CITY)
My Opa loves old trucks. I have known this for as long as I can remember. He owns a 1929 Model AA Ford, named Eli, that I love to ride in whenever I get the chance. My favorite memory is going to a 4th of July parade in Clifton Park, NY, where Opa lives, and riding Eli around the parade route with Opa while people cheered and waved at us. Even though Eli is super slow, the sound and the feel of being in that truck with Opa is awesome.
This July, Eli was not able to be in the parade because of a water leak that was affecting the engine. When I came to visit for a week with Opa, he invited me to help fix the leak and replace the broken part, the water pump. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity to help your grandpa fix the engine of an old truck, so I leaped at the chance. It was a very fun experience, and I learned a lot. I learned that it takes a ton of patience to fix something that is delicate and small. There are many parts that have to be removed and adjusted along the way, and lots of troubleshooting. I also learned that you have to have many tools on hand to work on an old truck, and luckily Opa had everything we needed and explained to me how each tool worked. After many hours in the garage we finally got the job done! We rewarded ourselves with lunch and cold waters (very exciting) then we took a short drive in Eli around the neighborhood, to make sure our handiwork was a success. It was!!
Now I really want an old truck too! I will always come back to help Opa with repairs on Eli because I am now an experienced truck engineer (hahaha). I also look forward to our next ride!!
Lily is 12 years old and lives in New York City.