Grant Wood Steering Wheels
Hamlet or Lord Lucan? IMG 7639
Tobacco Road is a 1932 novel by Erskine Caldwell about Georgia sharecroppers.
It was dramatized for Broadway by Jack Kirkland in 1933, and ran for a then-astounding eight years (3,182 performances).
A 1941 film version, deliberately played mainly for laughs, was directed by John Ford, and the storyline was considerably altered. 
Tobacco Road is set in Augusta, Georgia during the worst years of the Great Depression.
It depicts a family of poor white tenant farmers, the Lesters, as one of the many small Southern cotton farmers estranged by the industrialization of production and the migration into cities.
The main character of the novel is Jeeter Lester, an ignorant and sinful man who is redeemed by his love of the land and his faith in the fertility and promise of soil.
The novel begins with Lov Bensey, a friend of the Lesters, walking to his home at the train yard coal chute.
He has walked seven and a half miles to get a sack of winter turnips for fifty cents; which is half of his daily wage.
On his way home he stops by the Lesters to talk to Jeeter about Jeeter's twelve year old daughter Pearl, who is married to Lov. While Lov is talking to Jeeter the book introduces the reader to sixteen year-old Dude, the youngest of the Lester boys; Ada, Jeeter’s wife; Grandma Lester; and Ellie May, an eighteen year old girl with a grotesque cleft lip.
The entire family, acting in complete desperation, works to steal the turnips from Lov, who then becomes nauseated by the sight and leaves for home.
At this point the preacher Bessie emerges on the scene. Sister Bessie Rice, like Ellie May, also has a deformity of the face.
Bessie’s nose contains no bone, and so when looking straight at her face one can see straight into her nostrils, like a pig.
Despite this, Jeeter is still attracted to her. She does some preaching and praying for everyone’s sins, and then proposes marriage to Dude.
However, Dude is more interested in her offer of letting him drive the new automobile which she promises to purchase, than in actually getting married to her.
Bessie then goes home to her hovel to ask God whether or not she and Dude should get married.
Jeeter has lived on the same plot of land since he was born, and even though his standard of living continues to decline until he and his family begin to starve, Jeeter stubbornly refuses to move to the city to make a better life for himself by working in a cotton mill. Such a life, he insists, would be impossible for him to live.
Alongside Jeeter’s preoccupation with farming the land is his preoccupation with his own imminent death.
Ada as well is fixated on her death, but their morbidity does not take the form of lamentation or self-pity.
Ada’s main concern is that she won't be buried in her tattered, old, out-of-style calico dress, while Jeeter’s main concern is that his body will not be left in the old corn storage shed where it might be eaten by rats.
He has held a terrible phobia of rats ever since he saw his dead father’s face half-eaten by them on the day of his funeral. Neither of these two characters have any doubts that they are going to die sometime soon, and it is not their present life but their lifeless bodies which they care about most.
Possibly they realize that their way of life is already dead; thus their primary concern becomes not the preservation of that life but its appearance during burial.
When Sister Bessie returns the next day to the Lester house, she exclaims that God has given her his approval for the marriage between Dude and herself.
The two then start the long walk to Fuller in order to purchase a new Ford, for the purpose of traveling around the country and preaching.
Once they are in the auto showroom, the salesmen take advantage of Bessie's rural naivete to pull off a quick and profitable sale, while at the same time constantly making fun of her deformed nose.
Later, Dude and Bessie then go off to get their marriage certificate and are questioned by the county official, who reprimands Bessie for attempting to marry a boy of sixteen years.
Finally, they get the marriage license, and the anxious Dude gets to drive the automobile again.
Dude incessantly sounds the car horn whenever he gets behind the steering wheel to drive off somewhere.
Over the course of the next two days, the automobile slowly gets wrecked more and more.
First there is an accident with a wagon in which they end up killing the negro driver, and then Dude drives into a stump.
The seats get torn by Jeeter’s blackjack wood, which he attempts to sell in the city of Augusta.
The engine also becomes irreparably damaged by being run without enough oil. On top of this, the spare tire is sold for three dollars in order to pay for gasoline, food, and a night at a disreputable hotel where Bessie willingly gets prostituted by the manager from room to room.
Much later Bessie refuses to let Jeeter ride in her car an
driving in car
In the right of this shot you can see a steering wheel made of wood that my dad made for my son, he loves to drive in the carseat and uses his sunglasses and pretends they are a steering wheel....we have looked around and all the toy steering wheels are battery operated, that seemed silly.......I asked my dad to make him one for christmas, my dad is a hobby woodturner, has all the equipment and skills, i think this type of toy and other simple, non-market endorsed or painted items could be popular, he used one piece of pine he had, either in his vast wood supply or in the trees he has had to have cut down on his property, it is pine then coated in salad oil/edible sealer, nothing toxic there and so light and smooth!
And in a surprising twist of fate, my son the non-uni tasker, he prefers things to be what he imagines them to be, like my tongs being his scissors to cut his hair, or the salad spinner to be the race track for his cars, he brought this in the house and while in his high chair finishing dinner demanded it, then wrapped it up and said it was a pizza he needed to eat....so to him the steering wheel was his pizza, granted he did not eat it, just so funny to see how his mind works!
First time my dad gave it to him today and he took it and ran around pretending to be a car making all the loud noises.......this was taken driving him home from grampa's shop and mom's work.
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Author:5th wheel skirting
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