Couple derive satisfaction and awards from their antique cars


March 13, 1997|By Sally Buckler | Sally Buckler,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

WHEN THE Ford Motor Co. designed the 1940 Ford Coupe with tear-drop fender skirts, it produced the American Dream for Josie and Bill O'Donnell of West Friendship.

For slightly more than a year, the O'Donnells have proudly driven the restored black business coupe -- which boasts the first shift lever put on the steering column rather than the floor and the first sealed beam headlights.

Bill made his living as a carpenter until he retired last month, but he is also a skilled mechanic who has nursed a passion for Fat Fender Fords all of his life.

At 19, he saw a 1940 Ford on a car lot and drove his 1946 Chevy in, instantly making an even-up trade.

Fourteen years ago, Josie watched her husband's face as a collector unveiled a 1940 four-door sedan.

She recalls with laughter, "I knew we had just bought a car, and he looked like he'd just fallen for another woman."

The original, mint-condition car gave both the antique car bug.

Josie, who owns an antiques business, fancies sporty models. And the 1940 restored coupe satisfies their longing for antiques and street cars.

They also own a 1936 Ford Roadster.

Both cars are kept in a garage, and like most car collectors, the O'Donnells want to build another garage.

Last year, they took their 1940 Coupe on a national Antique Automobile Club of America tour in Canton, Ohio.

They drove the vintage automobile 1,600 miles "without a hitch."

On this hub tour -- called the "Founders Tour" -- competitors drive their cars from one point, called the hub, to destinations around the hub and back each day.

The O'Donnells didn't know it, but a group of 20 Antique Automobile Club judges picked their automobile as a contender in the Thomas McKean Tour Award competition while they were in Ohio.

Theirs was among about 200 cars whose owners were invited to submit slides for judging.

Only one car in each of the United States' four tours receives the award each year.

The O'Donnells submitted slides in December.

And their car -- which had won National Junior standing by winning first prize in a competition, and then National Senior standing by competing and winning against other first-place cars -- received the McKean award.

The O'Donnells enjoy the friends and social activities their hobby brings them.

This week, they went on a daylong outing with two other couples to an antique car flea market in New Jersey.

The best part about antique cars for Bill and Josie is that they can enjoy them together.

Horseman's flea market

The Indoor Horseman's Flea Market, sponsored by the 4-H Spur and Stirrup Club, will run from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the Howard County Fairgrounds 4-H Building.

The cost to rent a table is $15, and admission is free.

Shirley Geis leads the members of the Spur and Stirrup Club, who hope to earn money for shows and competitions from proceeds from the flea market. To reserve a space or for more information, call Patricia Minot at 301-854-0649 or Lynn Jacobson at 301-596-9461.

Young author

Pointers Run Elementary School fifth-grader Daniel Forman won first place in the recent State of Maryland International Reading Association Council's "Young Authors" contest.

Daniel's poem "Tears" was selected as the winning entry in the poetry category for fifth-graders. He read his poem over the school's public address system.

Aimee Cox is Daniel's teacher.

"We are thrilled with Daniel's honor," said Pointers Run Principal Andy Barsinger. "It's great to see kids recognized when they try something new like poetry and find their talents in the process."

Young artists

Four Pointers Run Elementary School art students have work on display at local public libraries.

Kelly Albright's "Plant Still Life" and Suzy Herlihy's "Metamorphosis" are at the Central Branch Library.

You can see David Windle's and Doug Carpenter's textured clay animals at the East Columbia Library.

Hero returns home

Mount View Middle School seventh-graders welcomed a hero recently.

Their guest was Lt. Col. Wally Chaillou, who returned from Operation Joint Endeavor in Hungary and Bosnia.

Seventh-graders had been sending care packages to Chaillou for a year. The packages -- which included soap, candy, cards, and gum -- were for troops from Fort Belvoir, Va.

Chaillou thanked the students, including his daughter, Stefanie Chaillou, and presented a plaque and gifts he had bought in the foreign nations to the school.

March madness hoops

The staff of Mount View Middle School will challenge the Clarksville Middle School staff at a March Madness Basketball Game at 7 p.m. tomorrow at Mount View.

A donation of $1 is requested.

Buy baked goods and take your chances in a raffle for charity, sponsored by the Eighth Grade Town Council.

Students of the month

Chris Stang and Greg Lattimer are Students of the Month at Bushy Park Elementary School, where families gathered for the school's annual ice cream social last night.

Help build a house

Members of St. Francis Assisi Roman Catholic Church in Fulton invite you to join them April 19 to participate in the Habitat for Humanity program.

Marc Baumann is organizing a group to help build a low-cost house in Baltimore.

No special skills are needed -- just a desire to help others, and a willingness to work.

Information: 301-604-0209.

Pieceful quilters

Saturday is National Quilting Day.

To celebrate, the Pieceful Quilters -- a club that meets at 11 a.m. Thursdays at Glenelg United Methodist Church -- made three quilted pillows.

The pillows will be auctioned Saturday evening at a fund-raiser for the Howard County Center for Domestic Violence.

Members of the club are stitching a quilt they call "Barn Raising" for the Therapeutic and Recreational Riding Center's May 7 dedication of its big barn.

Information: Melany Graydon, 410-442-1393.

Pub Date: 3/13/97

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