Joe and I started dating in the fall of 1935. He was the proud owner of an old Rickenbacker car with front and back seats. I guess you could almost say it was of vintage age. We had dates every weekend. I belonged to the Church of the Nazarene in Iowa City and he would come in early Sunday afternoon and we'd spend the afternoon together. Many times, we'd have a picnic in the park and then attend evening services at the church. The old Rickenbacker took us wherever we wanted to go. On April 18th of 1936 Joe proposed to me saying "How would you like to walk down life's pathway with me?" I answered "I'd love to" and so we became engaged. This occurred as we sat in the old Rickenbacker. It became a very cherished car to us both as went on. We set our wedding date for Sept. 18th and planned ahead.
The old Rickenbacker was a very faithful old car, but it had it's faults. It was a gas guzzler and a water user. Joe carried a large can of gas and a large can of water with him all the time.
The day of our wedding Sept. 18, 1936, we had dinner at his parents home with a few relatives there too. Then at 2:00 pm the ceremony took place and we were man & wife. At 3:00 pm we piled our luggage in the little trunk fastened on the back of the car, gave our good bye hugs and took off for South Dakota to visit my folks and let Joe meet his new in-laws. [We carried the water and gas in the trunk and part of the luggage had to go inside the car] We got along fine but about every two hours we'd stop along the way and Joe would put gas and water in the car. Then we'd take off again and go a couple more hours and stop again. This continued until about 8:00 pm when we stopped at an inn to spend the night. We got up early the next morning and started out again because we wanted to get to my folks before dark. The old car chugged right along with the aid of the fill ups every 2 hours. How everyone examined the car when we got there. The had never seen a Rickenbacker and it was different to them. To Joe and I it was special too!!
The car was joy most of the time but a concern sometimes too for it was old and parts were hard to come by. Eventually (2 or 3 years later) we decided to look for something else. We found a used Chevrolet with front and back seats and a trunk. The trunk was built into the car where on the Rickenbacker it was separate from the car. We kept the Rickenbacker for quite a long time but eventually a collector bought it and took it home with him, I think that was in Nebraska somewhere. The memories are many and joyous!!
~ Adga Alt
(These are the words of Steve Alt's Grandma, Adga Alt. Wrote down forever on March of 1997)