The Last Ride of Luis Brenneis by Carlos Najera

One day Luis Brenneis got on the train and he went to Los Angeles on business. It was about fifty miles away to the south. When he finished what she had to do, he went downtown to see what was new. He liked the latest modern things and started looking at a horseless carriage. He liked what he saw and he bought one and had it sent by train back to Oxnard.

His business was very successful. He specialized in making tools and equipment for farmers. In time he became well-known throughout the country and in his later years he sold his business to Allis-Chalmers Farm Equipment.

 Luis and his friend Frank Duckham went to the corner of B Street to pick up the car. They showed up dressed in stylish traveling clothes. They even had special boots, new overcoats made of camel hair. They wore gloves that went all the way up to their elbows, and they wore brand-new windproof hats and goggles to protect their eyes.

Half the town showed up to the plaza in Oxnard to see this novelty. They met the salesman there. He came along to deliver the new car. He came along to show them how to start the motor and how to put it in gear and make it go, and how to turn off the motor.

 

                                   Photo Courtesy of the Oxnard Public Library

          The salesman handed over the automobile and got on the train and returned back to Los Angeles. Luis and Frank stood in front of the crowd. This was the moment of truth. The people waited silently. Luis got on the automobile and Frank turned the crank and the engine started up. They were now ready to start their first trip by automobile.

Louis got the car going and he drove around the block a few times. The people applauded and they ran behind him. Some of them were on horseback and they followed and shouted.

After a few trips around the plaza they decided to stop. There was just one problem. Both Luis and Frank forgot what the salesman said about stopping the car and turning off the engine. The men on horseback started to figure that out and started shouting various insults. The insults continued and both Luis and Frank started getting angry. As I said before when Luis gets mad you could hear his voice all over town. Both of the men started swearing and using all kinds of horrible language that a little boy of tender years shouldn’t be hearing. I learned a lot that day.

I could see them getting angry, both their faces were red and getting redder by the minute. They kept driving around the plaza until the car ran out of gas. By this time everybody there were laughing themselves silly.

When the car finally came to a stop Luis and got down and shouted at the top of his voice, “Who wants to buy this piece of junk? I will sell it to anyone for fifty bucks!” He walked home completely angry.

From that day to the end of his days, he never got into an automobile again.

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About jedwardnajera

I am a Poet. I live the life of a poet. I am an artist, a member of Gallery 9 in Los Altos, California. I published a novel Nena the Fairy and the Iron Rose, available through Amazon Books. I spent over thirty five years in a classroom. My father kept a living record of his lifetime as he lived through the Twentieth Century. He was born in 1908 and almost lived long enough to see us enter the new millennium. He was a mechanical engineer and had a wonderful love of history and science. He entrusted to me nearly 400 pages that he wrote through the years. He wrote in Spanish and I have spent six months translating these pages into English. Now I am in the process of editing, rewriting, and revising them. I am trying to post a new entry or chapter each Friday. Check in on us at least once a week for the latest post.
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