Volume 3, Number 4



Arkansas Tin Lizzies, a local chapter of the
Model T Ford Club of America

African Elephant at Riddles

Potts Inn

Elephants, inns
And t’s, oh my!

Volume 3, Number 4                                                                                                                                         2007


We are nearing the end of my tenure as your Club president.  I hope I have done some good.  One thing is certain; the Club will be in capable hands.  Roy Mathis, who served capably as Vice-President this year, will be your President beginning at the January meeting.  Roy and his wife Tommie have become two of our most active members, participating in all the Club’s activities since they joined us.

Roy already has a January seminar and a full slate of tours planned for the coming year.  I know we’re in for a full measure of Model T fun, including the Model T’s 100th Birthday Party in Centerville, Indiana in July.  This week-long celebration is expected to draw 1,000 Model T’s and their caretakers, so it is not to be missed.  Make your reservations now for the tour and accommodations, as they are filling up quickly.  Contact information is on our website and in the newsletter.

We elected Bill Payne to serve as Vice-President for the coming year, and he will be the Club’s President in 2009.  Bill is always entertaining, to say the least, and I am sure he will serve us well.  David Ragsdale, our first President, agreed to serve another year as our Secretary/Treasurer.  The Club can always count on David to do whatever needs to be done.  Joe Jeffers and Frank Cook fill out the slate of officials, serving this year as Zone Directors.  Bill and Nellie Howell have graciously agreed to continue serving the Club as Webmaster and Newsletter Editor.  The Club would not be what it is without them.

Our Club just keeps getting better and better.  Bill Howell compiled and sent a questionnaire to all members this year, and it drew some wonderful response.  From this feedback, we have learned several ways to help make our Club’s activities more interesting and fun for our members.  Some of these ideas will be implemented in the coming year.  We will have a seminar and other indoor activities at our January meeting, at which time the weather often is not conducive to touring.  We think this will be a lot of fun as well as being educational.  Joe Jeffers will host our first out-of-state tour in Vicksburg, Mississippi.  It probably will be a progressive tour, which is another first for our Club.  We will tour to Natchez and see many significant Confederate sites and antebellum architecture.  The other two tours will be held in Southwest and Northeast Arkansas, which are areas we haven’t seen on any of our tours.  This diversity in our tours, plus the 100th Birthday Party, should make the coming year one to remember.

Beverly and I look forward to many more exciting times with our members.  Some of you are now among our best friends.  We all remain indebted to David for bringing us together.  I have enjoyed serving the Club, but I’m ready to pass the gavel and let our next slate of officers take over.  I think I’ll go work on my Model T.

Mike Walker, President

October 27, 2007
Meeting Minutes

On October 27, 2007, Zone 3 hosted the fall meeting of the Arkansas Tin Lizzies in Russellville.  After the pledge of allegiance, President Mike Walker opened the meeting with twenty-three members attending.  He thanked David, Bob and Judy for their work on the meeting and tour.  Mike also introduced new members Steve and Caroline Bonifant and two of their children, Sarah and Christine. 

A motion to accept the last meeting minutes was made by Bill Payne and seconded by Bob Emerson.  His motion was passed.

David reported the current bank account balance of $1266.74.  There were $300.00 in expenditures and $170.00 in deposits since the last meeting. 

David also reported that the club gained four new memberships; twelve were removed from the role that did not renew their membership in 2007.  The new members are Jim and Patty Bailey, Mike and Brenda Bender, Gene and Betty Pyeatt and Jerry and Rosalie Leach.

Vice President Roy Mathis reported on the nominees for the 2008 club officers as follows:  Zone 2 director – Frank Cook, Zone 4 director – Joe Jeffers, Vice president – Bill Payne.  Roy Mathis will become president and David Ragsdale has agreed to another term as secretary/treasurer.  A motion was made by Nellie Howell and seconded by Bob Emerson to accept the nominees by acclamation.  It was passed.

President Walker updated the club on the antique auto license plates.  He reported that MOTAA is trying to come up with a proposal for the 2009 legislature.

Mike reminded members that the 2008 membership dues are due in January.  They are still $10.00.

David spoke about the Centennial Model T birthday party next year in Richmond, Indiana.  A list of motels for the trip to and from Richmond was given to those who are planning on making the trip next year with the club.  Anyone interested in going along with the club should contact David for details if you have not already.

The next meeting will be held January 19 at Bill and Nellie Howell’s car barn.  It was decided that this would be a technical meeting with a possible day drive depending on the weather.  Bill Payne, Roy Mathis and Chuck Haynes have agreed to coordinate the meeting.  Jane Payne and Tena Ragsdale will plan activities for the ladies who may not be interested in the technical presentations.  Details will follow in the newsletter.

Mike mentioned that he had talked to Bull Shoals Embroidery who was willing to do embroidery work for the club such as jackets, caps, etc.  Tena Ragsdale will also talk to the person that does the same type of work for her gymnasium.

Bill Howell is developing a educational program for 5th and 6th graders about the Model T’s place in the industrial revolution.  He will make this available to members that might want to use it in their area schools.

After several door prizes were given, the meeting was adjourned.

Meeting Summary:

1.      New members introduced.
2.      Third quarter minutes accepted.
3.      Account balance, $1266.74.
4.      Four new memberships last quarter; twelve members did not renew.
5.      2008 slate of officers accepted.
6.      Antique license plate update.
7.      Motel list handed out to members going to 2008 T Party.
8.      January 19, 2008 set for next meeting in Russellville.
9.      Clothing to be available with club logo.

Fall Tour

The Arkansas Tin Lizzies have seen many a back road, gift and antique shop, beautiful Arkansas scenery and wildlife on our tours.  But as Mike Walker, our president, put it, “I’ve never been face to face with an elephant.” 


Club members were greeted in the Lake Point Conference Center lobby with a vintage clothing and hat display.  Items were those of members Jane and Bill Payne, Tena and David Ragsdale, Walter and Mindy Hudson and Nellie and Bill Howell.

Thursday evening everyone gathered at Lake Dardanelle State Park Visitor Center and was hosted to a tour, an educational film and a barbeque supper.  Andy Thomas, the park’s superintendent, told us about the park and then showed us a video on its geographical features and wildlife.  We also saw
marvelous exhibits of the points of interest of the park and large aquariums filled with the native fish and other species.  After the tour the park treated us to a barbeque supper.  That was topped off with homemade ice cream made by some of our Zone 3 members.

Bright and early on a rather overcast, cool, sprinkling Friday, we headed east from Lake Point Conference Center just outside of Russellville.  We, of course, traveled the scenic
back routes through Hattieville and crossed over Fryer Bridge, one of the oldest metal bridges in Arkansas.

Our next major stop was Riddles Elephant and Wildlife Sanctuary near Guy, Arkansas.  This was a real treat.  Our guide showed us around the sanctuary that houses African and Indian elephants both males and females.  Riddles takes in any unwanted elephant and cares for them for the rest of their lives.  One of their goals is the preservation and breeding of elephants.  Their farm was established in 1990 by Scott and Heidi Riddles.  In 1994 they began offering an elephant management program that has educated elephant caretakers from all over the world.  Riddles has been successful in having several elephants to be born at their facility and presently are expecting two more babies.  The visit was a unique experience.

On our way back to Russellville we stopped for a return visit to the Morrilton Depot; we visited there last year.  The depot folks were happy to see the Arkansas Tin Lizzies again.  As usual the T’s lined up outside the depot attracted plenty of attention and local admirers. 

The depot folks offered us hot coffee, muffins and cookies that tasted good on the chilly afternoon. 

Bill Howell attracted so much attention that the deputy sheriff gave him a warning ticket about his “improper parking and license display.” 

Saturday concluded with a trip to a local nursing home, Stella Manor, Russellville’s Fall Festival, our

quarterly meeting and a visit to the historic Potts Inn in Pottsville.  At the festival there were lots of street rods on display, snacks and treasures to buy.  After our meeting we all went to Potts Inn.  It is on the national historic register and once you see it, you will certainly know why.  It is one of the best preserved stagecoach stations on the Butterfield Overland mail route between Memphis and Fort Smith.  Built in the 1850’s, Potts Inn contains beautiful antique furniture and memorabilia.












Historic and Picturesque Potts Inn

Other buildings on the property house an old doctor’s office, farm equipment, a hat and clothing collection, Indian artifacts and a doll display of Arkansas and U.S. first ladies dressed in copies of inaugural gowns.

Our tour and meeting concluded around mid-afternoon.  Everyone started home and seemed pleased with all the T riding and fun.

Member Spotlight

with children Christine and Sarah

Steve and Caroline Bonifant and their children live in Austin, Arkansas. Steve made it to Arkansas by way of Virginia, Maryland, California, Wyoming and North Dakota.  He is USAF retired and currently a navigation instructor on the C130 flight simulator at Little Rock Air Force Base.  Caroline is a stay at home mom and wife and according to Steve does great at both.  Caroline is a Maryland native.  They have six children at home: Sarah, 5; Christine, 8; Johnny, 10; Scott, 12; Emily, 15 and Laura, 16.  As a family they enjoy skiing in Colorado and going to the beach on the east coast.  There are lots of activities going on in their household such as soccer, rodeo and ballet.

Steve is a huge Virginia Tech fan where he went to college.  He was in the Cadet Corp there and upon graduation entered the Air Force.  After twenty years he retired as a major.

The Bonifants are the fourth owner of their 1915 Touring car.  They also have a 1949 4-door Cadillac sedan, Series 62 and a 1955 Thunderbird which is presently under restoration.

New members

Jim and Patty Bailey
Diamond City, AR

Mike and Brenda Bender
Tulsa, OK

Jerry and Rosalie Leach
Lincoln, AR

Gene and Betty Pyeatt
Tulsa, OK





Tinkering Tips

Want some help with a repair that includes pictures?  Try this website: http://www.cimorelli.com/tech_corner.htm  This site has examples of many different kinds of repairs for the Model T.  The index includes the following topics: Open Cars, Closed Cars, Electrical, Engine, Drive Train, Wheels, Suspension, Transmission, Cooling, Tools, Templates, Paint and Sheet Metal.  As you can see there is a wide variety that the website’s author has addressed.  Judge for yourself if it will help you deal with a troublesome project.


2008 Meeting Plans

Winter Meeting - January 17-19, 2007
echnical/hands-on presentations are planned in Russellville for  January.  The sessions will begin at Bill and Nellie Howell’s Car Barn.  Topics will be Rebuilding a Ruckstell by Mike Walker, Band Lining Replacement by Chuck Haynes and then Transmission and Flywheel Balancing by Mike Hartman at his shop in Ola.  Weather permitting a short tour could be included on Saturday morning.  You may choose to bring your Model T or not.  Ten rooms have been set aside for the Arkansas Tin Lizzies at the Best Western Motel with a group rate of $55 a night.  This includes an expanded continental breakfast menu and seating.  The motel phone number is 479-967-1000 to make those reservations.  Tell them you are with the Tin Lizzies.  This is the same motel that was used for the meeting in 2006 in Russellville at I-40 exit 81 at Highway 7.  For this meeting please call Nellie at 479-229-3878 if you will be coming; we are making lunch plans for which we will need to know the number.  RSVP by January 4.

Spring Tour and Meeting
Southwestern Arkansas is the designated area.  Possible points of interest will be the Jonquil Festival, Old Washington and Hope.  Bill and Nellie Howell will direct this tour and meeting.

Summer Tour and Meeting
Michael Nowlin will be the leader of the summer meeting to be held in Jonesboro.

Fall Tour and Meeting
Joe and Betty Jeffers may be heading up this meeting and tour.  Joe had indicated that he would like to have us in Natchez for the fall.

More details will be available in later newsletters.

A Note of Thanks

The Tin Lizzies send “Thank Yous” to Sidney and Joan Francis for driving the trouble/vulture wagon for our fall tour.  Those who, on occasion, require the services of the trouble wagon particularly know its value.  Thank you, Sidney and Joan. 

Tin Lizzies Classifieds

For Sale
: 1925 Speedster, a copy of the faultless speedster body built by B and B Body Company of Lapeer, Michigan.  The body is all metal, aluminum disc wheels with 21 inch 450 tires, leather interior, new radiator, dropped front axel, completely rebuilt engine with a stipes 280 cam, Z head, model A carburetor, 350 Chevrolet valves, 80 psi compression on all cylinders.  Rebuilt rear axel with new ring gear and pinion.  Nothing was spared in making this a nice running machine.  Contact: Melvin Birks; 5 South Model T Drive; Afton, Oklahoma 74331; 918-257-4131. mybirks@hotmail.com

Send classified information, wanted or for sale, to Arkansas Tin Lizzies News, 16508 West State Highway 155, Dardanelle, AR  72834.  Send a picture and a detailed description and condition of items offered for sale.  Or, e-mail information to nhh@midamericamgmt.com.

Clothing with club logo available

The club now has a person selected to embroider and screen print our club logo onto jackets and shirts.  At this point jackets up to size extra large provided by this company will be $40 and embroidering a shirt or jacket supplied by you will be $12.  Tena Ragsdale will be chairing this committee and working out the details of other clothing that may be available and the mailing costs.  She will report her findings at the January meeting.

Suggestion Box

Would you like to contribute or suggest an article or pictures for the newsletter?  We would like to hear from you.  Send it to Arkansas Tin Lizzies News, 16508 W State Hwy. 155, Dardanelle, AR  72834. 

2008 Tin Lizzie officers

President Roy Mathis
Vice President Bill Payne
Sec./Treas. David Ragsdale
Director - Zone 2 Frank Cook
Director - Zone 4 Joe Jeffers
Newsletter Editor Nellie Howell
Webmaster Bill Howell

2007 Tin Lizzie Officers

President Mike Walker
Vice President Roy Mathis
Sec./Treas. David Ragsdale
Director Bob Emerson
Director Carl Braughton
Director Morris Dillow
Director Michael Nowlin
Newsletter Editor Nellie Howell
Webmaster Bill Howell