Loyal Tutle has restored four antique automobiles since his retirement from his trucking business. His friends say he can fix anything.
As a competitive young man working on taxi cabs, he and a coworker raced each other to see how fast they could put a clutch in a Plymouth.
Tutle smiled and recalled, “I was really proud of my 45 minutes, but my buddy always beat me by two or three minutes. He had long, gangly arms — and he loved to win.”
He says he learned at an early age how to work.
“I was born at home in Van Zandt County to Elmer Travis Tutle and Essie Pearl Keese Tutle in the Tundra community, seven miles from Canton. I was the oldest, with Carroll, Jo and Jerry next. We had an older brother who died soon after birth, and Jerry died a few years ago.
“When I was 5, “he continued, “we moved to Jackson to my Granddad Keese’s farm. My dad was always busy as a farmer, mechanic and black smith — and then he became manager of my granddad’s cotton gin, too.”
Born in 1927, Loyal remembers a little about the Great Depression.
“We raised our own food. I remember when President Franklin D. Roosevelt had us kill our cows because there was no market for their sale.
“When they were slaughtered, each farmer was allowed to keep only enough meat to feed his family for two days. There were no locker plants then where more meat could be frozen. The rest of the meat was burned or buried.”
(The Agricultural Adjustment Act paid farmers to reduce or plow under crops and slaughter young livestock to restore economic parity. Canning of meat was done in some communities.)
Tutle attended Jackson Elementary School through the eighth grade and one semester at Canton High School.