By Wendy Nugent, Harvey County Now
NEWTON—North Newton resident Ella Regier said she doesn’t know how many cookies it took to put her husband’s 1929 Model A car together.
That’s because she baked cookies for her husband, the late Edwin J. Regier, and his friend Leroy Smith to give them respite and energy while they worked on restoring their twin Model A’s in Edwin’s two-car garage in the country.
The vintage vehicles were put together with cookies, tools, American sweat, laughter, metal, cloth and fun.
Cookies Regier made included chocolate chip, oatmeal and gingersnap.
“It gave them a little break and a little energy,” Regier said. “They would work until midnight sometimes. They were really good friends enjoying their time together.”
The two knew each other even before Regier and Edwin married.
Regier donated this car to the 2022 Kansas Relief Sale, which is this weekend in Hutchinson. The sale of the vehicle will go to Mennonite Central Committee to help people throughout the world.
The Regiers used to live on a farm one mile east of the airport in rural Newton and Smith resided in Walton. Smith owned a tire store in Newton.
At 95, Regier is older than the Model A and resides at Kidron Bethel Village.
“He liked tinkering with things, you know,” Regier said about her husband, adding he found parts for the vehicle all over.
Some were in hedgerows and some were on people’s property. Smith and Edwin even traveled to western Kansas to see a Model A someone had restored.
“They were friends and decided they wanted a car like that, you know,” Regier said. “The cars were very pretty.”
Regier said it was like a treasure hunt trying to find parts. Edwin and Smith did the restoration of their vehicles, working on them side by side. They did body and engine work, fenders, painting and upholstery.
The Regiers’ son, Jerry Regier, said the duo had plastic tents around the vehicles as they painted.
During the past couple of years, the Regier family donated a variety of items, like a Model T and an International tractor, as well as smaller items.
“We gave the children a chance if somebody wanted it, they could buy it,” Regier said. “We donated it to help people around the world.”
“Mom and Dad have always been very strong supporters of MCC,” Jerry said.
To this, Regier added the whole family supports Mennonite Central Committee.
“Jerry’s made many a New Year’s cookie,” she said, adding it’s a good thing to support a place where you know the money is going.
On Friday, Jerry and Regier drove to Jerry and Leann Toews’s home in Goessel. Jerry Toews gets mechanical items, like the Model A, in shape for the sale. Leann said they’ll start bringing items to the sale on Wednesday, and the items will be in the general auction at 1 p.m., Saturday, at the Kansas State Fairgrounds in Hutchinson.
Jerry Toews even took Regier and the other Jerry on a spin around Goessel in the Model A.
“I’ll bet you remember riding in this,” Jerry Toews said.
Regier responded that she didn’t ride in it very much.
“It’s coughing and bouncing, isn’t it?” she asked, sitting in the front passenger seat.
“That’s how it is,” Jerry Toews said. “That’s how they run.”
“My parents drove to California in a Model T,” Regier said.
Jerry Toews said the vehicle can go up to 50 mph, but is more comfortable at 45.
“I mean, it’s a lot better than walking,” he added.
Friday, April 8
4-8 p.m.—Feeding the Multitude in Cottonwood Court; food service in other locations
3500 meals available sale weekend packaged in carryout containers. Limited menu including Verenike w/gravy, sausage, Bohne Berroggi and Borscht.
4-8:30 p.m.—Kid’s Activity Building opens, view auction items and sale of priced items.
5 p.m.—Silent Auction bidding opens.
6 p.m.—General Auction bidding opens.
Saturday, April 9
7-10 a.m.—Breakfast served in Cottonwood Court.
8 a.m.—Sale of priced items begins.
8 a.m.—Run for Relief at Rice Park.
8 a.m.-1 p.m.—Silent Auction in Sunflower South Building.
8:45 a.m.-mid-afternoon—Quilt and General auctions.
At Meadowlark Building: Over 200 quilts and related items—pieced, appliquéed, embroidered.
At Sunflower Building North: General auction including vehicles, tractors, antiques, hobby items, furniture, tools and more.
10 a.m.—Kids’ Auction in Pride of Kansas Building.
11 a.m.—Memorabilia Auction in Pride of Kansas Building.
10:30 a.m.-1 p.m.—Feeding the Multitude begins in Cottonwood Court; meal service also at other locations.