Audio clip: Mary Ann Reed

Mary Ann Reed's family's arrived in Austin driving on the rim of a flat tire:

Mary Ann Reed: Gasoline and tires were rationed. I remember one time that the family was driving to Austin in our 1936 Chevrolet. We couldn't buy new cars during that time. Maybe it was a '38 Chevrolet. Anyway, I remember it was old. We were not happy—the girls were not very happy with it.

But we were driving to Austin and one of the tires blew out, so my dad got out and put the spare on and we went several more miles and it blew out. And you couldn't just go to a store and buy a tire. You had to have a special certificate to get one. So we drove into Austin on the rim. We just—we didn't have any choice because there was no other way to get there.

And there was a song about someone in an airplane who had been shot in the war. It was called "Coming in on a Wing and a Prayer." So we girls sang "Coming in on a 'Rim' and a Prayer" all the way to Austin. My father almost lost his mind. (Laughs.) Mother finally turned around and told us we'd better be quiet. (Laughs.)

The next day he had to go to the rationing board and get a special certificate to get a tire. The tire—they sold retreaded tires; they were not new rubber. But anyway, he was only able to get one and we had to just hope we didn't have another blowout. So that was an adventure.

Listen to Mary Ann Reed's entire oral history interview.