Friday, December 19, 2008

OLD CARS AND OLD MEMORIES


About 5 miles south of Belen, on the west side of NM Road 116, I ran across this old, sad and lonely vehicle sitting amidst the weeds in a small field abutting a small home. As near as I can determine it is a 1949 or 1950 International Harvester, Series L120. ( You can see one in the 1955 Austrian film 'Die Trapp Familie In Amerika).'

The front left wheel is gone and the axle is propped up off the ground. It looks like it will never run again. I had to stop and look at it because it reminded me of a fragment of my own youth. As a child in the 1940's my two older brothers and I spent a couple of summers on the farm , near Johnstown, Ohio, of a family friend, Gene Searfoss. The Searfosses had an old abandoned Duryea automobile straight out of 'The Grapes Of Wrath' set up on blocks out by the barn. It quickly became my favorite spot on the farm. Between chores, I would spend hours sitting behind the steering wheel, pretending to drive and soaking in the smells accumulated in years of service. The fragrance still lingers in my memory. I have a soft spot in my heart for old and abandoned cars that I don't think I will out grow.

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