Saturday, September 4, 2010

Dad's Old Garage . . .

. . . Is Nearly Gone

This well built and sturdily supported (maybe by the fence) building was ancient when I was a kid with a Brownie camera (about 15, me, not the camera) snapping pictures all around Whittenton in my hometown of Taunton, Massachusetts.

Dad built this garage - when I don't know but sometime after he was married in 1922 - and it served the family well for a long time - until a big wind, probably the famous Hurricane of '38, knocked it askew.

I am not sure of the vintage of the automobile but it is a Ford and probably a 1928 or 1929 model. We, meaning Mother and Dad, brother Paul and sister Margery, had a lot of fun riding in that Ford, especially when it got us to the sandy oceanside vacations at Horseneck or Silver Beaches on Cape Cod, sometimes with our two cousin Reilly boys aboard.

My mind is a bit hazy now on the whereabouts of that car but I have two versions of car disposal, which could apply to the Ford or an older truck Dad once owned.

Paul and I and a bunch of kids from the neighborhood many times dug 10-foot deep holes in our sandy back yard where we buried all sorts of things.

I have a vivid memory of helping Dad dismantle piece by piece a vehicle that was worn out, no longer a running masterpiece from Detroit or some other vehicle-making place.

This dismantling could have been the Ford you see above or the truck I mentioned that preceded the Ford. In any case I remember many pieces of junk car parts going into one of our holes. Are those pieces still underground? Who knows?

Sometime in the 1960s, armed with my first metal detector and when visiting Taunton, I made it my business to search all through that backyard.

No car did I find but I did come up with a belt buckle engraved "R", probably Grampa Reilly's or Uncle Buck's one time loss and a ring, a nickel and a few pennies.

That metal detector probably only picked up iron and other metals a few inches under the lawn. Later I acquired a much more powerful detector and again searched the backyard but no car did I find. We boys must have done a good burial job.

I was a full grownup of 15 by the time 1939 came around and I perhaps took that picture of the leaning garage to use in an issue of THE BAY STATER which I had then begun to publish from the third floor of my home on a Columbia printing press.

I unearthed the photo just recently and it brought back the memories I have now shared with you. Maybe Margery will remember another backyard adventure to share. I know Paul must have had a few memories to share but unfortunately my much-loved brother Paul met his maker many years ago.

Before Dad passed away in 1975, he replaced that broken down garage with a new structure on a concrete foundation and used the place a number of years, besides as a home for his Buicks, as a workshop where with a batch of automatic saws, lathes and other stuff he constructed Adirondack chairs, as his grandson now does, caned chairs and made fancy doodads until his fingers lost agility.

- 30 -

1 comment:

  1. This is the new owner of the Hoye Homestead! Thank you for sending the print outs of your blog and the Holiday card. It's wonderful to read these stories about your family and the house. I will be sending along a letter soon.