Top of the list of highlights from twenty-five years in a community museum has got to be driving the old stuff!
I’ve driven both Gibson (a 1947-ish Gibson tractor) and Critter (our 1954 Massey-Harris Pacer) in the Blossom Festival parade, and used Critter for a number of odd jobs around the Museum grounds. Like the time the wind blew down the sumac tree in the front garden and split the maple tree up on the edge of the parking lot. The fallen part of the maple was blocking the driveway, and the sumac was sprawled across the lawn, so they both needed to be moved as quickly as possible. But they were both considerably bigger than I could have moved on my own, so Critter got the nod. I suppose I could have used the modern riding lawn-mower, but what’s the fun in that? And then I got to use him to spread out the gravel in the driveway that somehow got scraped up (no idea how that might have happened… 🙂 ).
The most fun was Derry, our 1921 Model T. He’s definitely different to drive! I confess I’ve only driven him in the parking lot – I’m not nearly brave enough to drive him in downtown traffic! But he draws a crowd everywhere he goes. He had his hundred-year tune up a couple of years ago, so he’ll be good to go for another century at least, we hope…and maybe next time we put him in the parade, he’ll actually make it all the way through!
I haven’t driven Sid yet, the 1947 Maple Leaf that belonged to Sid and Osmund Bell, but I did get to help haul him out of the bush. Here’s a video of that process: