Relics from the 'Good Times'

... found, while back-roading with my dirtbike

from Don Norris

While out back-roading on my 200cc trail bike, every once in
a while I come across some scene that is unusual, unique, so,
snap, I capture it, and maybe I walk around it, looking for a
different angle. So, just one such scene doesn't amount to a
hill of beans, but when you find three, maybe four, they then
become a worthy project -- like this one below.

This scene is in either Middleton or Boxford, I don't know
exactly where the town line runs. But the home is about 20
miles north of Melrose, in a wooded area adjacent to the
Boxford State Forest. The old truck sits there in the yard,
never moving, just rusting away, year by year. To me, there
is a unique beauty in all that rust, in all that history. I'd
give an educated guess that this old truck was working farms
in this area almost 78 years ago.

Most of the wood that went into this old Ford Model A is
gone, rotted away. And of course some of the owners, along
the road, cut away the metal sides -- a true convertible now.
There is air in the tires, however, a younger-looking battery
that suggests this old fella was running, not too long ago.

Here's another such relic, but this one has been used as a
swamp buggy, for blazing trails through uncharted woods, for
just plain having fun. It too is a Ford of the Model A
vintage, perhaps built in 1934. The wheels have been replaced
to adapt to swamp travel, or perhaps racing around a track in
local competition. By the way, it's for sale.

You can find this, for-sale-place along Route 107, outside of
Raymond, New Hampshire. And while you're there, it seems
there's a lot of items to choose from -- including an

All those vehicles above can be measured in horsepower, like
maybe 40, 50 or 60. But here's a real oldie that runs on one
horsepower -- maybe one mulepower. Not much difference (the
Boy Scout said). I was pretty much lost when I found this
neat wagon -- maybe in Groveland or Boxford, possibly North
Andover. About 30 miles north of Melrose, but still in

It has seen its days. There's not much wood left to support
the bed, and the driver's seat is just plain gone.
Interesting are the old pieces of wrought iron that serve
various structural purposes. The iron is visable, but it too
is a victim of time and weather. Notice the blue streak in
the background -- that's mine. I crashed it really badly a
week after taking these phtos.

We are back in New Hampshire for this relic. It is a V8 Ford,
also of a '34 vintage -- or thereabouts. A woodworker has it
(and other historic regalia) displayed in a pine grove, out
on Bear Hill Road in Newton -- just across the Mass border.

Notice the World War One-style bomb mounted on the hood. Some
say it is a German 'potato masher' -- a grenade, thrown by
die soldaten. I made sure it was defused before snapping a
flick, lest  I get blown up at my own sport.

If you enjoy these photo essays, and if I get enough fan
mail, I'll continue with this backroad series -- as soon as I
get another Suzuki DR200 trail bike. It's a fun machine all
summer. Winter comes, the bike goes in the barn. That's life
in New England. Write to us.

September 3, 2010

You can search below for any word or words in all issues of the Melrose Mirror.
| Return to section | The Front Page | Write to us |

Write to us