Saturday, November 21, 2009

Old Timers and Old Barns

I love talking to folks who have lived many years. When I was a boy, one of my favorite things to do was to go upstairs to the apartment above us where lived a man named Mr. MacDonald. He would play checkers and tell me stories about the days when the decaying New England village I lived in was a bustling town, back when the paper mill was in full swing and provided housing for all its employees. The area of Woronoco where the Strathmore paper mills were used to be called "The beehive" due to the buzz of activity. There was a butcher shop, a general store, a community building which at one point was used by a small college, and all sorts of other things one would expect to find in a mill town during the early 1900's through the 1950's. Hearing his stories expanded my imagination and I could picture myself in the black and white photos he showed me.

Mr. Macdonald has been dead for 25 years now, but today, I had the pleasure of speaking to a gentleman who reminded me a lot of him, and he was telling me about his Cushman scooter. I think I can safely call him Mr. Stoltzfus without violating any privacy morees, since that name is more common than Smith in this part of the country. In any event, Mr. Stoltzfus had seen my scooter and we got to talking about motorcycles and scooters. Mr. Stoltfus has to be at least in his 80's and hearing him talk about riding his old Cushman and the Honda's and Yamaha's he'd had brought pictures to my mind, just like listening to Mr. Macdonald.

This evening, I had opportunity to go for a dusk ride. The main roads were busier than I like, but the back roads were pleasantly empty. The color of the sky was breathtaking, but unfortunately my photographs don't do it justice.

I saw several old barns, most of which were on the main road, so I was uncomfortable with stopping to photograph them, but one was off the beaten path and I was able to get a few nice shots of it. There were Alpacas in a fenced area adjacent to it and they seemed very interested in what I was doing.

It's been a nice autumn for riding. The weather is cooling some, especially in the evenings, but it has been better riding weather than I expected so far.


Lee said...

Gee, this reminds me of the Honda C 70 I had way back in '81.
This was when they still had leaded gas. I bought a tank of Gulf "Turbo blue". It is racing fuel with an octane rating of 104-109.
I hit 55mph with a 70CC 3 speed bike!
I got 150 miles to the tank, which was just over a gallon, with a 1/10 reserve.
I bought the bike for $300, and sold it 3 years later for $300.
Just call me an old geezer!

Stephanie said...

My Grandmother lived in "The Beehive" as a girl and I heard her speak of it many times when she was alive. Do you have any more stories about it?

Paul said...

Well Stephanie, It's been a long time. I was very young. I can remember very little of the stories I was told. The mind grows dim, but if I remember anything, I may post a blog entry about it sometime, when I have time.