I had posted on this last week, but for some reason, I wasn’t meant to post that day. I tried several times to save my draft, upload pictures and post, but WordPress was not going for it. So, we will try again.
I happened across this picture of an old wagon. It made me think of Colorado, old mining towns there and the way people used to live. We have come a long way from the days of a cabin, hauling water and an outhouse. And believe me, I really appreciate all of our modern conveniences in those areas!
Fast forward to when my family was living in upstate New York, just after I was married. My parents had Percheron horses. They were beautiful…black and very tall. They had two mares they used for driving and a stallion. Max was the stallion and he was a gorgeous horse, with a really rotten attitude. (He may have been gelded by the time my parents purchased him, but he still thought he was a stallion, if that was the case!) I remember more than once, my brother coming in from cleaning stalls or grooming, with a black and blue shoulder from where Max had taken a ‘nibble’. When my family showed horses at the fair, they always had a sign posted, “I Bite” in front of Max’s stall. You guessed it…someone always had to see if that was true. The horses spent much of their time in their stalls at the fair with their backsides to the door, especially toward the end of the week when they had had enough ‘smiling’ for the crowds. As big as Max was, he could whip around and bare teeth quicker than you could blink. Thankfully, no one was bitten, but Max sure tried several times and scared the pants off a few people.
So, back to this post. My parents purchased a market wagon, similar to the one pictured above. When they brought it home, it also looked much like the one above and maybe even worse. They wanted to use it for the driving class in the fair, but you couldn’t show with it looking like that. Enter my brother, who is very talented in many ways. (I really hope he doesn’t mind me sharing those talents on here every now and then). He took that wagon apart, right down to the nuts and bolts. Stripped, sanded and painted it again. The colors my family used at the fair were black and gold, so those were used on the wagon as well. When he was finished, it was really beautiful, as you can see from the pictures below.
The first one is at the Cobleskill Fair, my father showing with Bonnie and the second is with my parents and Bonnie. Even though the wagon was really pretty, it still was one bumpy ride! I could not imagine going across the country, no roads either, in something like that as so many did. Put all your belongings in the back…that was downsizing for sure!
My family won many ribbons with their horses over the years. I never showed, but I know from observing that it was a lot of work, very time-consuming and one tiring season! When the horses arrived home after their month or so of ‘showtime’…they were thrilled. It was fun to watch them get back to their paddocks, running, rolling and doing all that they could not, while they were all dressed up.
When I saw the picture of the old buckboard, worn and forgotten, all the above memories flooded my mind. I don’t know what happened to that wagon my brother spent so many hours making beautiful. The horses have been gone for many years now, all the tack, made by the Amish, sold and hopefully being used by others. But the memories remain…and it’s nice to take them out and remember every now and then.