My dad has been the inspiration for many of the stories I write, and today's post is no exception. Born on the brink of the Depression into a farming family in Oklahoma, my dad's a spinner of yarns, Uncle Mike or Grandpa Mike to a bevy of kids/adults, a horse trader of some renown, a Korean War veteran, and a man I'm proud to call Dad. Oh yes, he's also the "buggy man" - not to be confused with the "boogie man" - and a restorer of antique buggies.
|At work in his shop|
In 2010, Daddy was chosen to be the Parade Marshal for the Pioneer Days parade in Guymon, OK. Traditionally, the parade marshal rides in the back of a convertible, but never one to do anything "by the book" Daddy led the parade in one of his restored buggies. It was a proud moment for him and all of us.
|Daddy as Parade Marshal with buggy top down|
|At end of parade route - Great grandson hitched a ride with Grandpa Mike|
Knowing that he likes buggies, I always look for them when I haunt museums as I do research for my novels. I then show the pics to my dad which garners some great conversation. Here are some I found at the Kentucky Horse Farm museum a couple of years ago.
|General Store on Wheels - Before the turn of the century, peddler's wagons like this one from about 1890 were a welcome sight for isolated rural Americans.|
|Spider Phaeton - Date: c. 1895 - Maker: Henry Hooker & Co, New Haven, CT|
|Corning Buggy - Circa 1900 - Maker: Enterprise Carriage Mfg. Co., Miamisburg, Ohio|
|Extension Top Phaeton - Circa 1900 - Maker Unknown|
|Coupe Rockaway - Circa 1900 - Maker Unknown|
|Cut-Under Basket Phaeton - Circa 1900 - Maker: French & Co. Boston, Massachusetts|
|Bob-Sleigh - Circa 1905 - Maker Unknown|
How about you? Does anyone in your family have an unusual hobby? Have you ever ridden in a buggy? Would you have liked to live in a different time when we traveled in horse-drawn carriages? I'm pretty sure my dad would have fit right in.
Carla Stewart is the award-winning author of five novels. With a passion for times gone by, it is her desire to take readers back to that warm, familiar place in their hearts called “home.” Her newest release is The Hatmaker's Heart. In New York City’s Jazz Age, a naïve, but talented young hat designer must weigh the cost of success when the rekindled love with her childhood sweetheart is lost and her integrity in the cutthroat fashion world is tested.
Learn more about Carla at www.carlastewart.com