THE FIRE TRUCK WHO SERVED AND GOT SAVED – Marilyn Armstrong

Old Number 2 was one of the long-serving fire trucks in our town. Almost 20 years ago, she was replaced, but no one could bear to scrap her, so she was put out to pasture … literally.

Her rusting hulk stood for years in the empty field across from the post office — where she remained until they decided she was too rusty, old, potentially dangerous and needed to be scrapped — at which point she was adopted.



OLD NUMBER TWO FIRE ENGINE

Undergoing rehab! Photo: Garry Armstrong
Photo: Garry Armstrong
Photo: Marilyn Armstrong

OLD NUMBER 2 – THE FIRE TRUCK WHO SERVED

PORTRAIT OF A RETIRED FIRE TRUCK


Old Number 2 was one of the long-serving fire trucks in our town. Almost 20 years ago, she was replaced, but no one could bear to scrap her, so she was put out to pasture … literally. Her rusting hulk stands in the empty field across from the post office — where she remains, even today, though now because the rust has started to win the battle, she is fenced off for safety’s sake.



OLD NUMBER TWO FIRE ENGINE

A Photo a Week Challenge | Ruins

OLD THINGS – CEE’S BLACK AND WHITE CHALLENGE

CEE’S BLACK & WHITE PHOTO CHALLENGE: OLDER THAN 50 YEARS

This week’s topic is Older Than 50 Years (1965). The one question everyone asks if you can have people over 50. The answer is yes, but I would hope they have a lot of character and are closer to age 100. The possibilities for this challenge are endless.

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Living in this part of New England, many things around here (including us) are old — and still very much in use. Barns and houses, old trucks and cars. Old mills and farm equipment to name just a few.

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Hadley tiny church BW december

Old Number 2 wheel

REVISITING OLD NUMBER TWO – DIALOGUE

DIALOGUE – WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE – OLD NUMBER TWO

old number 2 fire engine

Views of my favorite old fire engine. I know, on one level, that he is an inanimate object. A truck. Metal and glass and rubber. An engine that ceased running years ago. A fire truck whose time came and went.

old number 2 fire engine truck

Despite knowing this, I feel like this old truck holds history in his rusty body. Memories. Fires, rescues. History.

OLD NUMBER TWO FIRE ENGINE

I know I’m not the only one who feels this way because the countryside has many veteran trucks and other vehicles quietly rusting in fields, often keeping company with the growing corn and the grazing cows and sheep.

old number two fire engine wheel

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We invest our things with personality. Maybe we can’t help it. We are alive and we share at least the sense of life with those things with which we share our world.

Old number 2 fire engine truck

Neighbors and Old Friends – Marilyn Armstrong

Friends come in many sizes and shapes. Horses, dogs, cats and other warm fuzzy creatures give our lives texture and joy … and old things holding memories of other times and places … these too become friends, holding our memories and reminding us of the lives we have lived and things we have done.

Old Number 2 is one of Uxbridge‘s oldest fire trucks. Long out of service, he still has his own place, standing through the years and seasons in a field across from the post office. He’s become my old friend, put out to pasture but like me, remembering his glory days.

Old Number 2 in summer … with some special effects just because.
Seasons come and go, but Number 2 waits patiently. I visit him. He has many stories to tell and I listen so he will be less lonely and know no everyone has forgotten him.

Horses in the pasture, friendly and hoping for snack, an apple or a carrot maybe …

Retired now, she grazes in a pleasant pasture in the company of her friends and the goats in the adjacent pasture. Do they share their memories?
With a shake of her mane, the pony companion enjoys the autumn weather with an old pal.
Still beautiful, she poses with her good side, elegant in her peaceful paddock.
It’s a fine day to be a horse. Or a human.

Tinker, one of our two PBGVs romps now at the Bridge, but here, her big black nose pokes through the picket fence of our front yard. Just saying hello!

Tinker’s big black nose — a perfect nose for such a hound as this Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen hound nose — pokes through our pickets. She’s gone to the Bridge, but lives on in our hearts and her tooth marks remain forever embedded in our furniture, shoes, remote controls and paranoid nightmares of destruction.
Griffin, our big boy PBGV died last winter, as did Tinker. He was my personal cuddle puppy, full of joy and humor. He always made me laugh and the more I laughed, the more he would act the clown. Never has a dog enjoyed making people laugh more than Griffin. A marathon barker, entertainer par excellence, he was the best.

Many of our fur children have gone to the bridge, but they are never forgotten. More of them  on other days, I promise.

One autumn day, in a rare family project, we made a couple of friends of our own … classic New England symbols of Autumn and the harvest. We made them from yard sale clothing, two bales of hay, and their painted faces on old pillow cases were created by Kaity and Stefania … at that brief period as they were transitioning from girls to young women.

Some friends we made ourselves to celebrate the harvest and the season, sitting on a bench, backed by flowering bushes and shaded by oaks.

Finally, we meet the farmer’s old truck. He stands in a field around the corner, behind the fire station … an old friend put out to pasture, holding too many fond memories to send him to a junk yard. Instead, he stands ever waiting if he should  be called back to duty.

Just this, no more, all within a mile of home. It IS home.

Old Number 2 in Summertime

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The old number 2 Uxbridge fire truck has been standing in a field across from the post office for as long as we have lived here — thirteen years.  I have no idea how long she was standing there before we came to town. She was the hook and ladder truck for the Uxbridge fire department. When it came time to retire her, no one wanted to junk her. So she was literally put out to pasture. It’s a pretty place, full of wildflowers and there’s an area where you can park if you want to visit.

Each year, I go and take pictures of her. With every season’s passages, she is a bit more faded, a little rustier. Yet somehow, the continued presence of the old engine comforts me. I’m glad she isn’t off in a junk yard. At least I visit her and the birds and animals come by to see her.

Who else visits her? I’ve seen people nearby. Do fire fighters drop by? Do they want to hear the old engine’s stories? She’s got so manytales to tell. You can hear her stories if you are very quiet. She will whisper to you, softly, softly as the grass sings in the breeze.