The Buckboard

As I mentioned in a previous post, I ran my delivery route backwards yesterday, which meant that I approached many farm-houses from the opposite direction. Perhaps this was why I noticed some sort of antique wagon in an elderly woman’s front yard — I’d never noticed it before.

I delivered the newspaper and shut off the truck. The November sunlight was coming in low and nicely illuminated the wagon. It had a spring-mounted seat suspended above the wagon’s bed. What an interesting find! An old buckboard which probably was used long ago for trips to town. I could imagine the wagon holding cans of cream and boxes of eggs to trade for provisions at a general store in Payson, once upon a time.

A scenario developed in my ever-fertile mind:

[A sorrel mare pulls a blue-painted buckboard down a rutted dirt road on a sunny and splendid early-summer morning. A flock of prairie chickens hustles out of the way, disappearing into a field of timothy grass which was destined to feed that horse the following winter. A farmer and his rosy-cheeked wife sit companiably on the seat of the buckboard, bouncing up and down as the wagon crosses potholes in the road. The farmer wears a straw hat and holds a switch in one hand, gently encouraging the horse onward from time to time.]

Farmer: “Won’t it be nice to have coffee beans again! I think the delivery from Quincy came in the other day, or so folks say.”

Wife: “Such a morning! Look over there; that buffalo wallow is still pooled from that rain last week. Look at those ducks feeding!”

Farmer: “I’m so glad we got away from Ireland! Our own land and plenty of it!”

My reverie was interrupted by a car pulling into the driveway behind me. A white-haired woman in her eighties looked at me rather suspiciously. I walked over to explain my presence; she probably didn’t see strange men out in her yard very often!

“Hi! I’m here to deliver your newspaper. I saw that buckboard in your yard and I’m taking some photos of it. It’s a real beauty!”

“Oh, so that’s what you’re doing. Yeah, I love that buckboard. My sister and her husband bought that right after they got married. When my sister died her husband brought it over to me, and there it sits.”

I really enjoy getting some back-story to accompany photographs! I thanked the woman and took a few photos. Here are two of them. I used two different exposure settings to bring out details in two ways:

As I drove off I came up with the above scenario, among others.


3 comments on “The Buckboard

  1. bev says:

    Nice photos of the buckboard – and it looks to be in reasonably good shape too, although exposure to the elements will eventually wear it down. My neighbor had a somewhat similar one in her driving shed. It was there when she bought the farm about forty years ago. The sides were a bit higher though. I actually spoke to the previous owners of the farm about 41 years ago. Irish family who had been on the farm since about 1850. They told me that the grandmother used to drive the wagon loaded with potatoes into the city which was about 25 miles away. It would take her about 2 days to get there and then back again. So, your scenario is much alike!

  2. Joan says:

    Beautiful buckboard. Back when I was teaching school, I shared an apartment with an antique-lover. One morning I woke to see a wagon seat sitting in our hallway. I thought she had bought it, but it seems she and her date had ‘liberated’ it from a roadside antique store. About a year after I got married I got a package from her. In it was a silver pin that I’d made in jewelry class and had thought lost. Seems she’d liberated some of my stuff too. Perhaps she’d gotten religion.

  3. Thought I may contribute this “If most of us are ashamed of shabby clothes and shoddy furniture, let us be more ashamed of shabby ideas and shoddy philosophies… It would be a sad situation if the wrapper were better than the meat wrapped inside it.” – Albert Einstein

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