Yes, the road.

Yes, the road.
Eagle Nest, New Mexico. “People like to drive because driving is actually and symbolically an almost perfect mechanism for escape…there is probably no human being who does not have troubles, real or imagined, from which he at times feels the need to flee.” George R. Stewart.


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Brooklin, Maine, United States
We own a 1975 GMC Sierra Grande 15 in Maine and a 1986 Chevrolet Custom Deluxe 10 in West Texas. Also a pair of 1997 Volvo 850 wagons. Average age in the fleet is 28 years--we're recycling. I've published 3 novels: THE LAW OF DREAMS (2006), THE O'BRIENS (2012), and CARRY ME (2016). Also 2 short story collections: NIGHT DRIVING(1987) and TRAVELLING LIGHT (2013). More of my literary life is at I was a Fellow at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study for 2012-13. I'm an adjunct professor at Colorado College and in the MFA program at Queens University of Charlotte. In 2015-16 I was a Fellow at Harvard University's Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. The Autoliterate office is in Car Talk Plaza in Harvard Square, 2 floors above Dewey Cheatem & Howe. SUBSCRIBE TO THE AUTOLITERATE DAILY EMAIL by hitting the button to the right.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

1939 Ford pickup, a White truck, A Detroit Diesel, and a Cape Dory

A shed full of sailboats can be a stunning aesthetic experience. Reminds me of the dinosaur room in the Museum of Natural History. It's all about scale. Even small boats are big, as objects go, and they seem even bigger out of the water, sitting on their keels, nimbly balanced with jackstands.

These photographs were taken this morning at Bill Grant's Boat Storage in Sedgwick, Maine, where Scout our Cape Dory 25 has been spending the winter.  Have you read my sailing piece in this month's Maine magazine? No? Well, rush out and buy a copy, because the website is still stuck on the May issue.
    Sorry, but I can't resist a Scout close-up.

              But I digress. I brought a camera over to the boatyard to photograph...trucks. The first is a White Compact tractor, a model that was in production starting in 1960. This one has a boat trailer attached but its been out of action for a while. What appeals, as always with working trucks, is the bluntness, spareness, and simplicity of form.
 I also like the multiple layers of weathered paint and primer. Hard to duplicate this paint job.

Here she was when new, in a 1961 advertisement.

Another interesting truck at Bill Grant's this week is this 1939 Ford pickup, which looks like the 3/4 ton version, and appears to be mostly original, with the original V8 still on board. Bill was doing a brake job and repacking bearings. (1939 was the first year these trucks had hydraulic brakes.) She was repainted at some point: see the original red interior.

And, finally, Bill Grant's old workhorse of a Mack, getting its battery charged and ready for launch season. Bill uses the boom to step masts on sailboats launched at Sedgwick Town Landing. Hope he'll be stepping the mast on Scout this week.

There's always something interesting going on at the boatyard. Here is what a Detroit Diesel engine looks like when she is pulled out of a lobster boat after 35 years of work. (The boat was Cheryl Allan, out of Deer Isle. A new(er) Detroit Diesel went in.) That's Bill Grant in the background, picking up the transmission with his forklift.

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