Heritage Museum & Gardens: Conversations PastAdd to My Luxx Living
One in a series of stories contributed by Luxx members
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By Heidi M. Avitabile
My heart was stolen on a Saturday afternoon.
I had fallen in love before at the Heritage Museums and Gardens in Sandwich.
But this one was different.
He waited alone along a curved wall under a canopy of wood rafters rather than of heaven.
His name was Milburn. He was born in September 1915. His parents were farmers. He caught me not by blushing or by good bones like the others had. He was almost electric and was from somewhere I had never been.
Walking the road that leads to the barn at Heritage, having spent the morning sitting with chorus lines of sweeping hydrangeas and their lace cap sisters. Walking with catmint and the lavender beside cotton candy petals. I wondered what there could be to see in a barn.
Nothing could rival the rushing fountain falling splash into the pond interrupting the lilies. Or the hillside of everything summer. Things not man made, things from the earth; some always green.
Inside the car barn, I was ransomed. Made to pause. They were almost too much at once. Hues of Confederate grey, Gatsby-yellow and Word War II-blue. Colors from long ago. Each of them snapshots of time loved back to life.
Their flash bulb headlights and hand crafted brass trim took me to the streets where they passed by. Sunday best on display with Forties’ fashion; Derby-brown leather, chrome dashes, grand hood ornaments telling of elegance and opulence.
They are more than the antique car collection at Heritage. They are our past, alive and well there.
Milburns parents never saw city lights. They were born from the original work horse of America, the farmers carriage. They were horse free powered by steam. He brought me back to innovation.
When it turned the corner from walk to run. Hungry industry born from a carriage. Elegance from necessity.
The Milburn Light Electric was uncommon among the electrics of his day. He was poised, fashionable and sophisticated inside. Now he stands out quietly from the others, pointing to another time that was far from him. An idea that was too soon for him, but here now.
Each one of them has a story, keeps a place in time. Collectively they testify to our heritage. Our never-give-up spirit that knitted us together us a nation. Red, white and blue persistence.
You should go meet them and hear what they have to tell you. While you are there, be sure to meet the plant life too.
Be careful, you might fall in love.
Heidi M. Avitabile works at the Joyce Companies. She can be reached at email@example.com.
Related PostsOctober 16, 2014