A Family Road Trip to Vermont to Visit An Old Family Relic Courtesy of Hemmings Motor News

Sunday, September 8, 2019
It's important in life, not just to look ahead, but also to look back on occasion to see what's behind us.  It's good to see how far we've come in life, in our goals, our dreams, our career, our struggles.....and hopefully in looking back we might feel a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment.  If we focus too much on what's ahead of us, we can easily loose track of the things right here in the present, and might forget about the things that mattered to us in the past.
We took a little trip to revisit the past last weekend, specifically John's past. We were on a multi-stop caravan road trip to Vermont and one of our stops was at the Hemmings Motor News in Bennington.  You're probably wondering what Hemmings has to do with John's past......unless you've been around long enough to have read my 2015 post, How Old Is Old Enough To Be an Antique?   If you haven't (you can later), I'll give you the cliff notes.  My sentimental, pack-rat spouse was still in possession of his mid-1960's Western Flyer Bicycle....as of 2015 in his 60's.  If you're married to a man, or know a man, you know how sentimental they can be about their 'toys'.  Lucky for me, and thanks to John's brother, James, for suggesting it...... John was able to donate his 'antique' to the Hemmings Museum back in October of 2015.  That was the moment John and I came to the realization that we were officially 'old'.....old enough for our 'things' to belong in a museum.

 It's quite a thrill knowing such an important piece of John's history is parked in a museum, but that doesn't compare to the fun it was showing the grandkids Grandpa's bike among such extraordinary relics. When we walked into Hemmings and announced we were there to visit John's bike, the guys at the front desk assumed we meant we were visiting a bike 'like the one he used to have'.  They were surprised to learn we were actually the donors and we were visiting 'the' bike.  I'm guessing the folks who donated the other bikes that are on display don't visit theirs. Even more of a thrill was the fact that the bike was parked front and center as we entered the showroom.  I think for a moment the girls were a little incredulous over the whole thing, but seeing John's typed story about the bike attached to the fender+ really added a dose of reality.  It's one thing sharing old relics you've hidden away in the attic or hope chest, but showing the grandkids your belongings in a legit museum....well, that takes the excitement level up a notch, or two!  Now it's undeniable, Grandpa must really be old - even if he does act like a kid.

There it was in all it's glory....old streamers, saddle bag and side-view mirrors (which the guys at Hemmings so graciously re-attached), original bell...a 50th anniversary edition Western Flyer.
If you've never visited Hemmings.... or haven't gotten gas there or shopped in their amazing 'Car Lovers Oasis' of a shop, you may not realize what a terrific showroom exists out back.  Here's a glimpse of the beautiful Hemmings vehicles on display:

You can see now why it's such an honor, and privilege, to have John's childhood treasure part of such a distinctive collection of vehicles.  It's really the thrill of a lifetime!  It's almost as cool as the money he made selling his childhood comic books.  But that's another story for another time.
Life today is crazy.  We drive fast, work hard, play hard.  We're on our cell phones keeping up with everyone else's lives.  It's no wonder we hear everyone saying, "I can't believe it's September already".  We live life in the fast lane, rushing to pass anyone that is stalled or driving too slow.  I want today's post to be a reminder to slow down, and every once in a while take time to look back and savor where you came from.  Sit down and reminisce, look at old photos, rummage through your attic, revisit your past.  Take time to tell stories.  Share your history with your kids and your grandkids.  Even if you no longer possess any relics from your past, they can still live on in your memories and in the stories you pass on.  Make those relics come alive again by reliving them with the people you love.  John is blessed to have people in his life to share 'his...story' with.  Thank you Hemmings for preserving his relic in a place that's so much cooler than a dark basement or crowded garage.  You're making an old man happy and you impressed a couple little girls too!

If you haven't visited Hemmings Sunoco in Bennington...what are you waiting for?  It's located at 216 Main Street (Route 9).  A beautiful filling station, coffee shop and gift shop for any car aficionado.  The showroom is out back......just ask the clerk.  I'm pretty sure the showroom closes after Columbus Day, so don't delay.  To read my previous blog post with more of the story about John's bike and see many more cool photos of other vehicles on display there:
Thanks for stopping by Life As I See It.  Take time today to Look Back and Savor What's Behind You!

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