Vintage autos, bicycles offer true blast from the past

SMYRNA, Maine — More than 75 vintage autos, bicycles, motorcycles and even homemade unnamed vehicles filled the streets of Smyrna during the 2nd annual “Blast From the Past” event Saturday, Aug. 18.

A well-attended crowd of 150-plus participants consumed 185 (up from 125 first year) fair sausage, hotdogs, corn on the cob and baked potatoes.

“The Old Fly Wheel Guys” from Woodstock, New Brunswick were enthusiastically received on their inaugural attendance. Don Peabody, Jim Galloway and Alan VanDine displayed their “hit and miss” as well as throttle governed engines.

Jimmy and Mary Pocock of Sherman show off their antique Murphy bike at the 2nd annual Blast from the Past event held in Smyrna Aug. 18. (Courtesy of Ken Bustard)

One engine was a 1919 Model M International Harvester, most likely used at one time as a stationary motor on a thrashing machine or similar farm implement. Their club has 30 active members, with one member credited with 50-plus engines.

They have been active for approximately 15 years, and attend about a dozen events annually. Similar clubs, according to Peabody, are active in Pennsylvania and Indiana, but he was not aware of any in Maine. They had plans to be in Richmond Corner at a community event Aug. 25.

Jimmy and Mary Pocock of Sherman added to the excitement with 25 antique bicycles from their collection of over 200 bikes. According to Mary, they began collecting only about four years ago.

“I needed a bike, as I didn’t have a driver’s license, and a lady gave me one,” she explained. “The collecting started there.”

Now, the couple regularly find bicycles left in their yard, as neighbors have become aware that many are fixed up and given to local kids needing a bike. The oldest one on display Saturday was a 1935 Shelby Flyer. While Mary keeps busy cleaning houses and Jimmy working as a logger, they still find time to enjoy bicycling, collecting, fixing and riding.

Participants completing a registration form represented a wide geographical area. From the north, Littleton and Houlton, came Buck Carmichael’s 1978 Chevrolet Camaro and Stan Murphy’s 1963 Ford Galaxy, Terry Larson’s 1971 Ford LTC and a 1971 Corvette, Paul and Mary Botting’s 1946 Dodge, along with Leroy and Jackie Cole’s 1990 Super Sport.

Local residents from Smyrna, Merrill, Dyer Brook and Hodgdon included Ross Crandall’s 1969 Chevelle, Josh Crandall’s 1968 Chevy Pickup, Dennis Burpee’s 2002 Pontiac and Ralph Bartman IV 1976 Chevy Truck, Sheila Murchie’s 1965 GTO and Mike and Shelley Murchie’s 1973 Chevy Z28 Coming from Masardis and Ashland were Lee Parker’s 1927 Model T, Richard Jimmo’s 1931 Oldsmobile and Roland Jimmo’s 1957 Ford.

Canada was well represented by Perth Andover with Willie Sawyer’s 1931 Ford and Brian Price’s 1934 Ford. From Somerville, New Brunswick was Walter Rotthus’s 1973 Cutlass Supreme and from Gordonsville, New Brunswick was Peter Grant’s 1994 Pontiac Trans Am. The farthest south was Vicky French’s 1948 Hudson from Orrington.

The SMHS was fortunate to have many dedicated volunteers. Dan Brown, now dubbed “DJ Danny,” entertained throughout the afternoon with his play list of 1960s and 70s music. Jill Bustard oversaw the food service, with help from Keith and Brenda Hersey, Tony Bowers, Pearl Bustard, Alberta McDonald, Jann Votaw, Judy Fisher, Cindy Bartman and Eric Cone.

Don Peabody, left, and Jim Galloway, both of Woodstock, New Brunswick, are better known as “The Old Fly Wheel Guys.”Along with Alan VanDine, the group displayed their “hit and miss” as well as throttle governed engines at the 2nd annual Blast From the Past event in Smyrna Aug. 18. (Courtesy of Ken Bustard)

A larger than life size “Plinko,” constructed by Ralph and Cindy Bartman, drew numerous people. For 50 cents, people were able to choose from an assortment of prizes. Diana Hardy oversaw this event, until later in the afternoon when Rogan Bustard, while only six years old, expertly ran the event for the last few hours. The day culminated with an old fashioned country auction, consisting primarily of transportation related items and complimented with a few homemade pies, sweets and vegetables. Approximately $1,400 was raised to benefit the group.

The last order of business was drawing the winner of a 1981 Porsche. Tickets had been sold for a few months prior to the event and many sold on Saturday as well. The winning ticket went to Peter Grant from New Brunswick, who, it turns out, was “pressured” into buying a ticket. His enthusiasm at actually winning was apparent.

This event, according to Ralph Bartman, proved successful, exceeding attendance and organization from the first year.

“Next year will be even better as we work to expand the auction, hopefully taking some transportation items in on consignment,” explained Bartman. Plans are in the works for next year, and donations already received for next year’s auction. For more information, contact Ralph Bartman at 757-8411.

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