Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Travel Tuesday - The Mayor's Pick-Up Truck

In 1908 William Russell Roesch, my great grandfather, built a new farmhouse five miles west of his Highland Avenue home in Eau Gallie, Florida.  He named the street leading to his home Aurora Road. The name came from Aurora, Illinois, "The City of Lights". it was one of the first cities in the United States to implement an all-electric street lighting system in 1881 and it made quite the impression on the Judge when he saw it for the first time.  (William was called Judge because he was the Mayor of Eau Gallie.)

His new home was a modest three bedroom home painted white with a porch across the front.  It had a white picket fence with a gate that opened and shut with a latch.  Once inside the gate, a dirt driveway led directly to a one car garage. William was one of a very few people at this time to own a vehicle, a wooden platform truck with wood paneling that he always parked inside the garage.

The roads were dusty dry sand and hub deep.  High clearance vehicles were needed on account of the grass ridge in the middle.  The roads were impassable for most vehicles.  Oil pans and axles were destroyed on the Model T.

Behind the house and behind the garage lay the land for farming.  He had chickens and two cows.  He grew squash, cucumbers, green beans, tomatoes, peanuts and watermelon.  There were also citrus trees of oranges, tangerines and grapefruit.

Every year he would set up a long table on the right side yard and load it up with freshly picked watermelon for family, friends and neighbor to enjoy a big juicy feast.

He would use his truck to take his produce to market, and every week he delivered a variety of produce to his daughter's home.

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