View Full Version : Old Stu...... one more time

12-23-2008, 03:38 AM
Even tho Art featured this fanciful tale in TW a few years back, I thought I'd take the liberty of running it here on the forum. There's quite likely a few of you who weren't SDC members at the time it was published. It's G-rated, so you could even share it with some kiddies or GRAND-kiddies. Hope you enjoy.:D

Old Stu - a Christmas fable

December’s long nights were at hand again. Not that it meant much to one vintage Studebaker. It had been at least 25 long years since anyone had paid much attention to the aging, dirty and funny-lookin' old car out in the barn. Twenty-five long, lonely years of just sitting there .... slowly and inevitably surrendering to the elements. Poor ol’ Stu.

While he just sat now, observing the world around him, he was not without his thoughts and longings. He could see thru one of the creaky barn's cracked windows that the house was all decked out in colored lights once more. It was Christmas time again. How he wished he could be a part of the happy, holiday flurry just one more time.
You see, in his day, as an active family member, the merriment of the season had always seemed to find its way into his heart as well. He'd always been treated to a good wash and wax just before the holiday rush. Of course he had to look good for all the places he'd be visiting and all the folks he'd be carrying around. And too, there was the kick of going to town and having all those beautiful Christmas lights play on his shimmering skin and chromed highlights. Wow!
The giggly little kids would take up the back seat, full of anticipation over what Santa was going to bring. His trunk would be jammed full of gaily wrapped packages that any car would be proud to be carriage to. What a great time of year - for those years that he had been a part of it, that is.

Now Stu could do no more than watch the lights flash and sparkle on the new fallen snow. In the back corner of the aging barn it was just plain cold, dark and drafty. While he still wore some of his original paint, he could no longer reflect the brilliant lights that heralded the season. He'd built up quite a coat of dust and bird droppings. No proud shine was evident any more.

This was not the final fate Stu would have chosen. He wanted to be on the road still. He wanted to be a part of the joyous season at hand. He wanted to cruise regally into town with his heater blowing and his radio belting out Bing Crosby and Nat King Cole an such. Yet, no such opportunity seemed at hand at this point. While the countdown of days grew closer to the day of Santa’s visit, the colored lights were strung around the farmhouse once again, but when they’d come on at dusk he tried to ignore them. Their bright shine seemed only to make uselessness more painful.
There's that prophetic line from the human existance that goes "Ashes to ashes, dust to dust." In his active years the old car had heard this phrase when he’d carried the family to a funeral in town. Now, with seeming eons to reflect upon his useful years, he'd reworded that line to suit his own dilemma. "Ashes to axles, rust to dust." Stu had been summoned up from the ashes of foundry and smelter fires. And now, tired, worn, virtually forgotten, he waited - waited as the forces of nature dutifully went about their job of converting him back to the very elements from which he was refined. First to rust, then to dust. This kind of thinking, at best, fostered a very discouraging outlook.

That Stu was a aware of his slide from grace was not all that he had to reflect upon. Indeed he often mentally recounted his whole personal epic to himself. There were many facets and emotions that ran the spectrum from ecstacy to dismay. And while his current situation was disheartening at best, there had been times of fulfillment and pride. It was positive memories that kept his proverbial chin off the floor spite of the abandonment he felt. Nary a day passed when didn't think about some good thing he'd been a part of.
He'd start

Anne F. Goodman
12-23-2008, 11:04 AM
So do we have permission to forward it to our Chapters?

Mabel 1949 Champion
1957 Silverhawk
1955 Champion 4Dr.Regal
Gus 1958 Transtar
1955 President State
1957 Golden Hawk

12-23-2008, 02:25 PM
Sure you do. Matter of fact, it had it's debut in Miles 'n Smiles some years ago!;)

1957 Transtar 1/2ton
1963 Cruiser
1960 Larkvertible V8
1958 Provincial wagon
1953 Commander coupe
1957 President two door

Dick Steinkamp
12-23-2008, 02:25 PM
That is great, Bob! :)

Dick Steinkamp
Bellingham, WA

http://i149.photobucket.com/albums/s66/ddstnkmp/Stude-a-mino%20old%20pics/oldpics6asmall.jpg http://i149.photobucket.com/albums/s66/ddstnkmp/finished044.jpg

12-23-2008, 02:26 PM
Thanks Dick!:)

1957 Transtar 1/2ton
1963 Cruiser
1960 Larkvertible V8
1958 Provincial wagon
1953 Commander coupe
1957 President two door

Desert Explorer
12-23-2008, 03:00 PM
That is one of the best christmass stories I have ever read. I will have to read this to the family on christmass eve, along with (or maybe instead of) the old standby!

12-23-2008, 04:56 PM
Great Story, Bob, it must have been in TW in the late 90s, before my time.

Tom Bredehoft
'53 Commander Coupe (since 1959)
'55 President (6H Y6) State Sedan
(Under Construction 571 hrs.)
'05 Legacy Ltd Wagon
All Indiana built cars

12-23-2008, 05:10 PM
Great story! I tend to think about old cars in just this way... this is why I end up doing rescues instead of finishing the ones I have[:I] Just can't seem to let them stay uncared for...

Thanks for taking the time to share that. I hope you were able to copy-and-paste, as opposed to re-typing that whole thing[:0]

Robert (Bob) Andrews Owner- Studebakeracres- on the IoMT (Island of Misfit Toys!)
Parish, central NY 13131

"Some people live for the rules, I live for exceptions"- 311

[b]"Do they all not, by mere virtue of having survived as relics of a bygone era, amass a level of respect perhaps not accorded to them when they were new?"

12-23-2008, 09:30 PM
Biggsie, I remember that story from TW a few years back.

You need to scan the drawings and post them as well. ;)

Matthew Burnette
Hazlehurst, GA

12-25-2008, 02:40 PM
Forgive me for bumping this post once. Given that it's Christmas and folks are likely caught up in the hubbub of the activity (thankfully, I'm not), I'd like to share this tale with as many as possible.
Thanks for the kind comments, both here and via E-mail. I'm gonna ask our webmaster to import this tale to the "Studebaker Stories" page for future generations of Stude folks to enjoy.:D

BTW, given that this story was written over a decade ago, I'd bet that ol' Stu has made his share of car shows by now. He might even have been in Omaha in '06. I never thought to look for him!

1957 Transtar 1/2ton
1963 Cruiser
1960 Larkvertible V8
1958 Provincial wagon
1953 Commander coupe
1957 President two door

12-25-2008, 02:44 PM
Merry Christmas Bob! :)

'57 Transtar Deluxe
Vancouver Island

Are you planning to attend the NW Overdrive Tour in Parksville, BC
May 23 & 24, 2009?</h5>

12-25-2008, 08:10 PM
That was a great story Bob, thank you for posting it, if I read it before I do not remember, but it is so inspirational I will need to dry off the keyboard now! :)

StudeRich at Studebakers Northwest -Ferndale,WA

12-26-2008, 12:58 PM
Thanks for bringing this back. You have a gift.

Don Wilson
53 Commander Hardtop
64 Champ 1/2 ton
Centralia, WA

12-26-2008, 04:21 PM
What a sweet story &lt;sniff&gt;! Well, Stu got his back again when the Ford guy ended up with the task of restoring him.;) Well written, Mr. Biggs![^] The piece produced a catch in the throat and a tear in the eye without ever going too far. Very well done indeed.:D

http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b18/Studeclunker/december%2006/HPIM0234.jpg http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b18/Studeclunker/56%20Parkview%20Wagon/56wagonleftfrontclipped-1.jpg
Home of the famous Mr. Ed!
K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Studebaker!
Ron Smith
Where the heck is Lewiston, CA?