Sunday, June 19, 2011

Rough Riders

Today's picture was taken in 1898, and shows Teddy Roosevelt as a Rough Rider. The photograph was taken in Florida, so the group would have been getting ready to Cuba for the Spanish American War.

Roosevelt was one of the more interesting characters in our Nation's history. I always respected him as he appears larger than life, and he was not afraid to take on large corporations, his own political party, and the ruling elites. I always liked his mantra of "Walk Softly and Carry a Big Stick".

While I appreciate the magnitude of his character, I do think he was one of the first presidents to put us on the course of Big Government. In that sense he was a very early and very powerful "liberal" or "progressive" force. 


OK, I have myself a summer project. Every gentleman farmer needs some classic automobiles, so I have taken delivery of these two fine specimens.

The car on the left is a 1926 Model T touring car, and on the right is a 1924 roadster. Neither has been started in the last 30 years, but when they were put away, the fluids were drained, and they were stored indoors on blocks. So, the question is, will they start up now. The cars use six volt batteries, which I had to order. So, I need to put oil, water, and gas in them, and then get the batteries in, and we will see if they are still in running condition.


  1. Nice cars! They look like you will have fun working on them. Warning... remember what happened to your tractor!
    Teddy must have been a hoot to be around but I think you're right about the big gov't stuff. He was the "Trust Buster" and certainly stuck his hand in the development of commercial railroads in New York City. Yet he was a big time hunter and gun owner. I also prefer his tugboat diplomacy over our current hand-wringing apologies for existing. TR was also opposed to hyphenated Americans, believing our first identity and allegiance should be the United States.
    Last I saw (I live near Sagamore Hill) the Gun Room had noticeably fewer guns. I haven't had the hear to go back for fear seeing an even more PC rework of his home.


  2. Ah yes, Teddy Roosevelt. One of my favorite Presidents.
    He had a ranch here in North Dakota during his younger years. We have a 2000 square miles "Theodore Roosevelt National Park" here in North Dakota also. He was a fantastic man who pushed hard for National Parks and saving endangered species. There are Elk and Bison in the Park.

    If you are having a Teddy week then I have this to say "Bully for you"

    Good luck on your "Summer project"

    Happy Father's Day!

  3. Good one, Roger. I wanted to say the same thing you did, having been raised in Fargo. We live in an area where something like 82% of the land is public & I often thank Teddy for setting aside the national forests.

  4. We were just in San Antonio and stayed at the Menger Hotel where Teddy recruited for the Rough Riders. The bartender showed us three bullet holes on either side of a fancy mirror in the bar. The story goes that Teddy was probably trying to impress the boys with his shooting skills, and bet that he could shoot on either side of the mirror w/o breaking it.

    As far as your new cars, I bet they start right up!

  5. I havent posted for a while but have enjoyed your photos everyday. your autos look to be in very good condition and are very beautiful. just take your time with them and dont cut corners on anything because these beauties are disappearing at an alarming rate since everyone these days think they are scrap dealers.good luck on your summer project and keep us posted with photos. Todd from NC

  6. Mathan's MateJune 19, 2011 at 10:34 AM

    Be sure you get in touch with the antique car clubs in your area--they have a wealth of information and resources you will most probably need. Up in here in Tucson, you see a lot of classic cars--the dry weather seems to agree with them!

    As far as Teddy Roosevelt is concerned, my grandfather and his brother rode hell for leather to San Antonio to join up with his Rough Riders. They were too late, so joined another regiment that fought alongside Teddy and his crew in Cuba.

  7. I wondered when you were gonna start filling up that new building that ol' Jack built for you. The bad thing about old cars, you can't just have one or two, there are always more projects sitting out there in old barns.

  8. yes, that era was probably the beginning of "public assistance" but the WPA and the CCC were based on working/labor in exchange for the assistance. I work in DHS (food assistance/medicaid) and would totally approve of a program based on "food assistance in exchange for work". Cannot begin to tell you how many 20/30 something American citizen men are unemployed and receiving food assistance. And PS, love your new projects and the era of those automoblies.

  9. Awesome cars, have a blast!

    May they bring you immense enjoyment :)

  10. "big govt" began well before that. In fact before Abe Lincoln. Take away "big govt" today and what of the flooding, the jihadists, social security, unemployment, national defense etc etc
    What Teddy did do: broke the trusts and took on cartels in defense of the public.
    "big govt" helped my dad during the Depression. Big govt helped me twice with the G.I. Bill so I got educated and a great job.

  11. The phrase is "SPEAK softly and carry a big stick". As a huge Theodore Roosevelt fan and a member of the Theodore Roosevelt Society I feel obliged to say that. I hope this means that it's Theodore Roosevelt week?

  12. It'll be fun working on the two cars. Just be careful "cranking" them - my dad used to tell stories of folks injuring their arms starting them.

  13. Neat!! Good for you! That is one of my dreams to someday be a part of a husband & wife team to restore old cars!

  14. I am a new follower of this blog and I must say that I adore it absolutely! Theodore Roosevelt is my favourite president for many reasons, but most especially because he was fearless. I respect him not so much for his hunting and battlefield exploits but because he was fearless politically as well. In the age we live in politicians speak from both sides of their mouths and are afraid to stand up to the political/big business machine for fear of jeopardizing their own interests; though they pledge to defend the best interests of the people. Teddy my not have always been right, but he never failed to fight for what he thought was.

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