Couple creates ride from scratch

The beauty! The walking sitck is one that Bob is working on.

The beauty! The walking sitck is one that Bob is working on.

I was sitting in our vendor booth at the Florida Flywheelers show in January when I saw what looked like a downsized Model T Ford coming down the aisle. I snapped a picture and asked the couple about their vehicle.

It turns out that this unique “automobile” was the creation of Bob and Carole Ramoski of Lakeland, Florida. Bob told me that he in fact made the vehicle from scratch. Carole is responsible for the finish on the wood, including maintaaining the beautiful finish by means of constant touch ups with sanding and re-varnishing the surfaces.

Notice the "trunk"

Notice the “trunk”

Bob made cardboard templates for each of the wood body parts. Cypress wood was used for everything except the bumpers. Bob explained that cypress is a very soft wood not suitable for bumpers of a vehicle. As you look at this beauty you keep seeing the marvelous details that they added to this machine. The headlights are original 1914 headlamps that Bob wired for electric lights, as the original were oil lamps. There is a Mercury hood ornament, and old buggy steps for the entering and exiting of the vehicle. Tailights were origianlly wood, but one of Bob’s neighbors cast them in iron for him, along with the hinges for the top.

1914 head lights

1914 head lights

Model T Ford foot pedals are used on the finished cypress floorboard protected with a carpet. Bob made an attractive trunk behind the seat for storage. Motorcycle wheels are on the ground, complete with wooden hubcaps. Plant hangers make perfect armrests. A brass door knob finishes out the steering tiller. The powerplant for the vehicle is a Honda engine that drives the golf cart transmission.

Bob and Carole, originally from Pennsylvania, now call Lakeland, Florida home. They have been coming to the Florida Flyhweelers shows for several years. They always drive their beauty of a vehicle in the parade each show. Carole shared that these times at the Flywheelers are a great time for them to relax and just enjoy these fun events.

The power plant "under the hood"

The power plant “under the hood”

Bob and Carole Ramoski

Bob and Carole Ramoski

I enjoyed my conversation with Bob and Carole. We discussed Sher and my adventures on the road and they were gracious and generous with their time telling me the history of their neat home-made creation. Part of the enjoyment of travel is meeting interesting folks like the Ramoski’s.

 

Florida Flywheelers get ready to get around the 200+ acre show

"Sheet metal, rivets and a paint job" turned this golf cart into a "Jeep"

“Sheet metal, rivets and a paint job” turned this golf cart into a “Jeep”

The Florida Flywheelers January show starts tomorrow morning. More exhibitors and vendors have been pulling in all day today. Everyone is getting their wares set out and priced. (So have we!) The show is known for the many different types of vehicles that are used to get around this huge place. While golf carts are the “normal” and most common means of transportation, you will see about anything you can think of and lots of things you would never think of as being a way to get around.

Golf carts will be transformed into many different types of vehicles. See the picture of the “Jeep” as an example. When asked how the Jeep came about, Bob Buck answered “sheet metal, rivets and a paint job”. A simple explanation for a lot of clever workmanship! The lady holding the cute doggie is Sharon Buck, an artist who makes quilts. She shared her website with me.

Later I heard a powerful engine a few rows away. I thought it was a muscle car. Imagine my surprise when a blue garden sized tractor came around the bend in the gravel road. It turns out this was a tractor with a V8. Yes, a V8 engine with dual exhausts. Quite the engineering feat here.

Sher and I are looking forward to the start of the show tomorrow. I for one am hoping that the fellow with the bathtub he drives around will be here this year. I have heard about him.

Yes, that is a V8 in that tractor.

Yes, that is a V8 in that tractor.

The Florida Flywheelers January show

Vintage John Deere tractors

Vintage John Deere tractors

Today the site of next week’s antique tractor show was picking up in activity. Named Florida Flywheelers, this show is really large: there are 240 acres with 1700 exhibitor and vendor spaces. The show grounds are located outside of Ft.Meade, Florida. This is the first time we have been to this event. Some fellow vendors told us about this show last fall, and we decided to give it a try.

There are already several exhibitors here with their completely restored antique tractors. I saw a couple of fellows out touching up the shine on the perfect paint jobs on these fine old machines.

We have already figured out that you will see just about any set up here at the Flywheelers show. There are trucks, campers, RV’s, tents and cargo trailers of every size, age and description. I even saw a truck camper mounted on a one ton flatbed! There are vendors already set up selling as wide a variety of goods as there are vehicle and tent set ups. Everything from tractor manuals to typical flea market goods to new merchandise is offered, with hundreds more vendors due for the start of the show Wednesday.

Tractor seats, all antique, all different!

Tractor seats, all antique, all different!

Florida backroads

Good ol' fashioned gravel roads

Good ‘ol fashioned gravel roads

Sher and I are setting up at a huge antique tractor and steam engine show next week. We were able to get our vendor space this week, giving us plenty of time to get ready and even get to a couple of aucitons before the show starts. We headed to a nearby town yesterday to get some supplies, and our GPS thingy (a Garmin) led us down about ten miles of gravel road. Talk about being out in the middle of the country!

Between the thousands and thousands of orange trees in grove after grove that were flanked by large pastures full of cattle, we really saw true Florida agriculture in person.

 

 

Orange trees everywhere!

Orange trees everywhere!

 

 

 

Sisters run Buddy’s Auction House

Buddy's Storefront

Buddy’s Storefront

While in Clearwater, Florida, Sher and I found a listing for an auction the evening we were planning on being there. So off to Buddy’s Auction House we went.

We found a great little facility that was packed with items up for auction that evening. This establishment has an auction every Tuesday night. Two sisters run the business which is named after a rescue dog that goes to yard and estate sales with the owners.

Beth shared with me that she and her sister Ruth aquired the business in March of 2014 and their first auction was held on April 15th. Normally a full 70% of the items up for sale each week are owned by the sisters.They are constantly on the move buying at estate sales, yard sales and anywhere they can find good merchandise.

Sold!

Sold!

When we first got to the business Beth was busy talking with folks who were previewing the items for that evening’s sale. She also told us some of the stories of folks she has interacted with in the business. Lots of people will put things in sales on a consignment basis. While I was talking to Beth a fellow came in wanting to put things in on consignment.

Beth shared that she and her sister used to have ‘normal’ jobs but loved antiques and the hunt for good antiques. When the opportunity came along to get their own business they boh jumped at the chance. Now these  lively vibrant ladies are living their dream and enjoying what they do.

The auction stared at seven. We had spent the rest of the afternoon in the coach. About a half hour before seven we went in, got our bidder’s number and took one final look at the items up for sale. Ruth introduced me to their auctioneer, Vince Gepp, and the rest of the staff. We had a great time during the sale. Some items did prompt some lively bidding.

Ruth, Vince, Beth and the rest of the Buddy's staff

Ruth, Vince, Beth and the rest of the Buddy’s staff

And yes, I did end up with a few things that I thought I couldn’t live without. That is what happens we you keep bidding on an item until everyone else stops. Go visit the Buddy’s Auction House website to learn more, and see what is up for sale next Tuesday night. You will find a friendly, helpful staff, have a fun time and chances are good you’ll also go away with a treasure or two. Sher and I highly recommend Buddy’s. Tell Ruth and Beth we sent you!

Clearwater: A beautiful place

The boardwalk to the Sand Key Beach

The boardwalk to the Sand Key Beach

We are in Clearwater,Florida today. We got here around 11 this morning. The strip down by the beach was packed with cars and pedestrians enjoying the nice weather. It is cloudy, but the temperature is very mild, and it is so much warmer than the midwest now we are really loving it!

We found a very nice public park with lots of beach frontage. Sand Key Park has lots of parking, although there were very few people there when we were. I guess Tuesdays are not the busiest times for beach visits.

Pretty widflower on the beach

Pretty widflower on the beach

 

 

 

 

 

In Florida now and love the warmth

Florida Welcome Center (I-75)

Florida Welcome Center (I-75)

We got to Florida yesterday, missed the free OJ at the welcome center by a bit less than an hour. Too bad they closed at five instead of six. Oh well, we made it .at least. Sher and I are sure enjoying the warm weather. We even commented last night that we were hot. I opened windows on the coach and enjoyed a nice Florida breeze all night.

Today we went to Webster planning on going to an auction. Once we got to the area we were happy to see flea markets that were open .Normally flea markets are closed on Mondays in the mid west, so Monday opens were a surprise to us. Two of the three markets we found were huge and did have literally anything and everything for sale. We are tentatively planning on returning next Monday to set up at one of them.

It is off to the gulf tomorrow. We can’t wait to see the water and get a little beach time in!

One of the smaller Flea Markets at Webster, FL

One of the smaller Flea Markets at Webster, FL

Heading South

Calhoun, GA grocery stop

Calhoun, GA grocery stop

Sher and I decided to head south on the day after New Year’s Day. We have a couple of shows that we are considering down in central Florida in a week or so. We loaded up some of our goods to sell and off we went.

The first day of our trip took us from central Indiana to Williamsburg, Kentucky. There off I-75 we stopped at a Pilot Flying J truck stop for fuel and the night. This Pilot had designated RV parking, well lit and not next to the big rigs. This morning we headed out about 8 or so.We really didn’t watch the clock at all today. We stopped at some antique stores and at one huge flea market.

A quick stop at a grocery in Calhoun, Georgia and we got set for a few days on the road.

 

EXIT 76 Antiques

Dealer parking only: about five spaces for hundreds of dealers!

Dealer parking only: about five spaces for hundreds of dealers!

EXIT 76 Antiques is located off, ah, you guessed it, EXIT 76 on I-65 about 30 miles south of Indianapolis. We have recently rented a booth at this popular antique mall. The place is huge, with over 70,000 SF of climate controlled space. There are literally hundreds of dealers and booths. The nice thing about this establishment is both the number and quality of the people who work there. There are always staff walking around, opening locked cases for customers as well as being an added security measure above and beyond the CCTV.

The staff is now used to our showing up with our RV and parking for a while not only while we unload things to stock our booth, but to also stick around awhile. If we are going to be there long, I don’t park in one of the limited number of spaces for dealers.

The Entrance to the antique mall

The Entrance to the antique mall

2015 is here

Our new FourWinds 22e

Our new FourWinds 22e

2015 is now officially here. I know because I saw the ball drop. As Sher and I look forward to the new year we are excited about our new RV, a Four Winds 22e motorhome. We have had it a couple of weeks and are still getting things organized the way we want them. Changing from a truck pulling a travel trailer to a self-contained Class C has been a change as you can imagine. The coach will fit into our travel life a lot better than the trailer.

We are planning on heading south from Indiana, maybe towards Florida or maybe towards New Orleans. That is the fun of the RV lifestyle: you can go where ever you want.