Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Oh, the stories this tow truck could tell February 25, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 6:00 AM
Tags: , , , ,
A Montgomery Oil Co. tow truck photographed recently along a residential street in Montgomery, Minnesota. Is this parked at the site of the former service station?

A Montgomery Oil Co. tow truck photographed recently along a residential street in Montgomery, Minnesota. Is this the former site of the service station?

DO YOU EVER WONDER, like I do, about the stories a vehicle could tell?

Why is this face painted on a door of the building where the tow truck is parked? And whose face is this?

Why is this face painted on a door of the building where the tow truck is parked? And whose face is this?

I suppose it’s the former news reporter in me or that natural curiosity I’ve always possessed that fuels my mind to frame questions.

Vintage lettering...

Vintage lettering…

How often did this truck travel, after bar closings, to tug a vehicle from a ditch near Montgomery, Minnesota?

And how many tragic scenes—shards of glass scattered across the highway, crushed metal, flashing lights—has this tow truck viewed?

Has this truck’s driver cursed when the phone rang in the wee hours of a brutal winter morning?

It appears, from the snow locking in and blanketing this truck, that it hasn’t moved in awhile from property along a residential street in Montgomery.


West Side Park sits right across the alley.

Is this tow truck the planned project of a restorer or simply abandoned, destined to rust away in this spot an alley away from a small town Minnesota city park?

© Copyright 2014 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


22 Responses to “Oh, the stories this tow truck could tell”

  1. So many things out there have a past; untold tales of their existence, experiences; successes as well and shortfalls. Everyone loves a good story and if there are accompanying photos, well that is just the icing on the cake for me. Curiosity is good. Don’t worry, the bad things associated with it only happens to cats 🙂

  2. Ted Aaberg Says:

    I wonder if the owner has a new tow truck in the garage. It looks like he has re-cut the opening to allow a large vehicle. He may be very sentimental towards the older vehicle, looks like his house was painted to match his truck, or vice a versa. He can’t bear to bring it to the junk yard. I like the shape of his house, how the roof slopes about the garage and entryway match, and the steep roof, which means he probably doesn’t have to shovel off snow. My Uncle couldn’t bear to tear down his small old barn, so he left it, and said he would to let gravity pull it down. As a kid, I liked hearing that.

    • Your uncle sounds like a man I would have liked.

      Interesting observations about the truck and building. My thought is that this building was the former service station. But I don’t know. It has that shape.

      • Ted Aaberg Says:

        You are probably right. It does have that look. I met an interesting woman outside of Conger, near highway 90, who has turned her filling station, Texaco, I believe into a small coffee shop, as well as a place where you can get your knives, chain saws sharpened, and a fishing license. Her name is Alice. When her husband died, she converted the place to something she could do and the community needed. Winnebago shot a commercial from the filling station a while back. She said every summer she gets a number of bicycle riders who are going cross country.

      • I’ve never been to Conger. Time to dig out the map and find it and then remember to stop at that filling station turned coffee shop if I’m ever in that area. Thanks for the tip.

  3. Yes, what stories can that tow truck tell! My brother sees things he never wants to see being an auto body tech and boy if some of those vehicles could talk. I often wonder what stories our tent trailer could tell with all the miles and the places it has been on the West Coast – the bear encounter, the bat encounter, camping in beautiful National Parks, etc. Happy Tuesday:)

  4. Norma Says:

    I remember camping out at Tuolomne Meadows in Yosemite with all the kids one summer. Yosemite is notoious for the bears. Imagine no moon, toilet facilities WAAAAy down the path, a child needing to use it. Handy flashlight, but getting sidetracked on the way back. Bears all over the place. Scary!!! No more night trips. So just hold it until daylight, or find an empty can, and use it.;

  5. Thread crazy Says:

    Audrey – maybe the tow truck is taking a long winter’s nap! lol…I agree, if only it could talk and what stories it would have to tell. The large and small jobs it has performed. But for now, it’s taking a much needed time out!

  6. Marilyn Says:

    Sounds like the outline of an interesting [children’s?] book?

  7. I’ve thought before how I’d like it if shoes could talk about the places they’ve been!

  8. Jackie Says:

    Looks like quite the vintage tow truck, I’m sure there are many stories it would love to tell. I think the face on the building looks a little like Michael jackson….or not?

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