A Truckload of Memories: The 1935 Maple Leaf

To some, that 1935 Maple Leaf was a decrepit old relic. To Ken Skjonsby, it was an old friend.

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1935 Maple LeafPhoto: Raymonde Bourgeois

Ken's 1935 Maple Leaf

Aksel Skjonsby, my friend Ken’s father, once bought a 1935 Maple Leaf two-ton dump truck from a man named Oliver Blaue in Kirkland Lake, Ontario. The truck was bought brand new during the Great Depression, when there wasn’t a lot of money around for the family. (Find out what it was like living through the Great Depression.) Aksel had a hard time raising his three sons, but still bought the truck after Mr Blaue told him he could just “pay what you can” for it, since no one else had any money back then anyway. According to Ken, his dad spent a few winters cutting and selling firewood to people around Kirkland Lake to make small payments on this truck.

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1935 Maple Leaf - 70 years apartPhoto: Courtesy Raymonde Bourgeois

These Incredible Photos Were Taken 70 Years Apart

Aksel passed away when Ken was only 20 years old and he ended up owning the old thing. Ken, with his mother Rachel, lived on a farm in Burks Township, a half hour drive from Kirkland Lake, and he stored the truck there, in the barn. Ken eventually married and had children of his own. He loved his truck so much that it was all he ever talked about with people.

“I would have a laugh when he would take someone that was visiting us up to the barn to see the truck. I am sure they were expecting more than what was there, but the truck was so precious to Ken,” said his wife, Mary.

Ken would brag and be so proud of the old, rusty truck that his dad once owned—there is no doubt that it brought him lots of joy and good memories.

He always planned on restoring the old truck when he retired, but sustained a serious head injury when he was 59 years old. The old truck still sits up in his barn today, like an old friend. Ken and Mary’s eldest son, Tim, cranks the motor twice each year and takes care of it for his dad.

Next, read the heartwarming story of this 1930 Cadillac V8 Club Sedan.

Originally Published in Our Canada