Blast from the past

Homemade snowmobile from the late forties or early fifties in my home town (Click for larger image)

On my post about grooming equipment, I forgot to include the most important photo of all. Above is a man from my home town of Midale, SK, who created this snowmobile in the late 1940’s or early 1950’s for the school principal who was physically handicapped. 

Charlie Scharnatta was an expert welder and I remember going to his place as a small kid with my dad to get repairs done on our farm machinery. He always had a roll-your-own dangling from his mouth. I don’t think he smoked more than one a day, but it was always there. He could open his mouth and talk to you without the cigarette falling out.

Charlie had a quarter-section next to our farm and I remember waving to him from the tractor as we tilled the soil on those hot summer days. My home town holds the record for the hottest temperature ever recorded in Canada. 

Did you ever ride to school on a Bombardier snow coach?

He has passed away but I remember him as a very kind, gentle man. 

When the roads were impassable due to a winter storm, we would get picked up in one of these Bombardier snow coaches. Back then we called them “bomb-a-deers.” I only remember riding in them a couple times because their use was discontinued after it was learned the exhaust gases were leaking into the interior of the vehicle. I can still remember how bad they smelled but it was quite a novelty to ride in one. After their demise, we got to stay home from school when the roads were bad. 

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  1. On the Ice Pilots show there was an episode with Joe trying out a ’60’s “Snowplane”

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