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Last Chance Cruise
Sunday, October 21st, 2012

by Alex Thomson

The storm clouds gave way to a bright, sunny morning on Sunday, October 21st for CTR’s end-of-the-season cruise. Approximately a dozen LBCs assembled at the Southbury Green shopping center and provided a mini-show for early morning shoppers. After initial greetings between the twenty two participants, driving instructions
and a copy of the latest issue of Moss Motoring were handed out to all in attendance. The group motored their way up Rt. 172, passed the impressive grounds and facilities of Southbury Training School, and headed for Roxbury via Rt. 67. A short drive on a town road brought us to the Double D Living History Farm, our first visit for the day. As our group turned into the meticulously groomed grounds of a former dairy farm, we were met by tractor collector Dudley Diebold, farm and museum owner and authority on each of the approximately 180 tractors and trucks that are
housed at the museum. After a brief family history of the farm and museum, Mr. Diebold let the group wander around each of the four enormous barns that houses the collection. With a specialty of prairie type tractors sporting 9 foot high steel wheels and engine cylinders that mimic small barrels, the collection also has a fair share of local row crop and standard tread machines, each with a history. We also viewed the museum of the Roxbury Historical Society that has its own building at the Diebold Farm. This collection includes small farm implements, home and kitchen appliances, local collectables, toys and other aspects of rural life seen before the 1930’s. After signing the guestbook and giving our thanks to Dudley, we made our way through perfect fall foliage through the towns of Washington, Washington Depot, Morris, Bantam and finally, Litchfield. The Haight-Brown Vineyard was our second stop of the day. Sitting high on Chestnut Tree Hill, the vineyard was the first winemaking operation in Connecticut, beginning in 1975. We were welcomed into the private tasting room and promptly enjoyed box

lunches in front of the fireplace. Shortly, were greeted by Tracy, our host for the day. She provided samples of 7 different wines, explaining the background of each. She went on to explain how the wines of a small vineyard can vary from year to year as a result of different growing conditions. Our experience bore this out – this year’s Covertside White had a much sweeter taste than those of previous years. After we finished up the program, we were able to take advantage of a 10% discount on all items purchased and found that a case of wine fits perfectly under the hatch of a GT6. The regular tasting room was crowded, testimony to the popularity of the Haight-Brown operation.