A Tale of Two Pictures

A good while back, I discovered in an old family album two fantastic photographs of my great-grandfather with another man and a beautiful new (at the time the photo was taken, that is) automobile.

My great-grandfather, Roy Montgomery, lost his legs in an ill-fated attempt to rescue vital paperwork from his blazing place of business (which I believe was a bank).  He constructed that little scooter contraption that you can see on the ground in the first photograph here as a means of transportation.  In 1940, the census takers recorded Roy as fifty-five years old and still living in Bryan with wife and son, working as a registrar for Brazos County.

As I have come to find out, the car appears to be a 1929 Studebaker, and the man is none other than famed race car driver Ab Jenkins.  David Abbott Jenkins got his start in driving Studebakers, and in 1935, set the twenty four hour average land speed record in his custom built Duesenberg “Mormon Meteor”, and then again in 1940.  From 1940 to 1944, Jenkins served as the mayor of his home town of Salt Lake City, Utah.  At the time of his death in 1956, he had established more automotive records than any other person.

These shots were most likely taken at a Studebaker dealer in Bryan, Texas, where my family resided at the time.  From the story I’ve heard, Ab Jenkins was working for Studebaker in some capacity at the time.  The full story behind these great photos, why they were taken, and just what event brought these two together, is probably now lost to time, but the photographs left behind ensure that the snapshot in history is preserved for all eternity.

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