OGDEN -- Craig Harmon"s goal was California or bust, and in Ogden
He was in a bad fix. His goal was to drive a fire truck across
the country to commemorate the Lincoln Highway, but he broke down in
Ogden on Dec. 12.
He had no money, knew no one in Ogden, and his fire engine was
Monday afternoon he pushed a button on the panel of that same
fire truck and the engine turned over, purring like a very large
kitten. A sign on the side of the truck says "The Engine that Love
Built," which he said is a tribute to all the help he got in his
stay in Ogden.
Harmon, who lives in Galion, Ohio, is the founder and curator of
a museum of the Lincoln Highway, the nation"s first transcontinental
highway. To publicize it, he began driving his fire truck across the
nation, following the original highway route, staying with
charitable fire departments along the way.
Driving along 12th Street, heading for the Interstate, his truck
quit. A friendly tow company took him to Dean"s Automotive where
inspection showed the truck needed a major engine rebuild.
Harmon said the whole thing was accomplished with the help of
donated time, work and parts. People even gave him cash to cover his
The Ogden Fire Department put him up, the Waukeshaw engine
company donated the engine parts, a local Checker Auto donated spark
plugs and oil, Felts Machine Shop didn"t charge to mill the head,
and Dean"s Automotive let him work on it in their shop, taking up a
lot of valuable room.
Many other companies and individuals helped too, either with work
Harmon said he hopes to be back on the road today and will try to
be in San Francisco by Jan. 19 to meet a Union Pacific train
carrying the 2002 Olympic Winter Games torch.
From there he hopes to put the engine onto a train and have it
carried back to Ohio where it will be part of his museum.
One donor, Gary Hood, West Weber, was on hand Monday afternoon to
watch Harmon fire the engine up.
People across the nation were interested in Harmon"s quest, he
said, but he was helping out with money for no better reason that it
was the right thing to do.
"I read his story and it brought back a similar thing that
happened to me when I was getting transferred in the Air Force," he
said. He got stranded in Kansas, total strangers helped him, and he
was returning the favor now.
He also said Harmon couldn"t have picked a better place to break