Practices get underway for fall sports Jays soon to begin quest for SHAC title Western Brown to hold Meet the Teams Night and OHSAA parent meeting Aug. 8 Norville F Hardyman Carol J Tracy James Witt Hundreds of Narcan doses used in 2016 Heavy weekend rain causes flooding and damaged roads Child Focus hosts Chamber of Commerce meeting Mary F McElroy Broncos out to defend SBAAC American Division soccer title Bronco 5K to take place Aug. 5 EHS volleyball team ready for new season Michael C Cooper Raymond Mays Harry E Smittle Jr Mary A Flaugher Western Brown’s Leto excels in Australia Rockets ready for 1st season in SBAAC Paddling, hiking activities available at Ohio State Parks SB Warriors get set to hit gridiron for 2nd year of varsity football Scotty W Johnson Glenna V Moertle Ricky L Hoffer Ruth E Ward David A Watson Janet L Dotson Vilvie S King Steven C Utter Cropper joins Fallis at Bethel-Tate Local kids find success in world of martial arts 13th annual Bronco 5K Run and Fitness Walk set for Aug. 5 Teams compete in memory of Randy Fulton Mike W Smith Roger Helton David A Borders Timothy E Argenbright Joseph W Sherrill Frances K Pedigo Cecil N Graham Sawyers charged in sex for heroin plot Group demands changes at ELSD Blanche Malblanc Pauline L Kirk Over 70 take part in 11th Joe Myers 5K Classic Lions Club 4th of July Festival brings outdoor fun to Ripley ODNR reminds visitors to swim safe this summer Changes in high school track and field/cross country rules include school issued and approved uniforms Betty L Philpott Judy B Williams Billie J Russell Remembering Ravye 25 attend volleyball camp in Fayetteville Western Brown hosts Pee Wee Football Camp Eugene L Baumann Kids enjoy a ‘Touch-a-Truck’ event in Mt. Orab New police chief takes over in Fayetteville BC Chamber moving forward on 2017 SummerFest Two killed in wrong way crash in Mt. Orab Jack Hamilton Charles L Glover Maxine M Stires Western Brown youth basketball camps a success Leto to represent Team USA in Australia Broncos hard at work in preparation for fall season Eastern approves bowling team Phyllis Ruth Lois A Manley Eddie L Carr Thomas L Carnahan Cameron Barkley Walter J McGee Gary J Graham George D Johnson Walter F Crawford Jr Charles E Meranda Jr Corbin testifies before Ohio Senate Five arrested in Hamersville drug bust Neil Diamond tribute band coming Hyde finds home at Midway Youngsters work to improve on hoop skills at Eastern basketball camps Sizer named All-District Honorable Mention Western Brown’s Barnes earns All-State, All-District honors Local players compete in SWOFCA Ron Woyan East/West All-Star Game 6th annual Ravye Williams Memorial 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament set for June 24 Clarence E Teal Rosie B Poe Monard C Boots James P Conrad James T Dinser Scott J Swearingen Eastern’s Farris earns award for top 2-point field percentage in Ohio Georgetown’s Seigla earns All-District honors OHSAA announces 2017 football regions and playoffs format Western Brown volleyball camps a success with over 100 in attendance Rigdon finishes high school running career with 10th place finish at state track and field championship meet Grace E Fite Women return to county jail as funds start to run low Georgetown Council takes action on vacant structures Veterans honored in Mt. Orab

The pickup truck, a farmer’s best friend

I have stated many times that I was raised on a farm near Moscow in the 50’s and 60’s, a period of time when change was so often and so much that it became the norm. To me a big change was the addition of the pickup truck as a standard part of every farmer’s equipment. I barely recall a 1949 Ford that Dad had in the 50’s but the one that always comes back to me in my thoughts and discussions with family and friends was a red and white 1961 three-quarter ton pickup.

Dad bought it from a business located in New Richmond that sold bottled propane and had bought the truck special ordered to handle the heavy loads of hauling bottled gas. It had the largest six cylinder engine and the lowest gearing a truck could have. It also had a 4= speed on the floor but the gearing was so low that anything past 55 top end was only when going downhill. This truck was built to haul large, heavy loads. The frame was built with overload springs on all four wheels and could hold a lot more than its listed weight. Shortly after the purchase the business decided to get out of the propane business and my Dad saw the need for a truck and he got it at a clearance price. A win, win for Dad.

This truck became the mainstay of our daily farming routine. Wherever we were working the truck was there to be used in whatever capacity we needed. When running equipment in the fields the truck hauled cans of oil, grease, gasoline, tool boxes and a tire jack (as there always seemed to be a flat.) In tobacco it hauled anywhere from plants for setting to tobacco sticks for housing. Weekly it hauled a load of ear corn to the Farm Bureau and bring home a load of feed for the livestock. There are so many more uses but I think you get my point. As important as the pickup came to our farm, they became a must for almost every farmer having the same or similar needs for them. The pickup became a standard in rural life and to the farmers of today they still are.

Until probably the 1980’s the pickup truck offered few if no extras. The red and white truck’s only extras were for work and that’s where the luxury stopped. A four speed manual transmission, no radio, no padded dash or seats, and it seemed like the thermostat was always stuck so one less luxury was heat. It was a bare bones pack mule. In those days when referring to a truck as a monster truck. it meant it could haul lots and lug through to wherever it was needed. Today of course the term has changed in meaning completely.

Today most trucks are owned for show and even serve as the family vehicle. Put some dirt in the bed of today’s trucks and the owners might pass out. Statistics show that only 17 per cent of today’s pickup trucks are used for farming or work purposes. As much as this is a surprising statistic I find myself also wondering why didn’t this trend toward creating a vehicle that shouts power and flash just by its existence continue? It is much more when dressed up more. I don’t think there is or has ever been a vehicle made that has served so many purposes and crossed the barriers from farm hand to a show vehicle and has stood the test of time than the good old pickup truck

When my Dad left the farm and moved to town the truck became mine. It stayed in use until approximately 1980 by which time it had served its purpose and did so beyond any expectations we had. There was a man I worked with in Batavia who had built a home near Big Indian Creek and had plans to build a stone fireplace and chimney. The stone he planned to use was going to come out of the creek bed and he was looking for an old truck he could use to haul all that rock up out of the creek. He said he needed a truck with the muscle to do it. I sold him the truck cheap and told Glen that I was sure Old Red would haul his stone out. I saw him a few years later and in conversation he said that he had built his fireplace and chimney. I asked if the truck worked out and he told me it worked way better than he had ever expected. He said upon completion he retired it. I was glad to know there was still one more chore left in it.

As much as I look at the awesome new trucks with their design and features, I still think back to the truck made to serve. From 1980 until 2000 I didn’t own a pickup truck and if I needed to move or haul anything, I had to borrow one and I never really liked doing that. So in 2000 I found a truck. It was and still is a truck that suits me. I own a 1992 Chevy Cheyenne half ton. It is red and has a radio and heater and comes with 139,000 miles on it. For my needs it has fit very well. I might use it once a month but if I need it I have it and feel secure knowing there is a pickup in my drive. Be it a workhorse or a show horse, we all need to do the one same thing. Respect it!

Rick Houser grew up on a farm near Moscow in Clermont County and likes to share stories about his youth and other topics. He may be reached at houser734@yahoo.com.

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Rick Houser

The Good Old Days

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