Inmate housing options narrow Opiate addiction strains Municipal Court Lillian E Cowdrey Catherine A Houk Warriors win Jim Neu XC Invite Week 2 football roundup Broncos unbeaten at 4-0 Lady Broncos compete in Bob Schul XC Invite Ronnie L Day Nettie F Lightner Wallace sentenced to life in prison Court filing links Anderson and Sawyers Man killed in Fatal Crash on US 52 Henry E Fields Anleah W Stamper Maxine M Garrett U.S. 68 reopens Drought ends for Lady Rockets G-Men rise to 3-1 with back-to-back victories Rockets cruise to 4-0 win over Jays Lady Broncos start off SBAAC American Division play with 3-2 win over Goshen Week one football roundup Fair board president Orville Whalen passes away Wallace guilty, faces life in prison Zoning ordinance approved for Village of Sardinia Felicity man killed in boat crash Evelyn E Smith Peggy A Wiederhold Thomas P Neary Warriors kick off SHAC play Lady Broncos stand at 2-1 Late Devil goals lead to Lady Warrior loss David R Carrington Sr Crum arraigned on murder charge Sawyers faces new charge Aberdeen’s fiscal officer resigns 12th Annual Golf Tournament by Veterans Home Aug. 26 Betty G Schatzman Robert L McAfee Paul V Tolle Herbert D Smith Helen R Little Eugene M Press Lady Broncos out to defend league title SHAC holds volleyball preview Lady Warriors packed with experience, talent for 2017 fall soccer campaign Georgetown’s Sininger off to excellent start for 2017 golf season New response team for overdoses Drugged driving becoming a bigger problem Danny F Dickson Eva J Smith Michael R Stewart Sr Charles McRoberts III Marsha B Thigpen Michael L Chinn William A Coyne Jr Woman found dead in Ripley A girl’s life on the gridiron Rockets face G-Men in preseason scrimmage 13th annual Bronco 5K Run and Fitness Walk draws a crowd William C Latham Four charged in overdose death Underage felonies strain county system Fayetteville looks forward to 2018 celebration Russellville council discusses underground tanks in village Marilyn A Wren Larry E Carter Virginia L McQuitty 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

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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