altThe Crawfords bought a new truck a while back. There are a lot of bells and whistles with this truck, and it’s pretty fancy. I don’t think there will be any wood hauled, or anything else, any time soon with this one.

Since we brought the truck home, I think my husband has washed and vacuumed it at least once a week. I don’t think the old truck has seen a car wash in a few of years and the last time that happened is when I tried to wash it; it was a lost cause.

It’s amazing how some people become attached to vehicles. My dad is one of those people.

Several years ago, my brothers finally convinced Dad it was time to replace “Old Brown.” The tales that old truck could tell. From coming through mud holes that could swallow a boat to using it to block a cow from getting one of us while working on a calf, Old Brown was there.

Perhaps my favorite story with that old truck is when Dad and I were going to gather cows early one winter morning. We were going to move them to another farm, so Dad figured he and I would catch them and my younger brother, David, would come later with a trailer.

We didn’t get far from Dad’s house and I smelt something burning.

“Dad, do you smell that?” I asked. “It smells like something electrical is burning.”

“It’s just something that fell in the defroster burning,” he replied. “It’ll be OK.”

He no more got those words out of his mouth when smoke began to pour from the vents. Luckily, we were by one of his hay fields, so through the ditch we went, out into the field.

“Get away from it!” he said as we came to a stop.

I was out the door and gone. When I stopped and turned around, he was still in the cab. “Where are you going?” he yelled. “Get back in the truck!”

Back in the truck I went, trying to explain to him that there was a fire, a FIRE, of some sorts in the motor and that I didn’t think it was a good idea to be driving it, but off we went as more smoke bellowed from the vents and from under the hood. We went back to his house and he told me to find something to put out the fire.

As I ran into the house to find flour, baking soda, whatever, David came into the kitchen and asked what was wrong.

“Old Brown is on fire!” I yelled as we both ran out the door.

Dad and David looked the now smokeless truck over, finding not a single burnt wire.

“Just something in the defroster,” Dad said. “Get in, let’s go.”

I again attempted to protest the continued driving of the truck; I think I used the words “death trap.” I had my hand on the door ready to bail at anytime, but Old Brown survived another day. Old Brown’s replacement, which is about 15 years old now, is still on the road, taking Dad where he needs to go, blocking momma cows, hauling hay, feed and whatever, but there will never be another Old Brown.

I guess old farm trucks are like family, good friends and neighbors. They might have a few dents, a little rust, have a bad exhaust problem from time to time, but when you’ve got a good one, they’re kind of hard to let go.



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