Elk: 37 Ford Pick-up

by kfrego

Keville and Gladys moved to a different farm several miles from the original one. It was on a dirt road and higher in elevation, but the land was all pretty flat. There were a couple acres of fenced pasture, another five acres in hay, and the rest was wood lot of mostly lodge pole pine. Logging trucks loaded with pulp wood and logs from the nearby forests made several daily trips down the dirt road.

Keville decided to fence the hay fields to provide more pasture for his stock. He bought a used 1937 Ford pick-up to do odd jobs around the farm. They had replaced the old 1948 Buick with a 1955 Pontiac sedan. Their only other vehicle was a Dodge five ton truck with a flatbed which Keville used to haul his Cletrac bulldozer or loads of pulp wood to the mill.  We would go to the back of the property, cut and trim fence posts, and haul them to the barnyard with the old pick-up. Keville would hand hew the bark off the posts. My size and strength didn’t allow me to get very proficient at hand hewing the posts.

When Keville was working at the Kaiser plant in Spokane he would allow me to deliver the peeled fence posts to the new fence line with the 37 Ford pick-up. There was more to this than met the eye. Before the posts could be delivered it was my job to dig the post holes. When you’re eleven or twelve years old it’s amazing how hard you’ll work for the privilege of driving a pick-up without supervision. There were always two or three of their children in the cab with me when the posts were hauled. It was a great adventure for them too. Hauling off the bark from peeling the posts was another legitimate reason to drive the old pick-up.

The shift forks on the transmission of the old pick-up were pretty worn. Every now and then the gear shift would lock up and you couldn’t shift gears. Keville taught me how to remove the gear shift handle with the top cover of the transmission, re-align the shift forks and gears, and put it back together again. Gas, oil, and water were checked daily.

Digging those fence post holes was a lot of hard work………but the reward of driving that old 1937 Ford pick-up was well worth it