Papaw’s Truck

My grandpa’s brother bought this truck brand new from Jellico Ford in Tennessee. Back in those days folks bought trucks to use, they were just another tool on the farm to help put food on the table. So it went straight from the dealership to the log woods on the farm they worked. I remember them skidding logs out to the landing with mules and then hooking a chain to the logs and dragging them over to the mill with this truck. My papaw soon traded my uncle out of it and it became forever “Papaws Truck”. Some of my best childhood memories are of being in the passenger seat barely able to see over the dash and riding with him to feed cows or maybe load some hay in the bed to haul to other pasture. He used to keep these huge cattle racks in the bed to move cattle with. The bed would be full of manure, I thought I was so lucky to get a dollar to shovel it out and be doing what felt was grown man work. We would load our beagles and rabbit hunt, he would pick me up from school and I’d be so excited to see that old truck. I can close my eyes and see him driving us down to one of our pastures or fishing in his white tshirt, blue jeans work boots and Levi Garrett hat. He used to let my brother and I drive it in the fields, first vehicle I ever drove. We would ride on the tailgate from farm to farm with our legs hanging off the back. My grandpa had been sick for a while, just a cold we thought. His brother came to take him to the doctor. My grandpa walked around the truck, went to open the passenger side door, and died. Massive heart attack. I can barely remember the funeral because of the tears but there were a lot of folks there. He was real well thought of. It was the only time I saw my dad cry. It’s been 28 years and I’m crying right now thinking about it. My aunt moved papaws truck over in the yard and it sat for a few months. I turned 16 and was looking at getting my license, my grandmother took me aside and handed me the keys to papaws truck. I cleaned on it the best I could and was proud to have it. She told me to take it but if I fixed it up I had to paint it another color because she couldn’t stand to see it drive down the road and it not be him. I drove that truck all through high school and after. First date, first real job, tons of good memories with my friends right in the cab of that truck. After I bought another truck my brother drove it to school, then my dad drove it for work and then she just kind of sat. If I was ever out of a vehicle I’d get it running and drive it again. Then put it back away until I needed it again. Long story short, after several false starts my dad and I got her out of mom and dad’s barn the other day and with the help of my daughter got her cleaned up to move to my house to hopefully start the rebuild process. Thank you guys for the chance to share. I cant believe I’ve sat here in the kitchen and got this emotional about this. Anyway I’m attaching a picture of my 7 year old helping us get Papaws truck ready to work on. Hopefully this time I will get it done.