Soccer talent on display at 2017 SHAC preview Baseball community mourns the loss of Gene Bennett Winchester Homecoming Festival is Aug 25-27 Eleanor P Tumbleson Felicity man killed in Ohio River boating accident WUHS golfers take Portsmouth Invitational It was pretty cold that day Volleyball kicks off with SHAC Preview Night Young awarded Women’s Western Golf Foundation Scholarship One Mistake Senator Portman visits GE Test Facility in Peebles Adams County school districts facing some major challenges for the coming year Family, friends, and roots: the ties that bind residents of one Adams County village What is your strength? Just the chance to take a look back Ronnie L Wolford Dale J Marshall Herbert Purvis Great American Solar Eclipse coming Aug. 21 BREAKING NEWS: West Union wins fifth consecutive County Cup Wallace B Boden John L Fletcher Lady Indians golfers learning the links North Adams, West Union golfers open 2017 seasons This Labor Day, ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ Blanton announces candicacy for Court of Appeals Local student attends Congress of Future Medical Leaders MHS welcomes new principal Made in America When it feels like you’re spinning plates Bonfires and “building” a farm Lady Devils looking to take that next step 50 years of Bengal memories Ag Society delivers donation to Dragonfly Foundation Young Memorial Scholarship awarded to a pair of local seniors ‘Musical passion is in his blood’ Naylor named NAHS Principal Boldman retiring after 17 years as Homeless Shelter director Manchester concludes another River Days celebration Drug Treatment vs. Prison James R Brown Bobby Lawler Jr Adams County man charged with killing estranged girlfriend Lexie N Hopkins Volleyball, soccer previews coming this weekend Michael A Cheek Discover Ohio’s Ancient Cultures during Archaeology Day at Serpent Mound Summer Reading Program ends as new school year approaches Lady Hounds preparing for 2017 volleyball campaign, looking for more improvement A servant’s hands Oh my, nothing better than a sweet tooth Rec Park hosts All-Star Sunday A Saturday night peek at a gridiron future McDowell, McCarty awarded Farm Bureau Scholarships Adams County Medical Foundation awards Dr. Bruce Ashley Legacy Scholarships Your kid on heroin Jerry W Olinger Douglas R Burchett Wayne Cowles Shirley Collins Jack L Yates Wayne Grooms Sr Adams County Building and Loan merging with Southern Hills Community Bank Ahead of Sales Tax Holiday, Attorney General DeWine offers tips for consumers Delores L Cook Harold L Smith Pell, Seas have high hopes for new SSCC campus ‘We prayed and believed it was going to happen’ 4-H Scholarships awarded during Fair Week Showmanship Sweepstakes concludes Junior Fair Competitions Junior Fair Crops are a Premium Show Southern Ohio’s only blackberry farmer wants to make berry pickin’ fun again Challenges ahead for new MLSD Superintendent SAY Soccer celebrating 50 years North Adams hosts Youth Football Mini-Camp Lady Dragons host Soccer Shootout 38 years later, Indians football returns It’s time Ten years and twenty goats later When nobody is watching When a blackberry wasn’t just a cell phone, but delicious Heroin user’s mom says addiction is a disease, not a choice Mary A Wallingford Rickey L Vincent Pauline Ertel William Bryant ACOVSD announces 2017-18 policy for free and reduced lunches What we are made of When summer really arrived Horse project 4-H members head to Ohio State Fair Defender hosts annual Cornhole Tournament George’s Brave Shave’ benefits other Year of planning, work pays off for 2017 fair Local teen opens new business Why can’t you stop? Camp first step in preparation for 2018 Greyhounds on the gridiron Young awarded SEDAB Scholarship Fair hosts Hall of Fame broadcaster Peebles goes back-to-back at the Barnyard The sport of goats

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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