In 1973 my grandfather drove a “new” truck up the dugway and onto the family acreage he called Hilltop. The old field truck had gotten to the point that it was no longer worth repairing. The new acquisition was a 1949 3/4-ton Chevrolet truck. It was immediately dubbed “the green truck” and that it what it remained forever after.
I was a ten-year old kid that summer, visiting from our home in the Northwest. Ten years after that our family had moved back to the valley and I was headed to college. I had since learned to drive “the green truck.” The intervening years had put many miles on the truck–not that the odometer showed it, mind you. Miles do not tally quickly when one’s speed tops out at barely 55mph, but it was geared low enough to climb an apple tree if you wanted to.
Grandpa never drove it much. I am the oldest grandkid and driving it for chores around Hilltop’s orchards and ravine, and out to the fields, was commonly my job. My brother, cousins, and I hauled hay bales, sprinkler pipe, ran errands, and more than once I took a young lady on a date (no, not that one; she married someone else).
He ran like a top–alright, he was still at least running–when my uncle parked the truck in his barn lot around 1988. By then I was a new father in graduate school with a baby girl and all kinds of demands that did not include classic autos. I had to give up “the Bismark”, my unrestored, no-rust, absolutely original 1959 Buick Invicta; I cried the day I saw the new owner it driving down Main Street. The old green field truck was not even a negotiable option. Grandpa died in 1991. We’d moved away by then. Jobs in Salt Lake City, in Montana, in Utah again, and finally a long stint in Tennessee, a couple more graduate degrees, and seven more children each required attention–but now we are back in Utah and it’s my turn. My uncle died this summer and my cousins graciously gave me our grandfather’s truck–“the truck.”
So, on behalf of my scattered cousins, the community of auto enthusiasts who know much more than I, and just because I want to, “thegreentruck” becomes a blog. Entries won’t be frequent. Bringing the truck back into running order will involve quite a bit of work and patience (and money, my wife reminds me with narrowed eyes), each of which rationed out to my various writing, home, and work projects, but I hope you will enjoy an occasional comment in a labor of love and of memory along with me.
So, welcome to my ride through nostalgia and auto restoration. Jump in the back and make sure you sit down in the bed and hold on. He rattles a bit.