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Dust is still on my grandpa's truck

Columnist Loren Else says a photo of his cousin's grandson came with a surprise – his grandfather's old pickup truck.

Boomer Grandpa — Loren Else column sig
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A Tim McGraw song that came out years ago named "Dust" resonated with me, especially these words: "Dust on my boots, dust on my truck, everything I love is covered up in dust."

The song reminded me of Kansas and my grandpa's truck. I didn't get to see my grandpa often, but when I did, there was usually some errand he had to run in his pickup. I always rode along.

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On occasions, it might be a short drive to a fishing hole.

His last truck was a 1970 Chevy C10 two-wheel drive, half-ton, long bed with a 350-cubic-inch, four-barrel engine. There was little washing or waxing of his pickup in rural Kansas. The truck always carried a film of gritty dust, inside and out. That was the beauty of it.

My grandpa died in 1982, and his truck sat at my Aunt Velma's for many years. On a couple of visits over the years, she had me change the oil for her. It was a joy to put my hands on grandpa's truck again.

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My aunt finally had to move off the farm, and I had no idea what happened to the truck, but I always wondered.

A couple of weeks ago – now follow me here – my cousin's daughter's son was graduating from high school. A photo was posted of the graduate next to his pickup truck on Facebook. I looked at the photo and thought, "Hmm, that truck looks familiar. Nah, can't be."

I typed in, "Congratulations." Soon, my cousin, who I always looked up to, responded with, "Do you remember this truck?" I'll be darned – it was indeed my grandpa's truck – my grandpa has been gone from this earth for 40 years. I couldn't believe it!

My cousin, Russ, an Iowa farm boy, graduated from high school in 1966. Many years later, I learned he had completed a tour in Vietnam from November 1968 to January 1970.

Grandpa's Custom 10 Chevy pickup.jpg
Columnist Loren Else recalls riding around in his grandfather's pickup truck, and now that truck (pictured) owned by his grandpa has been passed down to his cousin's grandson.
Contributed / Loren Else

Russ bought the truck off our aunt for $500. He is thinking this was the late 1990s. Russ has kept it in his barn and would take it out occasionally. The truck has around 100,000 miles on it.

Russ did have to rebuild the transmission.

Russ decided to give the truck to his daughter and grandson. So, this young man who just graduated from high school has the pleasure of – stay with me here - driving his great-great-grandfather's pickup truck. How cool is that?

I had hoped to touch bases with the young man, but I couldn't track him down for a conversation. When you are young, life is busy. I was hoping to get a sense of his love for this truck.

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I was ready to tell him some history about his great-great-grandpa. He was a humble man who scratched out a living during difficult times and stayed true to his family, faith and friends. I loved him with all my heart.

The truck still looks a little rough around the edges. In spirit, though, it's a beauty. It carries history, love, and dust – quite a bit of dust.

Loren Else lives in Rochester and also writes the Post Bulletin’s “Day in History” column. Send comments and column ideas to Loren at news@postbulletin.com .

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