Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

More than just an aged pick-up truck January 29, 2016

A GMC 150 parked in historic downtown Faribault.

A GMC 150 parked in a city lot in historic downtown Faribault. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo July 2015.

GROWING UP ON A FARM, I never truly appreciated pick-up trucks. They were simply a part of farm life—the workhorse of the farmer.

The truck needs a lot of work, but it has potential.

The truck needs a lot of work, but it has potential. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo July 2015.

In the bed of his red and white Chevy pick-up, my dad tossed fence posts, seedcorn bags, chains, shovels, and a myriad of other agricultural essentials. He may even have transported an animal or two.

I recall flying along gravel roads in the front seat of the pick-up, and sometimes in the bed, dust trailing a cloud across the prairie. Other times Dad would bump his truck across the stubbled alfalfa field.

Every time I spot an aged pick-up truck, I covet it. Not because I necessarily desire ownership. Rather, it’s about reliving, and holding onto, those rural memories.

© Copyright 2015 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

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23 Responses to “More than just an aged pick-up truck”

  1. Dan Traun Says:

    It is truly wonderful how sights, sounds and even smells can transport you back to a different time in our mind.

  2. Beth Ann Says:

    Such wonderful memories.

  3. Almost Iowa Says:

    A truck like that needs a big dog, head out the window and ears flapping in the breeze. Such are the things that heaven is made of.

  4. Littlesundog Says:

    I have always loved old vehicles but especially old trucks. My dad never owned a new truck… they were always old with rust patches here and there. I find it exhilarating to sit in the cab of an old truck and catch the scent of oil and grease with a tinge of fuel.

  5. Gunny Says:

    Aaah, trucks. I remember borrowing my fathers for a trip, a 1956 Chevy Apache. That old truck broke down during one of our hunting trips. My dear darling bride, crying her eyes out because we could not pack up all that we owned in our small car, caused me to rethink what type of transportation we owned. I got bigger and bigger carsOver the years since, I have owned various pickups. My wife accused me of trying to be “macho”. Most of my trucks have not been pretty. More seriously adapted or bruised for serious work and as work transportation. My darling bride once finished loading some gravel in my little 1/2 ton pickup with car tires. When we hit the scales, the scale operator announced we had 1600 lbs. of gravel and debris! (some of you know exactly what that means!). Another time she wanted to see some flowers growing under a tree. Got us mired in a quagmire, got out only because of the truck’s 4X4. She had done this once before to us. I now own a fairly nice full-size extended cab 4X4. that has a towing package and heated seats which she just loves!. All of these features have been selected on the “next truck” due to her requirements of the past, not of what I do. I have a 4X4 not because of where I go, but because of where my bride wants me to go and I almost always don’t want to be there.

  6. Sweet Posy Dreams Says:

    My dad had an old Ford pick-up with rounded fenders when I was little, but mostly he drove Toyota pick-ups. Not exactly the iconic truck image. I, too, love the old ones.

  7. Don Says:

    It’s interesting to see body style changes over the years, trucks uses to be just work vehicles but not so much anymore. I like the old styles with the running boards, split windshield, and what truly is a cab. I noticed the windshield wipers on the truck are missing, must be a challenge to drive in a rainstorm! Humm I wonder if it has vacuum windshield wipers, remember those by chance? They worked off the vacuum created by the carburetor to power the wipers, only problem is when the you pushed down the gas pedal to accelerate the vacuum from the carburetor was not sufficient to run the wipers! Bad situation when passing someone during a rain storm. The wipers stopped and you lost all visibility for a period of time until you let off on the gas again!

  8. I’m gonna guess somewhere around 1949-1950/51

  9. hotlyspiced Says:

    I love these old trucks; they’re a wonderful design and when you look at them you can see so much history xx

  10. Love the old truck and your story reminds me of many trips to farms owned by family members. Maybe playing in the mud too…

  11. Jackie Says:

    I bet those are wonderful memories for you Audrey, I love that truck!

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