I was born in north Texas, in the Fort Worth – Dallas area, that’s where all my family came from. My dad, my grandad, a couple of uncles, in 1949 heard about some jobs up here, since there wasn’t much down there. They came up here in 1949 and went to work on the irrigation project, to funnel the Columbia River water down through the Columbia basin, which is now a massive irrigation project.
I turned 5 years old the summer we came here. Grew up in Moses Lake, we had an alfalfa, hay, and black angus ranch down there. Later on, things got better we were able to buy a little farm down there. Got into farming before I was even a teenager.
Did three years service in the military, in between there. 1965, 1966, but I wasn’t the only one. Had friends that went too. Well, we were a helicopter company, 117th Aviation Company. We were assigned to support the 101st Airborne. Troops in, troops out, medevacs, anything they needed, they called us, we tried to get it to them. That’s how I spend my tour, as a door gunner on a helicopter.
Went to work in Spokane for a couple of years, young single guy, looking around for a future, back and forth and around. Moved out, moved to Seattle for a while. Actually lived in Phoenix for a while, lived in Alaska for a little while. But always kept coming home, where all my family was and all my friends. Now I think it’s the greatest place in the world to live.
Eventually I decided to take advantage of my GI bill and I moved to Ellensburg, which is Central Washington University, went to school there for four years. Degree in Geography with a minor in Geology.
When you are around agriculture there’s a lot of products to be moved and loaded and hauled, so there’s jobs there. That’s kind of how I got interested in trucking. It made a good backup occupation when you didn’t have something better going you could usually find a truck driving job. That’s kind of how I got interested in trucks. While I was going to school I had a 1937 Dodge that I drove, which is a nice old truck.
My first three or four or five trucks I bought at least 20 years ago. I didn’t have a way to move really these things, so what I bought I had to be able to drive them home, or tow them, whichever. So I didn’t get really serious into this truck collecting until about about 15 years ago. Living near Sprague, here, and got hooked up with some farm guys, started hauling wheat, working in the harvest every year. And driving a semi truck and these guys had a pretty good operation, so we go to work about 5, 6 weeks every year for the harvest. But then when I got done with that, they had a semi and a lowboy they would lease back to me on a real preferential deal, and that was what enabled me to move these trucks.
After we first put them out here I had some trouble with neighbors complaining about these old junky trucks, after a few years, an accumulation began to grow, and they were lined up, people got away from that, and I guess the word just got around the internet, and we just a mile off the freeway, so when people go by here and they’ve heard about it, they’ll whip in here and take some pictures. So it’s grown to a situation where we’ve got 5, 6, 7 people a day in the summertime, and about half that in the winter. It’s amazing how many people do come through here.
I’ve been farming and working in other places and haven’t been here an awful lot till now, just now getting to retire, play with my toys, finally. I ‘m going to be getting some of these guys, about half of them are going to run, already got several running. We get them through that period, I might put them in the local parade.
These old trucks, they fed a lot of people. These were agricultural trucks at one time, and hauled a lot of grain, hauled a lot of fertilizer, hauled a lot of hay, hauled a lot of cattle, just hard working old trucks. Just like the farmers who owned them.
I’m not really aggressive right now buying trucks, but I’m not going to turn one down if I get a chance at it. I could get a few more in here. Needs to be a little bit better organized. I don’t know what I’m going to do museum-wise, if we even go that route which is something I’d kind of like to do. I like to let people see them.
Right now the prices of scrap metal are so high that these things are just disappearing. In this country, one of the last areas with nice old trucks, they’re coming through and taking a vast majority of these trucks are ended up going to the crusher. So it’s nice to save a few for nostalgia purposes. People can see how they got their bread, and their hamburger and these were the trucks that did that.