Thoughts from a ’48 Ford Truck

Vroom-vroom-vroom. When the Historical Society asked if they could decorate me for their 4th of July float again, my engine revved up an extra hundred rpms. I may not be as smart as the Tesla I saw this morning or as fancy as the ‘57 Chevy that flashed by, but this land of the free and home of the brave has been good to this old ‘48 Ford, and I’m proud to join the celebration.

The color guard and veterans begin the parade. The crowd stands, hats off and hands over hearts to pay respect to the flag and those who served our country.

Floats representing important businesses and organizations go next. This old truck is at the end. I chug along, hoping my engine keeps running. The historical society members sitting on my tailgate and in my bed wave to the crowd. Uncle Sam, tall and thin, walks alongside me, waving the American flag.

Seeing all the patriotic flags, I have to admit, gets me a bit choked up. I was 13, an impressionable age, when JFK gave his famous speech: “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.” I’ve never forgotten it, and I’ve tried to live my life with those words in mind.

I haven’t sacrificed like those in uniform or done anything grand like those limousines that transport governors and presidents, but as a workingman’s truck, I’ve contributed. I’ve cleared farmland of stumps, brought manure to add to vegetable gardens, and hauled everything from oats to heavy rocks.

After 76 years, I’m not sure how many more parades are in me. My axle is sore, my springs sag, and my truck bed shows wear. But I’m not complaining.

I’ve had the privilege of living in this country. It might not have been easy, but I made it through the gas shortages and rising gas prices. Sure, I meet potholes once in a while, but I’ve been able to travel freely for miles, the fresh country air whizzing through my crank-down windows and vents.

A little boy in the crowd calls to his mom. “Look at the old red truck.”

“Stop by later,” my fella calls back, “and get your picture taken by it.”

“Me too?” several others ask.


Yes-sir-ee. I haven’t done anything heroic, but that boy reminds me of some of the things I have done. I’ve brought kids and their parents down logging roads to a favorite fishing hole where they could pull up whoppers and squeal with joy. 

I’ve provided shelter for my fella and his family when they turned me into a make-shift camper for their stay at Devil’s Lake.

I’ve hauled bikes and cross-country skis and plowed through snowdrifts to bring hunters to their tree stands. 

America has its problems, but I feel it’s the greatest country in the world. It’s allowed me to have a good life. So as long as my engine still cranks over, I know what I’m gonna do. I’m gonna keep giving back to this land of the free and home of the brave. 

2 Replies to “Thoughts from a ’48 Ford Truck”

Gayle Rosengren

Loved this fresh take on the never-more-important Independence Day holiday!

Thanks, Gayle. Who knew it would be so much fun to write from the point of view of a ’48 Ford pickup?

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