I am 84 now; I was born and raised on a farm in South Dakota. Dad and I farmed 4-1/2 quarters of land (roughly 720 acres) until I was drafted in 1952 to serve in the U.S. Army during the Korean conflict. Dad had to reduce his farming acres to just his dad’s homestead farm.
When I was discharged from the service, no farms were available to rent. I went to a refrigeration and electronics school for three years under the GI Bill. Two days before I graduated, my dad passed away at age 59. I got a job with Collins Radio (now Rockwell Collins) in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. In 1988, after 30 years with the company, I retired from Rockwell Collins. Shortly after that my wife passed away. We were blessed with five children: three boys and two girls. Later I met another gal and we were married. The boys and her thought I should start another hobby. We got interested in old iron and restored a few gas engines and tractors.
My dad had a 1923 Model TT Ford truck that he used on the farm. He also had another 1923 truck that he used for parts. One day while in a small town, Dad talked to a wheeler-dealer who bought, sold and traded almost anything to make a few dollars. He had a 1922 truck he was about to sell for scrap iron.
While they chatted, Dad said he thought he had room for another truck in the farm grove. I had an old horse that my uncle had given me to ride. It had got mean and lazy and was worthless, but it still had to be fed. The wheeler-dealer guy also had a small mink farm; he could get more out of the horse hide, meat and bones for his mink than he could get for the truck if he sold it for scrap iron.
They traded even up. Dad said to me, “It’s yours.” That turned out to be my first vehicle. I was about 12 years old at the time. I often played in it and thought, “Some day I’m going to fix this truck up and make it run.”
During my retirement, I found out from an old schoolmate that those three vehicles were still available in South Dakota. He had them, and I was able to purchase all three and brought them to Iowa. I’ve restored my dad’s Model TT, am nearly finished with the 1922 truck, and the “parts” truck will be next. FC
For more information: Lewis A. Pearson, 240 Ridge Dr., Marion, IA 52302.