My first vehicle was a dark green 1947 Chevrolet pickup. Like typical farm trucks of the time it had wooden stake sides. Quite often there was a shovel sticking up from one front corner of the box and a broom from the other. I only mention the stake sides because of the signage. It was summer break and my friend Margadant was doing a little work for us. He was the one that painted the words The Berg Outfit on both sides of the racks. I think he wanted to paint it on the doors, but that's where I drew the line.
I must digress here. The Old Man was theoretically a crop farmer, but his version of farming was to make a lot of decisions and then hire other people to do the actual work, the heavy lifting. He and his sidekicks, Big Don and Christy, drank coffee, drove around in pickups, played in their gravel pits (quarries), and figured out ways to buy more land with other people's money. PMA + OPM. Positive Mental Attitude plus Other People's Money. He was pretty good at it and eventually went into the land thing full time. Margadant and I were just a couple of the heavy lifters. The issue with the Old Man was that in our agrarian community hard physical labor was highly valued; it was more Christian than the Old Man's version of work. If you didn't sweat, you were probably a crook. One of Margadant's family friends asked him what he was doing for work. When he told her, she sort of sneered, "Oh! you're part of that Berg outfit!" Well, he liked being part of the Berg Outfit, so he painted it on our old truck as advertising.
Yesterday I drove the 1999 Ford Ranger, a dusty bronze step-side with the off-road package, down to the dealer and picked up the Honda. The Honda seems to be a fine machine, certainly more sophisticated than the Ranger, but it isn't the same. It's been a long time since I have been truckless, and as an old farm kid, I feel less a man without one. In an old James Garner movie, Jack Elam says, "First I lost my saddle, then I lost my gun. Eventually I lost my horse, but I'm sober now". It's morning and I'm a cowboy without a horse.