TRUCKS WE LOVE

Green means more than “Go” in this Ne­braska fam­ily.

Farm & Ranch Living - - CONTENTS - BY JON FREDRICKS

This Chevro­let Apache has been in my fam­ily since 1959 when my great-grand­fa­ther John bought it brand-new from Sheri­dan Chevro­let in Sut­ton, Ne­braska. He used it as his farm truck, and he added ex­ten­sions to it to haul his grain to the el­e­va­tor dur­ing har­vest. I grew up near Glenvil, Ne­braska, and I have fond child­hood memories of the Green Chevy, as we call it. I re­mem­ber rid­ing in it with my dad, Alan, to the lo­cal grain el­e­va­tor to get milo and cracked corn for our chick­ens. We drove right into the el­e­va­tor, and the grain would fall from the chute above us. I watched through the back glass as the grain filled bar­rels un­til it spilled over into the truck bed. On the way home, I might even get my knee tickled if I was sit­ting too close to the gearshift when Dad down-shifted. When I was a lit­tle older, I got to drive the truck in “creeper gear” through the hay­field as we picked up square bales and hauled them to our barn. Dad even­tu­ally sold the truck to his Aunt He­len and Un­cle Bud. Nearly 15 years ago, my wife, Amanda, and I bought the Green Chevy dur­ing Aunt He­len and Un­cle Bud’s farm sale. Un­cle Bud had the truck re­painted and re­stored the orig­i­nal seat. The rest of the truck, in­clud­ing the wooden floor in the bed, is com­pletely orig­i­nal. A few years back, my sis­ter-in­law Jes­sica and her hus­band, Joe Logue, drove it off into the sun­set af­ter their wed­ding. And now my chil­dren, Joe, Brenna and Ethan, ride in it and en­joy shar­ing it with oth­ers at an oc­ca­sional auto show. Ev­ery time I put my hands on the steer­ing wheel, I think about the hands of each fam­ily mem­ber who has driven the Green Chevy over the years. My son Joe just turned 16, and he plans on cruis­ing around in the truck this sum­mer. Brenna, 13, and Ethan, 10, also love the fun­nysound­ing horn, the cab’s musty smell and the knee tick­les from the gearshift. They are the fifth gen­er­a­tion of our fam­ily to en­joy this great old Chevy Apache, and they cer­tainly won’t be the last.

Gen­er­a­tions of Fredricks have driven the Green Chevy. This sum­mer, Joe (cen­ter be­low, with mom Amanda and sis­ter Brenna in 2006) will take the wheel.

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