Driv­ing her fa­ther’s truck keeps his mem­ory by her side.

Farm & Ranch Living - - NEWS - BY RUTH HAMMACK BRON­SON

My daddy, Rex Loy Hammack, lived in

Big Spring, Texas, sur­rounded by kids— 11 to be ex­act—and plenty of an­i­mals. He raised rab­bits, chick­ens, pea­cocks, geese, mules and the oc­ca­sional horse or two. And he al­ways had a truck with a dog or a cou­ple of kids bounc­ing around in the back.

A man of few words and a sub­tle sense of hu­mor, my daddy had a way of say­ing things that got the point across in­di­rectly. If you were go­ing out­side and left the door open for too long, he’d say, “Hurry up, you’re let­ting the flies out.” An­other one was, “Are you try­ing to grow pota­toes on those hands?” mean­ing go wash your hands. And “Where’s the fire?” meant slow down.

The last truck he bought was a brand-new 1976 Ford Ranger F-150. He was so proud of it and al­ways kept it washed and waxed. When he passed away in 1988 at the too-young age of 76, we were all sad­dened by the loss. My brother Roger, who lived in Alaska at the time, de­cided to keep the truck. He took ex­cel­lent care of it too, and this helped keep Daddy’s mem­ory alive. Roger even left Daddy’s stuff in the glove com­part­ment.

Even­tu­ally my brother moved back to Texas, and he brought the truck with him. I’d been back in the state for about three years by then, hav­ing moved from Mon­tana with my hus­band and our dog, cats, horses and chick­ens.

Not long af­ter the move, I had a dream in which I saw Daddy stand­ing be­side his old truck. The next day I asked Roger if he still had the truck and, if so, whether he’d like to sell it to me. He said he still had it but he wanted to hang onto it. I said OK, but then a while later he called and said he thought Daddy would’ve liked me to have it—so he sur­prised me by giv­ing it to me. I’m grate­ful to him for tak­ing care of it all those years.

I am so happy to have Daddy’s truck. Ev­ery time I drive it, I feel like he’s sit­ting right there be­side me say­ing, “Where’s the fire?”

Rex Loy Hammack’s 1976 Ranger F-150 is the pride of his daugh­ter’s drive­way. At right, Rex, then in his mid-30s, leads his horse, Trig­ger.

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