Frank and Kyle in front of the "Willy's"
When my oldest son, Kyle (now 23 years old) was about 8 years old, he laid his young eyes upon a truck that he fell in love with, literally love at first sight!
The truck is a 1952 Willy's pick-up that belonged to our friend, Frank Moore. Frank bought the truck from the "Brown's" who owned a grocery store in Roseburg, Oregon. Frank bought the truck in 1957.
For years the truck had "garbage hauling duties" at Steamboat Inn. Jeannie fondly recalled how all of their children and the children of guests at the inn, would somehow find a place to hang on and ride in, or on the truck on these garbage runs. Jeannie said it was a high-light for all the kids in those days at the inn.
Over the years Frank hauled clients he guided to many of the runs along the North Umpqua in the truck. His son's Frankie and Dennis learned to drive in the truck. Frankie actually crashed the truck into one of the cabins at Steamboat while learning to drive.
Frank and the Willy's
Just before Christmas this year, Frank sent me an e-mail telling me that he wanted Kyle to have the old truck. Over the years Kyle has earned a reputation for his skills at restoring old jeeps and as Frank put it, he wanted "to see someone have it that would love it and restore it".
So earlier today, Kyle and I and my nephew Seth, drove down to Frank and Jeannie's and loaded the old truck on a flat bed trailer for the trip home to Cottage Grove. Jeannie and Frank said their goodbyes to this beloved member of their family. Pictures were taken. Hugs were exchanged.
As we headed down the hill, driving away as Frank and Jeannie looked on, Kyle expressed sadness over bringing the old memento home. He loves the old truck, but he loves Frank and Jeannie more. When I explained to him that Frank and Jeannie wanted to give the truck a new home that would love it as much as they did, he understood and was "honored" as he put it, that they loved him enough to make him the "new home" for this historical "Willy's" truck.
Kyle and the old truck at its "new" home at our house in Cottage Grove.
Over the coming months (and years) as Kyle restores the old truck, I promise to post pics to show his progress. Kyle's plan is to bring the truck back to its original glory when Frank first used the truck at the inn and along the banks of the North Umpqua, hauling a load of garbage and a bunch of youngsters on a "big adventure" during much simpler times!