One Piece At a Time

Old Brown enjoying well-deserved retirement

Johnny Cash once sang about a quest to acquire a cheap car by “accumulating” parts over many years. He snuck parts out of the factory in his lunchbox and when he had enough, fit them together like a 3-D jigsaw puzzle without a picture on the box.

With the help of his buddies and some improvisation, his mismatched car was cobbled together and made the cruise to the courthouse to be titled. While not a perfect comparison, “Old Brown” is the sort of vehicle that does inspire country songs.

Old Brown is a 1977 Ford ¾ ton pickup truck. At least it was originally built from 1977 parts. A rather remarkable number of memories from my childhood on a South Dakota dairy farm revolve around that old pickup truck. It is probably no “accident” that many of those memories ended with Old Brown needing one or more replacement parts. If we have our inventory straight, and I believe we do, the last original part was replaced in 2000, but I’m getting ahead of myself.

If you want to read more about the adventures of “Old Brown”. I  will add future posts under “Farm Trucks“. Some parts wore out due to natural causes, but others had a much more dramatic and interesting end.


About jheem

I grew up on a diversified dairy farm in southeast South Dakota where I learned how to throw a hay bale, pull a calf, deal with death, and "name" the cows. I was in 4H and FFA, and was privileged to serve as a state FFA officer. In college, I studied animal science, focusing on beef cows, mostly because I figured they were less work than dairy cows....I ended up with a Masters Degree in ruminant nutrition and went to work for the University of Nebraska, first as a research tech coordinating data collection for a swine unit and beef feedlot on a research farm and then as an extension educator. In my current job, I focus on environmental issues related to animal agriculture (which is a nice way of saying I talk about manure alot). My husband and I live and work on a seedstock cattle operation in northeast Nebraska. You can learn more about our cattle operation by visiting my husband's blog at
This entry was posted in Farm Trucks. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to One Piece At a Time

  1. Pingback: Windshield #2 and Hood #1 | Fence Post Diaries

  2. Pingback: Windshield #4 and Hood #2 | Fence Post Diaries

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s