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All during the war Dean hauled coal from the Bowie, Mcfarland, Gilson Coal Companies to local residents. Since most homes were heated by coal, this kept Dean and his truck busy. In the summer he also trucked limestone to the farmers. There was an old wife’s tale belief that limestone sweetened the soil for the wheat to grow. "Like sugar on cereal" was how the saying went.
The limestone had to be loaded in Hillsville, PA, on the far side of New Castle. If you are familiar with this neck of the woods you know of the hills. There was a particular trip Dean never forgot. He was receiving a load of lime when the scale mechanism stuck giving him two loads instead of one. Unaware of this overload until he got to the hills, he soon realized that going any further was not going to happen! Dean sat until a Good Samaritan came along and gave him a ride home. He and a friend then went back to hovel off enough limestone into another truck so that they could get both loads home.
Getting stuck in the snow was also a challenge, but not for the resourceful Dean. He arrived with a post and a pile of burlap bags in the truck. When the snow got the better of him he placed the post under the rim of the tailgate to raise the back wheels, and threw the bags under the wheels for traction. Worked like a charm!
After John returned from the war the brothers bought chain saws. They hauled logs from the family acreage and cut them into rough lumber. The truck had a short wheel base and on one occasion the logs, nearly 14 feet long, tipped the entire truck off the ground.
Sometime in the 40's the truck was retired to an old lean-to at the farm where it sat for nearly 50 years until Dean began cleaning out the old building. The floor was dirt and he found that half the horse drawn machinery also stored there had been buried several inches into the ground over the years. Although rusty, the truck was in good enough shape for renovation and was moved into Grove City where Dean had a garage. With his wife diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, he needed to be close by. Restoring the truck was a perfect hobby while caring for her.
Dean rewired the truck from a 6 to 12 volt, wire brushed all of the rust off by hand and hand painted it with black Rustoleum paint. He found a 1934 motor block in Ohio, re-bored it and put in oversized pistons. The engine was rebuilt by Gabana, in Mercer, PA. The same original heads were used and Dean had the seats reupholstered. Dean comes from a family of carpenter's. He built a storage bin on the back of the truck with sliding doors to store his two old sets of jacks. The lid serves as a seat.