It’s Father’s Day, and I’m on the northern Great Plains and my dad is visiting his grandchildren in the desert southwest that is Las Vegas, Nevada. I will schedule a make-up grilling session with my dad when we’re within range of another soon enough. I called him earlier today to give him props. He has worked at the locally-owned automotive parts store for longer (over 40 years) than my folks have been married (something like 42 or more years), and his dad (or my Grandpa Barth, along with his brother) worked at Hedahl’s as well. It’s one of those family operations, as Dick Hedahl’s dad hired my grandpa back in the day (or something along those lines: it may have been Dick Hedahl’s grandpa that hired my grandpa. You get the idea, though).
I thought I’d post this photo I took this afternoon, an overview of a project area I was working in just west of Fort Ransom State Historic Site in the Sheyenne River Valley, North Dakota. Note the greenery (like I need to tell folks): this is the result of about two or more weeks of pretty sustained rain followed by about 5 or 7 days of intermittent sunshine. I snapped this photo overview of the project area (among others), downloaded it, and took a look this evening (I’m in Jamestown at Molly’s right now). Snapping photos is a peculiar business: when I looked at this photo, my trusty S-10 is visible. That pick up is 20 years old, first purchased by my late Grandpa Barth at a rural dealership (either Linton or Hazen). I remember he rationalized this purchase by saying, “Now I’ll be able to transport 8-foot boards and 4’x8′ sheets of plywood from Menards to my shop.” That seemed reasonable to me.
That pick up in the photo has transferred hands from my grandpa to my dad and mom, and they eventually passed it along to me. It is starting to show rust, this emerging up out of the paint, and the A/C has long since been shot. I love it. My cousin (Josh Christy) and I replaced the spark plugs, distributor cap and plug wires over a year ago. And a couple weeks ago I had a shade tree mechanic replace the waterpump, alternator, cab mounts, belts, and 2 or 3 pulleys. I like working with my hands. I tend to think that I got this ethos from my Grandpa Barth and Dad. The pick up runs very well. In the summer, I deploy what is known as the 2-by-75 A/C: two windows down at 75mph. Eventually I’ll need to purchase another vehicle, but this 20-year-old pick up still gives memories of driving to and from Menards with my grandpa. I posted another photo of an archaeological dry screen I built this weekend as well: my Grandpa Barth was the first one to show me the ways of woodworking. One day we drove from his place to the Woodhouse in Bismarck, and my grandpa confessed to me that he was so glad he survived his 1975 heart attack because, in his words, “I got to see you grandkids born and grow up.” He passed away on November 23, 2003. That’s what I’ve been thinking about on Father’s Day. I’m gonna call my other Papa now, Grandpa Christy.