More Adventures of “Old Hully,” “Cub” and the Jackson Family

When I came home from World War II, there were no ticker tape parades, no beautiful girl waiting to kiss me. No happy family waving flags. I road a bus as close to my former home in rural upper South Carolina as the bus went, and walked from there to my uncles house. When I got to the door, my heart was racing. I knocked several times, rhen went around to the back and saw that their car wasn’t there. No one was home. I had lost my father when I was 18 years old and in Guam. My mother had died when I was five years old. My older brother was working in Florida. I came home to nothing and nobody.

I eventually found my uncle and his family at home and stayed a few days. I was looking for a better life, a new start, and before long, I decided to move on. We had some good friends, the Jacksons who lived over the state line in North Carolina. I had been good friends with their son, Wade when I was growing up. Their younger son, Bobby was still at home and he had written me faithfully when I was in the military.
I thought if would be nice to catch up with them and maybe they would ask me to join them in a meal. . I hoped that they may even asked me to spend the night. Since I had yet to acquire a permanent living situation, that would suit me just fine. I spent the night, alright-for the next four years! I would have stayed longer, but the night Aunt Mable, as I called her, gave me corn flakes for supper, I figured that maybe I had worn out my welcome. Besides. I had met a young lady at the junior college I was attending and was thinking of getting married.

When I first got my truck, a 1937 Chevrolet one and a half ton, it was no “prize”. Still, the fact that my “new-old truck” was in less than great shape, didn’t stop a young man from enjoying it after being in the War. I took a picture of my truck that night at the Jackson’s and I decided to call her “Old Hully”. I stole the name from Claude Lance, Aunt Mabels’ cousin. That is what Mr. Lance called his A-Model Ford truck, and he later used the same name for a 1937 ton and a half Ford that he owned.

The floor in Old Hullys’ bed had holes in it that you could throw a cat through. There were no sideboards, just stakes to hold in place the logs that we hauled in it. Mr. Jackson asked me if I wanted to hang around a few days, He said he knew of a place where we could get some lumber for a reasonable price. With that lumber, he agreed to help me make a new bed for the truck, side boards and all. It sounded like a good deal to me.

Before we could get the lumber and build the bed, I got my first job for old Hully. A feller wanted me to haul his sorghum cane from the fields to the sorghum mill. Handling sorghum cane is hard work. Anyway, I decided to be reasonable and just charged the man two dollars per hour for both me and my truck.

“Huh?” he allowed when he paid me. “With holes in the floor and stakes instead of sideboards, we couldn’t even put a full load on that thing!” The man only paid me half my bill and stomped off, like he had been cheated. This was my first in a long series of lessons in the trucking business.

The business came in spurts, too much or not enough. We used the dry spurts to build the bed and paint it. As time went on and I had a little spare change, I began to fix up Old Hully. I even bought a new grill and a new bumper. After that, I had the dents removed, the fender cracks welded, and finally, I had her painted.

Having to remove the seat every time I fulled the tank with gas was hard on the upholstery. Aunt Mabel said that if I would buy some material, she would make seat covers for me.. We shopped for regular, sturdy material because upholstery material was much too expensive for a project like this. We found some bed ticking and she used that for the job. It worked pretty good, but it looked a little funny. Black and white stripped seats weren’t what you’d normally see in a “hauling truck”, but she had done a good job on them and they wore well.

When I got a little money saved away, and didn’t have to buy a tire or new license, I spent my savings on fixing up the truck. I put it in a local garage and had the engine overhauled which gave it more power as well as cut down on the oil consumption. It needed a new muffler, so while I was at it, I put on a whole new exhaust system. With that new muffler, the engine ran quiet as a kitten. A can of Stop-Leak almost completely stopped the leak in the cracked engine block. It would just about hold anti-freeze for a while now! That sure beat having to hold open the cock pits on cold nights and having to fill the radiator on those cold mornings.

Oh! No! With the quiet engine, I could now hear a “rap-rap-rap” in the differential. Back to the garage I went and it took six months of my savings to have the rear end overhauled. It was too late to stop now.

A feller bought new oversized rims and tires for his truck so he could haul bigger loads. He offered me his smaller tires and rims at a good price, and luckily,they were the size I needed! I could never pass up a bargain. I now had a pretty good old truck with nearly new tires. Shoot! I was livin’ in high cotton!

Before being drafted, I had the dirty, grinding job of carrying rocks and mortar up a chicken ladder on construction jobs. Now, I was going out to rock quarries and hauling building rocks to the job where some other poor devil was doing my old job. Sometimes, I’d get to haul lumber and other materials to construction sites. Other times, I was hired to move someones furniture.

By this time, Mr. Jackson was allowing me to call him, “Jock” and Mrs. Jackson had long become “Aunt Mabel to me. They all called me “Cub” now, sometimes, calling me “Cub-bert”. I liked to hear Jock call his wife, the nick-name,”Sis”. Having lost my parents when I was so young, It was a wonderful feeling to be part of a family and have a job that I liked. I would never forget their kindness. This family remained “my family” as long as they lived,







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