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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Sibling(s) (05/01/08)

TITLE: The Bright Red Truck
By sue moreland


The year was 1956 and my Dad purchased a 1955 bright red pick up. It was a great vehicle for all the use it would get on our little 9 acre farm. But it didn’t make a very good family car, though it wasn’t often that the family went any where together.

But, come Sunday morning we all dressed in the best we had and went 25 miles to church. The sitting arrangements were tight. My Dad was the only driver in the family so his six foot frame was always in the driver’s seat. Next to him with her legs straddling the gear shift sat my 3 year old sister, Judy. Then my mother squeezed in holding six month old, Peggy, the baby of the family. Next to the passenger door my robust figured Grandfather sat. That just left my 8 year old sister and myself. In the beginning we thought we had the best seats in the truck. We’d had all the room we could possibly want. We got to ride outside in the back of the truck..

My Dad made a small bench and tied it down toward the cab. “Now you girls sit right up here against the back window where I can see you”, he ordered. “There will be no moving around or standing up when the truck is moving, you understand?”

“Yes, Daddy”, we answered in unison, feeling that we were going to have an extra special treat. We were going to be all alone in the back. Free as the breeze to enjoy each others company. No one would be there to bother us or tell us to quiet down, or “Stop that infernal singing”.

And for the first few miles it was great. Marsha and I huddled together with a blanket keeping us warm playing a pretend game that we were on the high seas in a pirate ship, kidnaped and far from our home and family. We even yelled loudly for help. The only thing around to hear our noise were the cattle grazing along the country side. It was great for about 20 minutes then a bug flew in my mouth as I was in the middle of my dramatic pretense. When I started coughing, Marsha began laughing hysterically that I had actually swallowed a live bug. During her laughing spell she fell off the bench, tore her dress and scraped her knee. When she saw the blood her laughter turned to tears. I did the best I could to calm her. I put some of my spit on the edge of the blanket and washed her wound off. But, Mom was usually the only one who could comfort her when she was hurt and Mom was stuffed inside the truck not hearing anything. So, I just threw my arms around her with the blanket wrapped as tightly as possible and tried to be as good as Mom would be. I sang all the comforting songs to her I could think of. The trip to church seemed extra long, but by the time we got there Marsha seemed pretty calm. As soon as the truck had stopped and we hopped out the back she ran to Mom and cried all over again. Mom gave me the baby to hold as she got a damp wash cloth from the diaper bag. She washed the tears from Marsha’s face and the dried blood off her leg popped a band-aid on the wound. She looked both of us over and took the hair brush out of her bag and combed the tangles from our hair. Then she proclaimed us ready to worship.

That was the first of our many trips to church in the back of that truck and was probably the most eventful. Our future trips were a lot more boring because the fun left us during that first ride. Our singing and imagination were usually left at home after that and we just sat and huddled together as we rode those 25 miles to worship each week.

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This article has been read 439 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Verna Cole Mitchell 05/08/08
What a grand picture you made of two little girls in the back of a truck. It's too bad, the joy went out of it after the first time. Your description of everyone crowded in the front gave me a chuckle.
Jan Ackerson 05/09/08
Charming memoir--your early descriptions were especially good.

I'd recommend that you break the long paragraph into several shorter ones, and end it with the arrival at church--that's where the oomph is.

Nice writing.
James Dixon05/09/08
What a homely slice of life.

I found the 5th paragraph hard going and felt it could have been broken up.

Good job.
Lollie Hofer05/14/08
I enjoyed the story. The description of everyone crammed into the cab of the truck was funny. Lots of good imagery. I agree, it would be helpufl to break up the one long paragraph. You also had one VERY long sentence that could have been broken up as well. Over all, it was entertaining reading. You do have a gift with words for showing what is happening. I like "showing" much more than just "telling."