Springtime harbors memories of a ’55 Chevy dump truck we acquired years ago to work on our property. Color – close to green; bumpers – loose and pointing down; fenders – actively flapped in and out according to speed; driver’s side door latch – gone.

It was the dumper that drew us to this remarkable truck with a hydraulic system that wouldn’t quit. Some minor problems surfaced. Foot brake lines missing but the hand brake slowed it down considerably when necessary. Notice I did not say “stop.”

Our beautiful truck was stored in our woodlot over winter. It was lovingly brought back to life each spring with a few adjustments and a chance to entertain neighbors. Recharged battery in place resting on its rusted brackets completely dependent on duct tape and strong wire, water in the radiator, removal of mice nests from the engine, oil added in the probability it started.

The deal, I was behind the wheel while my husband towed it up our rather steep hill with our equally old tractor. After switching places at the top, my husband took over. He let go of the handbrake, pushed in the clutch, got rolling to an acceptable speed, let the clutch out and prayed he remembered to turn the key on.

Being pulled up the hill was a concern to me. If the tow chain broke, I could be in trouble. My partner in truck crime’s advice: Simply turn the wheel and let it go backward, eventually it would stop against a tree.

A few trips up the hill usually got it running. Our audience cheered and clapped when thick black smoke emitted everywhere except where it should. Our prized friend was ready to work.

Over the years it hauled our winter wood, brush and anything we asked it to do; however, it had a sense of humor. It hid yellow jackets and bats until the exhaust moved them out to less noisy digs.

The best trick it played was when we were moving rocks from one of the fields. Driving to the designated spot, my husband tipped the dumper and most of the rocks rolled out, with the exception of the largest one. It wedged under the spill door, and suddenly the front end of the truck was off the ground and leaning on the dumper.

My partner suggested I climb up into the cab, he would then pull the front end down with the tractor, I would release the dump lever and, bingo, the rock would center itself in the back of the truck and return much-needed balance. This was not covered in secretarial school. Of course it worked just as planned.

When it was time to retire our old friend, we found it a new home with a gentleman who moves buildings. He appreciated the beauty of its indestructible framework. We know it is in a happy place, stripped down to its fighting weight. And those annoying bees and bats no longer have a place to hide.