A truck full of memories
By Valerie McCullough, Loveland Reporter-Herald
May 4, 2017
“Once a week I make sure I turn on the ignition of Bill’s 1996 Dodge Dakota truck.
Often, I take it for a run to Safeway or King Soopers. I don’t want to let the battery die.
‘Don’t put much money into that truck. It’s old,’ a friend advises.
‘Sure, it’s old,’ I thought. ‘But it holds two decades of memories, the smell of Bill — freshly cut pine, sunscreen, chain-saw gas.’
Always reluctant to spend money on himself, Bill bought the truck only after much cajoling by family members.
The need for the truck came about when western Colorado’s mountains were being devastated by pine beetles. During the 1990s, green trees became spires of rusted iron.
An Illinois friend of Bill’s owned some raw land near Granby, Colorado — an area hit hard by beetles — but not yet decimated.
Surgical strikes in a few areas would take out the diseased trees, but distance made this task difficult for our Illinois friend.
Forests and mountains have always had a gravitational pull on Bill, so it didn’t surprise me when he jumped at the chance to tackle the beetle problem — one tree at a time.”