The old Mercury truck before its restoration. (Mary Hof photo)

The old Mercury truck before its restoration. (Mary Hof photo)

Retired Cowichan dairy farmer brings truck back to life

“You’ve got to be kidding,” I remember saying in 1998

By Mary Hof

Well, dreams do come true.

Gerry Hof, a retired Cowichan Bay dairy farmer, took his driver’s licence test way back in 1964 in his father’s 1951 Mercury truck. It was in good shape then, but over those next 50 years it laid to rest in fields and bushes.

I remember our kids when they were small playing in it, putting sand down the carburetor and it was just junk to me. “You’ve got to be kidding,” I remember saying in 1998 when Gerry told me of his plans to get it going again.

Well little by little it became his project, many times putting it aside as I was complaining of the mounting cost. But Gerry saw it differently.

I went along with it; he did a lot of work himself, and then in April 2020, we made the decision to get it professionally finished. I cursed every time I saw a bill and Gerry would say, “It’s worth it.”

It’s 2021, and the 70-year-old Mercury is home now in the carport (I didn’t give in for keeping it in the garage and kicking my car out). It still needs a little work on a few things, which I am sure Gerry will do, but I am hoping it gives him years of joy.

Gerry’s hope had been to complete it before his mom died in 2001; he wanted her to have the first ride, as she was a big part of why we are here on the farm today. That never happened, but today we parked the truck beside the Cees and Miep Hof Park on Cherry Point Road across from the farm. Suddenly the sun shone through, I felt her saying, “Well done son, it looks fantastic.”

This moment ended with, “Hop in Mary; I will take you for a ride”.

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