This old flatbed truck is parked in the field on “Winery Hill” on Center Road. It’s owned by Bonobo Winery (founded by brothers Todd and Carter Oosterhouse), but prior to that, it was owned by the Warrens, longtime Peninsula farmers who used it to haul fruit. My father-in-law, Tug Boursaw, drove it for them during cherry season.
You used to see more flatbeds like these on the Old Mission Peninsula, but they’re thinning out a little as vineyards replace the orchard fruits. We still have “Old Black,” a 1956 Chevy Flatbed, in the barn. I don’t think he comes out too much anymore, though, as my brothers have newer trucks they use to haul cherries and apples.
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My cousin, Steve Johnson, drove Old Black for us during cherry season back in the 1970s and ’80s. I drove it a few times for hay-bailing as the guys tossed bails of hay on the back. But it has a long legacy on the farm. My dad used it to haul fruit to the Detroit Farmer’s Market, in the 1940s and ’50s, I believe.
My mom also recalls the “very long trip” they took when they drove it to Virginia to see her family. I can just imagine that was a long haul in that truck, especially if the weather was warm. I’ll grab a pic of Old Black at the earliest opportunity.