IA CONSTRUCTION – Memories are the most precious of gifts given by our loved ones. For Mike Brown, son of a former IA employee, his father’s memory and legacy will last forever. Mike came to us on Facebook to share some pictures of the scale models he constructed of his father’s 1975 tri-axle IA truck. The images of this hand-built replica caught our attention immediately. The detail on the model is fantastic – even down to the tarp controls and dashboard. We asked Mike to share his story with us and he kindly did so.
Mike’s father, George Calvin Brown, worked for IA Construction Corporation in the early 1970’s. George drove an old Ford tandem dump truck prior to receiving his “new” 1975 Ford or “TX23”. Mike remembers the day his father came home to show the family his new truck:
“He drove an older Ford tandem dump truck until 1974 or early 1975 when he came home and announced that he’d gotten a new truck. As a kid of 4 or 5 years I was fascinated by his job and big trucks. So, I couldn’t wait to see his new truck. We would spend many a Saturday…cleaning, polishing, and doing paint touch up over the years…”
Unfortunately, George passed away in 1984, the same year he planned to retire. Mike joined his uncle in gathering his father’s personal items from the truck. He hoped to be able to take the chrome horse hood ornament. At the age of 14, that was the last time Mike saw the truck. “I built the model from memory, and got a few details wrong. The current model is my 4th attempt at getting it right…”
In 2004, Mike was driving a tri-axle at the time on a route he had never traveled. While passing through a small Pennsylvania town called Paxinos, he noticed an orange Ford tri-axle sitting in a driveway. After stopping at the house and talking with the owner, Mike discovered it was in fact the very truck that his father drove – TX23! After 20 years, he had stumbled on a blast from his past. The current owner, Ambrose Leshock, had also worked for IA in the 70’s and remembered Mike’s father very well. He referred to the truck as the “horse truck”, remembering the chrome horse hood ornament that was once on the truck. The truck was in good shape for its age and Mike was even able to take it out for a drive.
“…It was a huge symbol to me growing up. It was not only a cool “Big Truck”, but it represented to me, a roof over my head, and food on the table. It’s a part of my Dad that’s still alive.”
Sometimes we learn the most interesting things from the most unexpected places. If you would like to see more photos of these models and others from Mike, go to the IA Construction Facebook page. And please don’t forget to “Like” us while you’re there!! A special thanks to Mike Brown for sharing his story with us.