Packy, my grandfather whose home we shared, worked at Martin's Furniture Store in Springfield, Missouri. He did a little light carpentry, assembly mostly, and he delivered furniture to customers. Sometimes my grandmother picked Packy up at lunchtime, but some days he drove home in an empty delivery truck.
If he was driving the big van, he'd have to park it on the street. My sister and I would climb up inside it and jump around a little bit, but we grew bored pretty quickly in the van, and it was hot in there, too. The other truck was way better.
The second truck was larger than a pickup but smaller than the furniture van, so my grandfather could drive it right up into the driveway and park it under the shade of a nearby tree. There were wooden-rail "fences" along each side of the truck bed, and before Packy could get in the house and sit down to his lunch ("dinner" we called it then), my sister and I would climb the rails and straddle them. They were our horses: beautiful stallions with flowing manes and tails.
We rode miles on those horses during summer lunch hours. We crossed prairies and deserts, watering our horses at streams along the way. We encountered stagecoaches, goldminers, train robbers, and sheriffs wearing big tin stars. Shots were fired sometimes, but we were the good guys, and we usually survived our injuries. Luckily, our trail always turned homeward just in time for Packy to go back to work.
When I think about those days, I can still smell the summer dust and the little-girl sweat, and I can almost hear the strains of the radio music that filtered through the screen door and provided a fitting soundtrack for our adventures. Click on the video link and ride with us for a while.
MUSIC VIDEO: Ghost Riders in the Sky - Vaughn Monroe (1949)
LYRICS: Ghost Riders in the Sky