|Daddy with the grader in town. Don't know who the little|
During my youngest years, the only paved streets in town were Main Street and the highways that bordered the main part of town, one running north/south on the east side of town, one running north/south on the west side of town, and one running east/west on the north side of town. The rest of the streets were maintained with the red shale that is so plentiful in our area. To keep these streets in decent condition Daddy operated the road grader. Up and down the streets, smoothing and leveling out the ruts and ridges, sometimes spreading fresh shale to keep down the mud.
It was a different world in the 1940s and 50s. It would never be allowed these days, but then Daddy could give kids rides in the grader as he worked their streets. I loved riding in the grader. It was too noisy for conversation, there was a lot of vibration, and watching the soil roll off the blade had a hypnotic effect, but it was a special time with my Daddy.
My Dad and my Uncle Bob had a habit of giving nicknames to people. Bob called Daddy "Leanin' Wheel", after the way the front wheels of the grader worked. In the photo above, it looks to me like those wheels are leaning.
After my Dad retired from the city, he began working part-time for the county, grading some of the county roads. He was regarded as an artist with that big machine. In 1973, when our daughter, Anne Marie, was four years old, we made a visit home and drove out to where Daddy was working. Anne Marie got to experience the fun of a grader ride with her Grandpa!