http-equiv='refresh'/> Tin TeePee/Log Cabin: An Old Friend Leaves

Saturday, September 27, 2014

An Old Friend Leaves

It was sad to watch ORF roll down the hill on a trailer today—what in the world is ORF you might ask??  A 1971 Ford pickup—the cowboy was employed as a ranch manager when I met him—a young man named Donald worked for Michael.   Donald must have been bored one day, he took the “F” and the “D” from the “FORD” emblem on the front of the truck and reversed the two letters—the truck became “DORF.”  The “D” fell off, thus the old truck became “ORF” and we always called the old green, beat up, wreck of a truck “ORF.”   In spite of its age, ORF was very dependable, always starting even in the coldest of weather.

When I met the cowboy way back in 1994 I was a city girl—raised on an Arkansas farm—but I wanted nothing to do with farms or ranches as an adult—that is until the cowboy swept me off my feet!  I almost went back to the city when I met “ORF!”  You see, “ORF” was our feed truck—there was a bale spear on the rear of the flatbed—it stuck straight out and you jabbed the spear into the center of a huge round bale of hay.  There was then an electric winch which pulled that hay bale upright onto the flatbed of the truck. 

Now comes the fun part—if there were two of us it was great, one drove, the other stood on the back of the truck and forked the hay from the round bale to the cows.  If the cowboy was off working somewhere and it became my job to feed our cows—that’s when it gets interesting!   

It was no problem to stab the round hay bale and winch it onto the bed of the truck.  BUT—now you were both driver and feeder!!  Very, very carefully you put the truck in first gear, opened the door, climbed out onto the running board and onto the step up to the flatbed—now remember, the truck is moving while you are doing this.  Cows don’t need to be fed in summer so it was usually cold and it might be snowing or raining, you are bouncing across uneven pasture land over frozen cow pies and horse poop, all the while forking hay off to the cows.  The cows and calves are all around you—Michael put a toggle switch on the cab of the pickup—if you thought you were about to go over the edge of one of our many gulches or you were about to mow down a baby calf, you hit that switch and the truck engine died, stopping you. 

My friend Jill would come up some days to help me feed if Michael was off somewhere.  She always refused to drive ORF saying she felt safer on the back of the truck forking hay!!! Winking smile

Yep, life was exciting in those days!!!  We used that truck to feed cows right up until about a year before we sold the cows—the cowboy bought a round bale feeder and I thought I had died and gone to heaven the first time I fed with it—you actually got to sit in the warm cab of the pickup!!


Well, our Indian summer weather might have ended.  Cold, rainy and breezy today.  We did manage a walk before the cold front rolled in and I snapped a few fall photos:



Check out my pupil Angie’s latest blog—she wrote and published it with no help from me—she writes about the sport of Cowboy Action Shooting.  She and Ralph moved down to Billings yesterday so Ralph could shoot in a match at the Billings Rod and Gun Club this weekend.


  1. Pretty fancy rig that "ORF" truck, we had one that was used the same way, except we weren't so hi-tech. No kill switch for us, when you were heading for the slough or into the fence you had to bail over the side of the truck and run for the cab. Heck of a deal when you slip and almost run over yourself. But all that frozen stuff did at least keep the feed spread randomly across the pasture.

  2. I truly enjoyed the ORF story. That old Ford owes you nothing. Watching it leave the yard rustled up some memories.

  3. Looking at the front end of that ORF truck I'm thinking you maybe bumped into a few cows along the .....

  4. ORF had a good long life but he looks like he needs a good long rest. Time to head south before the snow falls.

  5. Great post. I had a 71 Ford pu until four years ago. It didn't lead such an exciting life, though.

  6. What a great story. Don't think I would want to do that though.

  7. Few things have more personality than an old pickup truck :-) My dad's '56 Ford truck had great stories! The countryside is beautiful, thanks for sharing.

  8. I really enjoyed reading about ORF. I can't even imagine standing in the back of that moving truck throwing out feed. You were crazy!!

  9. You sure are a trooper. That cowboy must be really something to get you to stick around :-) Poor ORF, no more fun for it.

  10. Great story about ORF:) Never had a vehicle I felt that way about, maybe a boat or two, but no land vehicle.

  11. Poor old ORF! Great story though, Janna. I can't imagine being in the back of a pickup truck baling hay while it's actually moving!

    Beautiful fall pics!

  12. Super story and great memories for you guys ...... That must have been kinda sad rolling down the road today ..... Enjoyed the photos especially the birch trees .....


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