Saturday, August 25, 2007

Milkman story

Back in the fifties, my uncle Tom Newland was a milk man in Garberville and he was a 1/3rd partner in Riverside Farm Dairy along with the Pancoast brothers. He distributed formost milk. But before that, they milked their own cows and bottled their own milk at the dairy farm by the river below Garberville. I guess that is how the Dairy got it’s name.

He had an old Divco milk truck, and at four o’clock in the morning we’d deliver milk to every door step in Garberville and Redway that had an empty milk basket on the porch, that meant that they were out and needed more. I was only ten or twelve at the time. I was the runner, he was the driver. When the truck stopped, I would run to the porch and pickup the milk basket with yesterdays empty milk and cream bottles. The order and money for the day would be in box on the side. I’d take it to uncle Tom and he would fill the order in the back of the truck, make the change then I’d run set it on the porch. If the houses were close together, I‘d run to the next porch and the same procedure. If the houses were very far apart, I’d jump in the side of the truck on the fly, as it was trundling down road, kinda’ like catching a cable car.

Tom’s Dairy had four or five routes and route drivers. Sometimes I would work with other drivers on their routes. One driver in particular would stop in front of this one house and go inside to “have coffee” while I rearranged the load and sorted the empties. About a half hour later he would be back and we would continue with our route. I didn’t even think about it at the time, but later in my life, I slapped my forehead and said; I’ll be darned, the old milk man story must have some validity!

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