WGSF Television acquired a Ford Route Van that became a mainstay of transportation
for several years, both during the latter years of WGSF and for several
years after the move to the Newark High School campus.
For discussion starters:
The truck had a manual shift transmission, which presented a challenge
to some of the younger WGSF staffers. I remember waiting through several
traffic light changes while observing a neophyte driver struggle to master
the clutch and gas feed, the driver all the while becoming more frustrated.
The truck just 'died' on each attempt, but the lesson was eventually successful.
Another youthful driver had a chilling experience while traversing the
first big curve on the down-hill run from the station on Horn's Hill. The
steering locked up, and the truck ended up between two trees, headed back
up the hill the hard way. Took two wreckers to extricate 'Ole Blue from
that precarious position. Did that deter the driver from ever driving again
- truck or auto? No way! After necessary repairs to the steering,
she was back at it again. I knew that person was headed for a successful
career, and it was so.
Another incident at the junction of 21st Street and and Moul St. tested
the mettle of two other voyagers in the Blue truck. Smoke began pouring out
from under the dash.
The truck had a few years on it, and mucho milage, when we got it. The
metal was no longer pristine, yea, there were a few openings in places that
Ford had not provided in the original design. A few strategically placed
bricks covered the most problematic holes. While tooling out Route 16 past
Cherry Valley intersection one rainy day, I looked back to see a 'rooster
tail' of water kicking up from the tires. INSIDE the van! Some enterprising
and clean freak do-gooder had cleaned out the truck for my trip, including
the essential bricks covering the holes in the floor.
It served to transport all of the equipment from the station to the high
school campus after WGSF closed. It was still used as the Mini-mote for
some time, and other innumerable transportation tasks, until finally pulled
from service in the late 70's.