A nostalgic snapshot of 1950's white Montana, horses and all, from the eyes of innocent 20's-somethings, unaware of the upheavals just under surface of the country-side they are traveling through. Socrates explores how we contend with adversity; how we depend on the generous natures of the people around us. It's a theme that runs through my life. It's a true story of a very special time. And it teaches us that naiveté and bad decision making need not be fatal. We have within us the imagination to solve and surmount our problems.
Just don't forget the bicycle pump!
Socrates was a truck, a 1954 1/2-ton Dodge pick-up with a short squished nose. He looked to me like a picture of "the bust of Plato" in the family copy of Bulfinche's "Age of Mythology", by my new husband, Bryce, didn't want a truck named "Plato", so we named him "Socrates".
Like many other inappropriate names for inanimate objects, it worked. For years when we and our friends talked about him we referred to Socrates, only occasionally, "the truck". And he was always "him", never "her". One glance convinced you immediately that he was a "he", not a "her".
Bryce bought him in 1958, the year after we got married. We had been tootling around in his family's Willys Jeep (the "Jeep") or in his sister's Henry J (the "Henry J"). But since we planned to go to college in Bozeman, Montana, we needed a vehicle of our own to a) get us there, and b) travel in Montana where distances were DISTANCES and there was scanty little in the way of public transportation. Indeed, to Bozemanites, public transportation was something encountered only in exotic major cities like Billings. In Bozeman, you walked, drove a car, or rode a horse. We didn't know much about Bozeman, but we accurately guessed that much!
Getting there was our first priority. Well, getting there with two large dogs, several boxes of books, assorted tools, a bed, kitchen utensils, bedding and towels, clothes, etc — you get the idea. That's why we needed a truck. And although you wouldn't think so at first, Socrates was ideal. But he needed some modification.