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Town Vehicle Pass Their "Inspection"

April 30, 2011 by Josh Morgan

Alex Johnson was sitting in the driver’s seat of a large, yellow moving truck, but he wasn’t taking it anywhere.
This youngster, with his feet barely touching the floor mats, let alone the pedals, was sitting in the truck at the annual Touch A Truck event held at Bartlem Recreation Area on April 21. Johnson, 7, held a nervous smile across his face as he fiddled with the truck’s steering wheel and buttons. A sly smile came over his face as he reached towards the horn. He looked to his left, where the owner of the truck stood, and got the encouragement he needed.
“Go ahead,” the owner said.
And with those two simple words, Johnson blasted the horn and erupted in laughter as others around him jumped in surprise. His brothers, waiting for their turn in the big truck, stood nearby, giggling in eager anticipation.
Touch A Truck_0.JPG“I really like big trucks,” Johnson said, after getting a helping-hand out of the truck. “It was fun honking the horn.”
The event filled the parking lot at Bartlem park, usually reserved for student parking at Cheshire High School. Since the schools were off for the week on April vacation, it was the perfect time to pack the area with more than a dozen different vehicles. Besides the moving truck, there was a dump truck, garbage truck, cab from an 18-wheeler, public works plow truck, a U.S. Army Humvee, a police car, and even a coffee cup-shaped vehicle from Dunkin’ Donuts.
Many of the kids at the event said their favorite truck was the Dunkin’ Donuts coffee cup vehicle, such as Kyle Benjamin. The six-year-old, however, prefaced his enthusiasm for the vehicle by noting that he was given free Munchkin donuts when he visited. Honesty, at it’s best.
“So far, I like the Dunkin’ Donuts truck, but the Army vehicle is a close second,” he said, smiling. “There are so many loud horns. I know they scare some people, but not me!”
The youngsters were getting a kick honking the horns and pulling down chains found in many of the large trucks. By accident, or perhaps devious plot, one youngster pulled down on the air horn in one of the big rigs, nearly sending an innocent bystander flying out of his shoes.
Nearby, Charlie Greenwood, 6, was signing his name on the plow blade of one of the Public Works dump trucks. The blade was covered with signatures of past years, some more faded than others. After some brief inspection, Greenwood found an open spot and scribbled his name in green magic marker.
Inside the cab of a Bozzuto’s truck, Aubrey Williams, 9, blasted the air horn. She was then instructed to beep the horn in the center of the steering wheel and when she did, she erupted in laughter. The horn was rigged with the “Dukes of Hazzard” television show theme, which rang out proudly on the General Lee, the famous car used on the show. She held the horn and let the dozen or so notes play out in full. But was this her favorite truck?
“I like the truck over there,” she said, pointing at a large truck with a lift used to trim trees and branches. “That’s my dad’s truck.”
Apparently, blood runs thicker than funny sounding horns.
“What a fun day. I actually like all the trucks,” Williams exclaimed, before heading off to the next vehicle.

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