Before he became America’s sausage king, Jimmy Dean was a country singer whose biggest hit was a ballad about a coal miner named “Big Bad John.”
The song dominated the charts in 1961 and went to win the 1962 Grammy Award for best Country and Western song.
There happens to be another Big Bad John, but this one’s a truck.
Donald Smith calls his 1975 Brockway Model N761 by that name. It’s a tribute to his late father-in-law John Schroeder.
Smith, who lives in Alexander, NY near Buffalo, said Schroeder had his eye on the truck just before his death in February of 2010. The former Town of Lodi plow truck sat in a salvage yard after having been sold at auction in 2002.
“I got the bright idea I needed that truck,” said Smith, who said he traded a Trojan frontend loader for the Huskie, bringing it home just before Thanksgiving of 2010.
Smith said he disassembled the truck. He got it back on the road for the first time in July of 2011.
The 16th annual National Brockway Truck Show in Cortland, NY this summer was “Big Bad John’s” truck show debut. In fact, the lettering on it had been done less than a week earlier.
At the show with Smith was his 12-year-old daughter Alexandra. Her dad said the young truck fan “eats, sleeps and lives” all things Brockway.