Sokol Produce
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United Fruit
Gordie Sokol in 1949 with his new GM straight job which leased to United Fruit at 20 Derby St. in the north end, and later on Ross Ave. (Fruit Row) in Wpg.He also took over United's three trucks and ran them. Then he sold the busines to Dot Transfer ( Dial Dot and Dot Dashes)and did some time at North Star Truck Lines for a while. Isaac Solomon, the owner of United Fruit.
This is the first ill-fated attempt that Gordie and Smith made in the produce business (before they shut down the machinery haul). They took one of the Merc's and bought a load of watermelons for $250.00 in Florida which they were going to sell to United Fruit in Wpg. The truck calved in Iowa, so they got the other Merc, bob-tailed down and rescued the melons, but by this time they were too ripe for United, and they pedalled the load in Winkler and Steinbach for what they could get. They then traded the 2 Mercs for two Diamond Ts. George eventually went to Drewerys and Gordie to Great West Transport. Taken in 1958 Gordie's brother John with a loaner from Trailmobile, which at that time were on the corner of William and McPhilips in Wpg. It's a '53 ex-Reimer 35 ft. Brown that they used while T/M got the Dorsey that Gord bought road ready. Taken in 1958
John in the pink 'Binder with the freshly painted Dorsey . The ice bunker, ice door and engine platform are installed. The engine (a small 1 cylinder air cooled Wisconsin or Briggs and Stratton, etc.) has still to be mounted. It belt drove a domestic house furnace fan in the bunker to circulate cool air throughout the trailer. Note the blower shaft and pulley above the platform. This was "state of the art" technology back then for produce mongers. 1958. The pink 'Binder loading grapefruit in Miami Beach, Fla. for United Fruit in Wpg. George Smith at the wheel of the '57 IHC in the spring of '59. Gordie, his brother John, and Smith were running a three man team operation, where you ran two trips and got one off. Drewerys had repossesed Goerge's Diamond T by this time.
Gord doing the honors on the same trip. 1959. The operation is getting complex here. They were buying spuds in North Dakota, repacking them into 50# bags, and hauling them to a customer in Toronto. The lineup from left to right is; 1.Gordie 2.Paul Benedictson 3.Bill Thompson 4.Pete Viveille 5.Johnny Olensky 6. George Smith 7. Julius Klemchuk 8.Henry Unrah (who later died in a fiery crash west of Gull Lake, Sask. involving the D.S. Scott rig he was on.)
Spring of 1960 George Smith, Gordie, and his brother John with a load of R.A. Nothstein ( a Wpg. produce broker) shell eggs bound for Venezuala through Miami Beach, Fla. This was the year Smith started Trans Nation Produce (which was shortly shut down by the Manitoba Transport Board.

Gordie was offered a job by Chevron, so he ceded his interest in the 'Binder/Dorsey to George and John. John later injured his back and also withdrew. At this point, Nick Talaga began running with George. This rig was the downstroke on the V-6 GM Crackerbox/40ft. T/M reefer with which George started George Smith Produce.

Gordie got snowed in one winter at the foot of Lookout Pass in Montana. These are some of the rigs that were also there there.


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