“I started working on it in late July,” said Robertson, a senior at Granbury High School, “and I finished it yesterday morning.”
The gleaming white wagon, with Fort Worth Fire Department emblazoned across its side, shows the long hours of work Robertson put into it.
“It is based a 1905 hose wagon,” said Robertson, who did six months of research before traveling to South Dakota to purchase the more than 100-year-old wagon he used for the project.
Robertson explained that a hose wagon was used to carry firemen, hoses, other firefighting equipment and even coal for the “steamers” that pumped the water.
He has an interest in such arcane history because his father, Homer Robertson, is a Fort Worth Fire Department captain with more than 30 years of service. And Ty also gets a lot of his general wagon knowledge from his dad, who is an award-winning chuck wagon cook.
“I guess I’ve got wagons in my blood,” said the younger Robertson.
Robertson, who plans to attend Texas Tech or Texas A&M and study agricultural communications or agricultural economics, put some of that blood, along with plenty of sweat, into his entry.
“The most tedious part was the sanding,” said Robertson, whose wagon required extensive renovation and a substantial investment.
Finding parts for his vintage wagon — such as a “floor gong” (a clanging device under the seat of the wagon Robertson described as “like a siren”) — also proved difficult and expensive.
“I took out a $10,000 loan to do it,” said Robertson, pointing out that the old wagon alone cost $7,000. “In the end, I think we went a little over that.”
But Robertson, who joined 4H when he was 8 and is now a regional officer in FFA, appears to feel no price is too great to pay for a life in agriculture.
When asked what he liked to do when he is not working with his sheep on the family spread or doing something else ranch-related, Robertson had a revealing reply:
“I find that when I’m not doing ag stuff, there’s more ag stuff to do.” Excerpt from Star Telegram article by Punch Shaw.