Note: This feature is in the Feb. TT&C 2017 issue.
Feb. TT&C 2017
Terry Bork in front of his Smith-Miller display holding his Smith-Miller Hollywood Film-Ad truck.
Terry Bork’s collection of model trucks may seem out of place to some people. After all, Terry is a railroad man who worked as a brakeman for the Wabash/Norfolk & Western Railway for six years during high school and college. He graduated from the University of Southern Illinois with a bachelor of arts degree in accounting.
He discovered, though, that riding the rails was not his life’s calling, so he eventually moved to Texas and worked as an accountant, moving up to president of the general contracting company he worked for. Today, Terry owns a general contracting company—TASCO Builders, which he has operated since 1981.
Unlike some collectors, Terry’s love for model trucks did not come from a trucking career. “I’ve never driven a commercial truck,” he said. “Nor has anyone in my family. I fell in love with model trucks on Christmas day 1949 when my brother, Lynn, and I opened presents and out popped our first Smith-Miller toy trucks. They were beautiful, and it was love at first sight!” That Christmas, Terry and Lynn received a 1949 GMC PIE truck and a 1949 GMC lumber truck. Terry still has both of these trucks in his collection.
“We only received toys at Christmas,” Terry explained. “My parents, Henry and Kathryn Bork, had eight children, so they saved to give us a big Christmas, making it special. Every time we opened a Christmas present, Mom and Dad told us, ‘Don’t break it. You won’t get another one until next Christmas.’”
Over the next couple of years, the two boys received a GMC wrecker, GMC orange cab Triton oil truck, 1950 LF fire truck and a 1952 Blue Diamond dump truck. All were Christmas presents.
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