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Restored tanker truck toast of Main Street
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A shiny black 1923 Ford tanker truck with a history and restored to its original luster was part of the Ripon Main Street Day on Saturday. - photo by GLENN KAHL/The Bulletin

A 1923 Ford tanker truck was the talk of the Ripon Main Street Day car show on Saturday.

The curious who questioned the need for brass spigots on the back of the tank were told  that is how the men of the day got their glass filled with moonshine during Prohibition Era.

The historic truck was surrounded by scores of beautifully restored vehicles just north of the Ripon Consolidated Fire Department headquarters on Stockton Avenue.  The owner, Robert Lanini  of Farmington  said he had discovered the vehicle in a grandfather’s barn in Monterey where it had been tucked in a back corner. He pulled it out and restored it to its original condition.

Three retired Riponites —  Glenn Fredericks, Chub Pratt and Joe Azevedo — gathered around the truck asking the owner a litany of questions about his find and just how much moonshine it would carry in its tank. 

The annual Main Street Day celebration staged by the Ripon Chamber of Commerce always depends on its volunteers to set up the event in the predawn hours while firefighters and cadets ready the bays of the nearby fire department headquarters with their grills and the tables and chairs where hundreds of gather each year renewing old friendships over pancakes, bacon and scrambled eggs before browsing the street day.

The fire engines had to be parked behind and in front of the station to make way for the breakfast crowd. 

Ripon Chamber of Commerce President Tamara Spade and David Murphy were out on the street by 3 a.m. making sure everything was in the right place and following established protocol. Next to the Bank of Stockton the Ripon Police Department’s large van was parked where volunteer VIPS were available to answer questions from the public and to sign up recruits for their group.  

 The event included performances, a health fair, petting zoo, fun run, food vendors, and more.

To contact Glenn Kahl, email