history

What is a “Diamond-T” Anyway?

Some readers have asked just what the “Diamond-T” in the title references.

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I can’t say I blame them. No vehicle named “Diamond-T” has been produced in nearly fifty years.

But before the Chicago-based truck manufacturer merged with Reo to form Diamond-Reo in 1967, Diamond-T’s were quite the thing. The Chicago-based manufacturer made their name building some of the best trucks on the road:

Mack’s direct competitor in the light-duty big-truck field was Diamond T, builder of what many called the “Cadillac of trucks.” Diamond Ts, no matter the size, were never short on style or class. Flowing fender lines, aggressive grilles, rakish cabs-there was simply no way to mistake heavy hauler from the Chicago company founded by C.A. Tilt. “A truck doesn’t have to be homely,” he reportedly said more than once.

I’ve always been fascinated with things that go: Cars, trucks, bikes, planes, ships. I’ve seen and admired Diamond-T trucks in books and occasionally in museums for most of my life. One thing that always caught my attention — besides their obvious style and their usually-red color — was the logo.

According to the same reports, the company name was created when Tilt’s shoe-making father fashioned a logo featuring a big “T” (for Tilt, of course) framed by a diamond, which signified high quality.

So when the idea for the book occurred to me in 1992 or so, it came in the image of one of those stylish art-deco Diamond-T trucks hanging perilously off a bridge in winter just before sunrise — its hapless driver staring through the windshield at the obscure, stylized “T” pointing downward at the railroad tracks below him.

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Over the years, it gradually occurred to me that in the opening scene of the story, we see can something about the America of the 1950’s as well as a clue about where things were headed. Times were great, people were confident, but secrets had been shoved just beneath the surface. Some of those secrets are revealed at a critical moment to Nick Pente: the driver who is just as much a product of America — and Chicago — as the truck he drives.

Thus, it had to be a Diamond-T. A White, or Mack, or Peterbilt, or any of the others wouldn’t have had the same overtones–nor the mystical logo. Nick’s truck is an honest product of a confident and abundant America, and it’s headed for a fall.

Learn more about Eye of the Diamond-T by clicking HERE. I hope you’ll enjoy the journey.

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Knowing is Half the Battle: Keeping People Ignorant is the Other Half.

Almost nothing in my novel “Eye of the Diamond-T” is historically accurate. But the one thing that is absolutely truthful might still astound some of the innocent among us.

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To observe the effects of the drug on unwitting subjects, they secretly administered LSD to hundreds of mental patients, prisoners, foreign nationals and private American citizens without their consent. — From History Channel

My protagonist Nick Pente is the classic subject for CIA mind control: A decorated WW2 veteran with severe PTSD who wandered aimlessly until happening upon a psychologist who “cured” him using what he only thought were cognitive methods: psychotherapy and long talks in a darkened office. The hypnosis and strange substances he just explained away. He didn’t want to make waves.

But these secret therapies succeeded in turning Nick into the perfect foil–and the ideal driver of a truck carrying a secret and sinister cargo. The book is about Nick’s journey back to sanity and his psychic and spiritual redemption despite the government and society that betrayed him. His combination of basic good nature, patriotism, and psychological disturbance would have made him the ideal “mark” for MKULTRA, and followers of the program will find plenty of hints at what’s really going on even at the beginning of the story.

I’d also point out that Americans are big thinkers and the ultimate popularizers. We’re really egalitarian that way. What worked on a small cadre of the disturbed would have likely been used on the populace at large, and likely was tried — under one name or another. That’s regardless of what the CIA testified during the Church Committee hearings in the 1970’s. A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.

Anyway, Diamond-T is only partially an indictment of mind-control. It doesn’t really fit into the genre of “conspiracy lit.” My use of MKULTRA can be seen to represent all of mankind’s desire to just fit in and just let things slide, and how curiosity and critical thinking are rarely valued as highly as just going with the flow.

Pick up a copy of Eye of the Diamond-T today. I think you’ll enjoy the ride.

Excerpts, reviews and purchase links at www.diamondtbook.com

Great Picture of a Diamond-T

Ahh, the Diamond-T.

Try to think of a time when this design graced the front of a piece of industrial machinery. Is it any wonder that it inspired a book about a mystical journey, one that tries to capture the essence of the America that produced such a thing? This is the mysterious flying-Diamond-T. Stare into it long enough and it stares back at you.

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