Today, I was able to drive my truck home.
The longer version is:
I drove out to my brothers early in the morning to work on the racer, knowing I was going to fine tune my distributor and vacuum advance first. About two block away, Daryl (that's the name of my truck) started acting up again. (Yes, Daryl is a problem child.) Somehow I made it to my brothers, barely.
So we took his Chevy instead of my Ford to Harbor Freight so I could buy a truck crane. Along the way I saw three Bumps and two Dents, all active work trucks and all in good looking condition.
Farted around with my truck all morning trying to find out what's wrong. I finally went on a wild goose chase (in the Chevy) to buy a rebuilt distributor. Finally found one and a new coil to boot. Installed my new distributor and coil, set the points gap and static timed it. Daryl fired right up and purred like a kitten. My truck has NEVER idled that good!!!!!! Let it warm up, checked the dwell and set the timing. Checked the vacuum advance and found it has 12 degrees of vacuum advance just like the book says.
Cleaned up and it was time to drive over the hill and back home again. She (not really sure why, but Daryl is a girl) starts up in half a turn now instead of, oh a few minutes of cranking. Shuts off without dieseling. No more random ping ping ping. And, the hesitation is gone when accelerating from a stop or rolling start. I had suspected the carburetor as being the cause of some of these symptoms.
Did the hour drive home with the radio off and listened to my motor purr.