Radiator fluid dripping causing white smoke in 97 Ford Ranger.

First off, I'm a complete novice when it comes to cars and recognizing parts in the engine bay.
I was driving to work this morning (less than 2 mile drive) going
around 35-50mph and when I got to work I noticed white smoke coming from the engine. I popped the hood and noticed fluid dripping from a place to the left of the cylinders. It looked like a convergence of hoses, with one really small hose that may have been from the radiator, but what do I know. The fluid did look like radiator fluid though. The part specifically it was dripping from was a round piece (almost like a cap)with an open bottom and steel wire or piece of metal connected to the bottom part.
I have no clue what this part is or what this problem might entail. Should I drive my truck at all and is this something that a novice might be able to fix with a manual and someone to help me?
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