So I Bought A Truck (Again)

Sep 9, 2011 by

Well, to be honest the Little Black Dress bought it for me.

It must be related to certain milestones. I bought my first truck as I approached the big 4-0. Ten years later, and coming up on the half-century mark, it was time.

I do not “do” fancy. My latest toy does not have a gun rack, rear camera, GPS or anything leather. “Stereo” is questionable and the paint is that in name only. There are dents and rust and scrapes and … pure character.

Age-wise, this symbol of manhood is roughly that of the SONS of Thunder – combined.

Why a truck? As I said in my post about my first one, to do, well, truck things. Like going to the dump, camping, hauling whatever new/old knick-knack The Dress discovers, just driving around with the SONS.

Eldest SON, who was three at the time of the first truck, called it a “frack.” He loved it, primarily because there was no muffler. Which basically meant it sounded like a jet engine, which Eldest thought was beyond cool.

I had two great memories from that first truck. The first was as collection, just driving around the cornfields of Nebraska with Eldest.

The second was when I sold it.

Next door to us was a house converted into a couple of apartments. In one lived two 20-something girls. They struggled to survive, working at a custom T-shirt company. They just didn’t have any money. Their transportation was one of those baby trucks, the really small ones that probably would fit in the back of my truck. The back window was broken out. The heater didn’t work. This was Nebraska.

One day in winter, I came home from yet another late night at the newspaper to see our walkway was cleared of snow and a path was dug all the way to the back alley where the garbage cans were. The Dress was only a few days away from delivering Middle SON. The girls had gone out and shoveled the snow, just to help us out.

Later, I transferred within my company to Georgia. The question was what to do with the truck, because we really couldn’t take it with us. I wasn’t even sure it would make it.

I decided to give it to the girls. But Nebraska has absurdly high taxes, especially on cars – even beat up old trucks. I knew they couldn’t even pay the taxes.

So I walked over and knocked on the door. The girls answered, and I asked for a dollar. Yes, I got a really weird look, but they dug around and gave it to me.

And I handed over a bill of sale: one truck, one dollar. And the keys. And they cried. And they hugged me. And I cried.

It was a very good day.

They had, to them, a new truck. One twice as big, with all the windows intact, and electric ones at that. And they had a heater.

It was a very, very good day.

About a week ago, The Dress spotted the truck by the side of the road. Here’s the irony: my old truck was grey, this was – at least at one time – tan and green. But they were the exact same models, Ford 150 EFT, two-door, with a bench in the back.

“Sometimes birthdays just have to come early,” The Dress said.

So today I got tags for my new toy. Oh, and dropped it off at my mechanic’s shop. Yes, we’ll probably spend more just to get it somewhat roadworthy than what we paid for it. But that’s okay.

For example, the gear indicator is broken, that red line that tells you what gear you are in as you move the gear shift. The Dress was pretty adamant that get fixed pronto, saying something about how would she know what gear she was in without it.

And, doing that speak before thinking mistake, I politely pointed that if she stepped on the accelerator and the car didn’t move, it probably was in park, if she stepped on it and she went backwards, she probably was in reverse and if she stepped on it and went forward … and I then realized I might be sounding a little condescending and ducked just in time.

The SONS are, shall we say, stoked. They are already demanding to camp. Not take the truck camping, but rather camp inside the truck. I told them we probably need to clean it up a little first.

The Dress starts in with telling the SONS it really is an old truck and lots of their friends’ dads have brand new trucks with leather and power this and that and awesome stereos and GPS and digit do-dads and someone might make fun and …

“We don’t care,” they say in unison.

They get it. They see the vision. They have the imagination. Because they know this truck is special, one that will take them places those fancy new ones will never go because the paint might get scratched.

It is a truck of adventure. The time is now.

Let the journey, and memories, begin.

And to The Dress – thanks.






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