Wednesday, September 27, 2017

An Old Truck Can Capture Your Heart

Vehicles and houses are funny things. They are just material and supposedly only commodities -to be bought and sold. But somehow that's not the total of what they are. A car, or a truck, and also a house, are more than just "things". They somehow hold memories. And that's what makes them special.

I said goodbye to my 1968 Ford truck today. It hasn't ran for years and just sat next to my barn slowly decaying. And yet it gave me comfort, every time I passed and glanced it's way.

I bought it sometime in the late 1980s or early 90s. It was already a classic. I loved describing the 4-barrel carburetor, the big V8 engine, the duel-exhaust headers and the power this beast had as it leapt into action roaring with just a slight tap of the gas. It drank gas like air and always turned an eye coming down the street.

I gave it to my teenage son, to safely grant him power and protection I thought, as he drove through his High School days. Next, my daughter of course drove it through her High School days to the envy of every young male there. Their tales are told repeatedly, with laughter and fond memories of the mishaps and adventures driving this old truck.

This truck drove us from Houston to Austin loaded with dogs, family and grandparents, faithfully, though not without doubts, making the journey successfully back in the mid 2000s.

I've replaced the engine, rebuilt the brake system, gave it a new carburetor (after poking a hole in it clumsily) and gave it a new $2000 paint job at one time. Ariel learned mechanics and independence turning wrenches, getting greasy, and repairing one part at a time, learning the ability to keep yourself sustained and moving.

I've scrubbed and polished it, started it repeatedly just to drive it around the block -stretching its metal bones- and worked on every part of this machine myself to give it life.

Eventually though, it grew tired, cranky, and rusty. I ignored it for other things in life, and it slowly sank into retirement for the spiders, birds, and squirrels to nest under its hood. Now finally, someone else thinks it worthy of attention. Today it has to be hauled up on a specialty wheeled flatbed with a winch to be hauled down the road to places unknown.

Thank you my old '68 Ford truck. You've been a friend. May your memories live on for years to come. I know I will always consider our time spent together more than just ordinary. It was a fun. It was special.

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