Trucks I Have Known

In my mind, there are certain things that a man needs and they are, (in no particular order);

  1. A good gun. For this there are actually three good guns, a handgun for personal protection. A rifle for hunting, and a shotgun for hunting and home defense.
  2. A good way to make a living. Whether you’re a butcher or a baker or a candlestick maker you have to have money.
  3. A home. Yep you have got to have a place to lay that weary head.
  4. A truck. Every man needs a truck. Even if you live in the citiest city, you will still need to haul something, somewhere, sometime.

This is the story of number 4.

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1957 Ford

I cannot recall a time in my life, since turning 16 that I did not own a truck. In some parts of my life I may have owned more than one and a couple of cars as well. Although I have owned one Chevy, a  GMC, one International, a Dodge and a Willys , Fords have always been my favorites.My first truck was a 1957 Ford, (it was the mid year body style) when I first got it, I though it was painted with the red oxide primer, after buying the truck, I learned that rust is also the color of red oxide primer. I also learned about test drives.I was working on my grandmothers roof, when I saw the truck sitting in the yard of one of her neighbors. I noticed that there was some grass growing up around the truck and that it didn’t look to have been moved in quite a while.I knew the man pretty well, as I used to take him fish when I would catch more than I could eat.So I decided to walk over and inquire about it. I soon realized that I should probably have climbed down from the roof first, and sometimes pain and gravity seem to go hand in hand.I limped over into the yard, and saw the old man sitting on his front steps, smoking his pipe and talking to his dog. “You got any fish?” He yelled to me.“No.” I said.“Then what the hell you want?” he yelled back.I was wanting to ask about that truck you have sitting there.” I said.“Well then ask about it.” He replied.“What’s wrong with it?” I asked.“Nothing. It just needs a good home and a good driver.” He replied.“Cool. How much you want for it? I asked.“What you give me for it?” He asked.The negotiations commenced.Being the sharp negotiator that I was, I wound up paying only 25 dollars for the truck, of course I had to fix a loose front step, rewire his air conditioner, worm his dog, and reroof his house, but I paid only twenty five dollars for the truck.After completing the transaction, he handed me the key and said “She’s yours. Take good care of her.”I turned the key and the engine roared to life, well actually it more or less coughed, wheezed and gasped to life. But it ran. I knew right away that it would probably need mufflers, since he was standing at the driver side window, warning me to watch  out for snakes. Undoubtedly trying to talk me into bringing him another mess of fish.Somewhere between the time I tried stopping at the end of his driveway and actually did stop over in his neighbors chestnut tree, I realized that he wasn’t concerned about my fishing.Even though it had no brakes, and no seatbelts, and most of the floorboard had been claimed by rust, I was proud of myself. I had gotten my first truck and I had gotten it on my own.With my head held high, I pulled into the driveway, went through the flowerbed, over the little apple trees and coasted to a stop in the creek that runs behind my parents house.My dad, a man totally lacking any form of a sense of humor met me halfway through the garden as I was walking back to the house. “Where in the hell did you get that piece of junk?” He asked, obviously concerned about my well being.“I bought it from old Leon.” I replied.“You bought it? You mean you actually paid good money for that thing? What the hell is wrong with you? Are you stupid or something? How much did you give for that damn thing?” He asked.“Twenty five dollars.” I said.“Twenty five dollars? Boy do you know how much ammo I could buy with twenty five dollars?”“No sir.” I replied.“Enough to shoot you and that truck so full of holes that neither of you would be recognized.” He said.We would later pull the truck out of the creek and I rigged up the brakes so that the emergency brake would work, then I parked it in the yard. I would drive it three more time before the engine died and never ran again. I did however sell it to a collector of old trucks for 100 dollars. Wooden floor boards and all.


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