Tuesday, October 14, 2008

A Man Needs An Old Truck

My Grandpa passed away when I was a younger father, I'll never forget that moment. I held his hand in a hospital room when he took his last breath and so many things went through my mind... most everything except him dying.

We shared a lot, more than just blood, we liked the same odd foods, we liked music although he couldn't play a thing, he sang. A good portion of my sense of humor came from Grandpa... the old guy had a pretty bent sense of what was funny. Typing this right now I'm sitting here smiling thinking of things that we did together. I spent a LOT of time with him when I was little, and later on in life when I started on my own, he gave me my start in the cattle business.

One other thing we shared was, the love of an old truck. I've had a LOT of old trucks, so did Grandpa, but the one he had when he passed on was probably his favorite. It's mine as well. When I say it's mine, I mean that literally too. See... one of the few things that Grandpa specified in his will that was to be mine and no one else, was his truck.

He willed me his old '72 Chevy 4x4.

That's pretty heady stuff when you get down to knowing just what that means. One of his most prized possessions, to a man that owned 100's of acres of land, a nice home and all that other jazz... I got HIS truck.

I used that old girl just like he did. I threw fencing material in the bed and built fence, drove through brush and woods, down mud roads, drove where there was no road, got it stuck, got it bent some more, blew up the motor once and had it rebuilt... I used it.

Then about 10 years ago an exhaust manifold broke and for whatever reason... I just parked it. It sat there with weeds and trees growing up around it in a back field... waiting. Waiting for me.

Good trucks will do that.

I've got her back and I'm dumbfounded how much I've missed her since I left it sitting. We're putting in an outdoor woodburning boiler system at our home and I needed a wood hauler, not wanting to use my good truck for that, the blue Chevy was perfect. Jake, my son, drug it out and applied his mechanic skills to her and breathed life back into MY truck.


That's Jakey up there on the hood. His shirt says "Make Wheelies". He lives that philosophy.

Ain't it something? Now keep in mind, I'm being real serious here... I love that truck. Some things have happened to it while it say in that field. Rust happened. Some rot happened... and other things. I took Sally for a spin (she loved it!) and of course she got pictures.

See that dash? Grandpa's old Border Collie "Laddie" got shut in the truck by accident one day and he took his imprisoned anger out on the dash of the truck. :-) Check out that bitchin' stereo! It don't work. See those heater controls? They're mostly there for looks.

Sal opened up the glove box and discovered a time capsule of fencing supplies and farm truck goodies... a few mouse turds tossed in for good measure.

Hey! Lookie at this! Glove box drink tray! Remember those? Cool huh?

Inside the cab behind the seat on the floor in the cab corners... I've since filled that airy atmosphere that rust ate away with some spray foam. lol

Above my head in the "rock on" shot, there's a way weird rust out spot. Went all the way through. I filled that with spray foam too. That's how Grandpa would have fixed it if he'd known about spray foam. lol Guaranteed.

The old behind the seat gas tank went south while it sat and waited for me to come back. Jake procured me a 32 gallon Baja fuel cell. Check that bad boy out, sitting there in the center of the bed like it owns it.

Awesome eh?

And finally every old truck needs a kick ass bumper sticker or window decal of some sort. It's pretty faded and ratty looking but it's still waaay cool. "University Of Smith & Wesson" You betcha!

So there it is. I'm just hazarding a guess that if Grandpa is taking a look down here that he's grinning ear to ear. I'd love to take him for a ride in it again, sling some mud, jump a ditch, rope a cow and tie her up to it and not giving a damn if she swings around and bends the side a little bit more.

He'd love it.



Jennifer and Sandi said...

You have an "Old Blue"!!!!! It's a beauty!! LOVE the dash. Is there still a dog tooth stuck in it? I miss those drink holders *sigh*

- Jennifer

WowsRose said...

This is hands-down your best post so far.

You rule - and your truck and little boy too!

gracie said...

I agree w/Nicky. Absolutely.

It may be because of the timing of it.....sorting thru my Dad's things...looking at pix of him when he was sooo very young and remembering how he looked when I was a child. Packing away his Boy Scout uniform. Remembering how he always took me over to Gramma's...I can see her standing in the kitchen even now and how she always had cookies. Always.

Your walk down memory lane and that you have such wonderful memories AND *THE* truck are priceless. Thanks for showing me that there are others who value cherished items of family we love.


Mary ann said...

Awesome. There's nothing like the memories something like this can bring, and they are priceless.

loulee1 said...

I don't do trucks, but I do have one grand fathers foot stool, and the other grand fathers kitchen chair, so I know where you're coming from.
Enjoy the ride, great that you got her going again.

Jennifer and Sandi said...

Where are you? Are you stuck in Old Blue in the Holler???

- Jennifer

Jerry said...

Loved this post, Jace. I miss my Grandpa, too, and I don't have anything but my woodworking passion (and a fair number of skills) from him. I take those for a spin as often as I can, and I remember him most during those times.

Thank you.