31 January 2008

If Daddy Only Knew

Ah, the memories. My Dad had a 1965 Ford pick up with “3 on the tree” just like this one when I was a boy. Ours was a half ton, short bed and dark green. Wet behind the ears, heavy in the foot, but proud of a new driver’s license, I couldn’t wait to get off the school bus every day so I could take it for a spin before Dad got home. Teaching myself to drive a straight drive, I cringed at every grind and kept forgetting she wouldn’t gear down to first unless you brought it to a complete stop. And man, was that clutch ever rough!

Nonetheless, I’ll never forget those times driving the back dirt roads of Augusta County, grinding gears, throwing gravel, dust boiling behind me with the windows rolled all the way down and the AM radio blasting. Ah yes, those were the days. No seat belts, no air bags, and you could pile your buddies in the bed of the truck without the nanny-state mothering over you. We all had our own Mamas to do that.

The old girl finally gave up the ghost . . . too many trips over Afton mountain hauling flagstone from the quarry in Schuyler (Remember the "Waltons?"). Dad would load the bed until she squatted low and off we'd go, blowing blue exhaust all the way. That last trip was just more than she could handle, God rest her drivetrain.

Sometimes I think I’ve lived too long or maybe I was just born too late. If Dad can read this, I know he's smiling. (I told you she was loaded too heavy.)


Anonymous said...

I love you old Bud

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

If my wife finds out you wrote this, I'm in trouble.