my father's truck

My dad was the kind of guy who always had the latest and greatest in tech stuff.
We had the fanciest television when I was little, I remember that it was a piece of furniture.
We were among the first people in the civilized world to have a microwave oven - and it was roughly the size of one of those dorm refrigerators.
Huge also was our first VCR. It was the size of a coffee table.

And my dad was known for purchasing the latest and greatest vehicle around, every couple of years.
He had Corvettes for many years, great hulking, sleek machines with enormous engines. I took my road test in one.
He had BMW's, sporty and expensive to care for.
He always wanted one of those big vans, with the venetian blinds?
He would gaze at them lovingly in the showrooms and my mother would signal to the salesmen and slowly steer him towards a Cadillac or Mercedes.

Months before he died, while living in Oklahoma, and flying my brothers and my family out to see him with great frequency, he made a leap and purchased an SUV.
People weren't really buying SUV's for personal use back then, but he wanted something luxurious (it was the Eddie Bauer edition) and big.
My mother was driving a big fat Mercedes, but he wanted something for us to pile into, with room for car seats.

When he died I told my mother that I wanted to buy it.
She was good enough to let me pay what I could for it each month (far less than it was worth) and she sent it to me via my brother B.

It nearly bankrupted us when it needed a new transmission early in its life with us.
It was far more vehicle than we would be able to afford for years to come.
It bore the scars of many mishaps...
the time I hit the side of the garage with the side view mirror
the time I tore the passenger side running board off it
the fender bender I had on the ice while 6 months pregnant
the fender bender Oldest had a few months ago
the time I drove it, with a bicycle on the roof, through the drive through at the bank.

And though I've had it for over a decade, it is still referred to as 'my dad's truck' even though he died not long after buying it.

Many are not sentimental about such impersonal objects.
But I am.
And now as it is being towed away, donated to a fine charity (and I cannot bear to think what will become of it) I am very sad.

dad's truck

As my dad would have said:
it doesn't owe us a cent.

He was so right.


Badger said…
Aw! Don't you wish you could just tuck it in a drawer somewhere?

(We had one of the first microwaves, too. It was nearly as big as our first TV. Which was BIG.)
Sharon said…
A dear friend of mine died last year and left me his practically brand new car. I love it because I feel so safe in it, like I have an extra guardian angel when I'm driving. I plan to keep it for a very, very, VERY long time. And I, too, will be very sad when it is towed off to charity.
MsCellania said…
Oh! I know that sadness. We have big pieces of furniture 'where Pop did his bookkeeping' and toy Spring Horses where '3 generations of us' have ridden to glory, and the '66 Beige Bomb' - a Chevrolet Belair that we all learned how to drive on (sans power steering, power brakes, and NO RADIO!) -stuff that is still lurking somewhere as we can't part with them.

I like to think that your dear Daddy's SUV is being worked on by an enthusiastic high school auto repair class, and will have many year's life yet.

And YIKES about the car wreck while pregnant! I ripped a luggage rack off a fancy Chrysler station wagon (and pieces of the roof), trying to sneak in a downtown parking garage that I didn't have the key to - in my bosses' car! OOPS!
Anonymous said…
Awww...lovely post. Sorry that its time has come.
Jess said…
-lump in my throat-

You tell its story well.
Anonymous said…
I think by now you know my family, and my feelings about vehicles. I feel your lump and your pain.

A good home is what you need to know and believe to make it true.
simply tender and well said, a love like you have had, keeps rolling and filling others with joy! Those memories are wonderful, and the way you say them...ah so you! Happy Trails!
Claudie said…
This brought tears to my eyes. Your dad sounds rather like my late grandfather, a keen early adopter of all things electronic and owner of the first computer I ever saw. He loved cars too.
Jennifer said…
Hugs bb... I'm sure your dad would be proud, that you got so much milage out of her and is anxiously awaiting to see what you get next :)
Amy A. said…
It makes me glad that I only have my dad's old baseball glove. (The one I don't let my kids take anywhere lest they lose it.) It's much easier to tote around than an SUV.

I'm sorry you are losing a little piece of him, again.
--erica said…
I just don't have words for you.
hug instead?
Carol said…
So sorry about the truck. I have so many of my mom's things. I know that I cannot hang on to them all, so I just need to remember that the "things" are not her, nor her memories. Those are not going anywhere.
My thoughts are with you.
Joke said…
I'm bawling ovah heah.

-Mr. Sentimental Car Wuss
Sandy said…
I know what you mean about being connected to a car. That's such a neat story about your daddy. I let my husband take my car to look for new cars and I didn't go with him and he came back with a new car and I didn't have to say goodbye to my old one because I "didn't know" it was not coming back.
puerileuwaite said…
A sweet tribute. As someone who is very sentimental, and gets attached to things in a similar way, your story resonated with me.
Anonymous said…
you would not believe all the little things I've found while packing and been unable to throw away.

love this post.
jenny said…
i really shouldn't read everyone's comments first because I end up thinking 'yeah, what badger said' and such.

Wish I had a big garage for ya.
Anonymous said…
My girlfriend has had her late father's Jag in a $500 a month garage for 10 years. They take it out twice a year and zip around in it, then have the electrical system repair or somesuch thing.

Our lives are ruled by so much reason; it's lovely to see sentiment hold sway.
L. said…
Goodbye Eddie, goodbye.

I remember the roadtrip across texas to new mexico, backpacking.