The truck -- Poetry Challenge -- Road Trip
The Ford truck
Black it was, all shiny and new
My dad bought it for me to drive
School far off, miles more than a few
Fourteen a sophomore in school
Knew how to love and did it fine
Gears please don't grind, double clutch do
Time passed, Dad got his truck anew
Off to college the son did fly
Missed the girl, friends since it was new
Later in need I got it soon
Now old, truck brought for me in bind
For my broken bones, Dad came through
Dad's love now but his son's to use
Rattle there clunk here still ran fine
Shiny and black no longer new
Four wheels dent or two, it would do
It was my car, really it was. Just that I didn't own it, my dad did. A 1949 Ford pickup, all shiny black and new. Ready for me to drive it to high school.
My first two years I rode Minnie, my pony, to high school. That school was in the country three miles from home but only went to the tenth grade. So I had to go to town to finish, but it was too far for Minnie to walk, about ten miles. So Dad bought me a 1937 Ford, a very nice one, one-owner, low-miles, owned by a "little old lady" (LOL).
No that wasn't the pickup truck. I think Dad had wanted a pickup for himself but instead he got me this. Then he decided that the little '37 Ford didn't have good brakes because they were mechanical and not the new improved hydraulic ones. He did want his son safe. So he bought himself a new pickup truck and I got to drive it every day to high school. Oh yes, it whistled when going down the road.
Fast forward to the summer after graduation, I had a job with a construction company paving a road. Dad let me drive it to work and back. But when college started I couldn't have a car so the truck sat home.
A year and a half later, in my third semester I broke my foot. It was winter and cold in Nebraska; my dad felt sorry for me as I lived a mile from the college and the buses were undependable. So he loaned me the pickup until my foot healed.
Three more months had passed, my foot was healed, I had dropped out of college (I came back to finish eleven years and four children and a non-working wife later). I didn't tell Dad about dropping out though until about a couple or three months later when I had a job in the watch factory.
In the meantime, before I told my dad, I had my first steady girl friend. She liked the truck too.
[at right, Linoma Beach and lighthouse, Wikipedia picture]
Those six months the '49 Ford and I renewed acquaintances. Our relationship became quite intimate. When early summer came around a couple of buddies and I would load it up with eats and drinks and head to Linoma Beach with it.
Another time the buddies and I took it to Ames Iowa for their then famed annual rodeo. I have no idea how many miles I had put on it when I took it back but I am sure the odometer number was much higher than Dad was expecting. He didn't say anything about that though.
What Dad did say was, "Jim, I think you are old enough now to have a car of your own." Reading between the lines he was saying, "I want my pickup back." In Nebraska back then a person under age 21 could not buy a car on his own, butt now my dad would sign for me.
Dad had already found a nice care for me, it was another one-owner, low-mileage car. Not a little old lady this time, it was Dad's friend and my high school principal who had traded it in. The car was a nice 1950 Studebaker Starlight Coupe, light green.
So I said good-bye to the 1949 Ford Pickup, Dad was in title. I courted the Studebaker for a year. She couldn't put up with me anymore and I had to trade her in for another Ford, my own this time. The '52 Sedan was to last me for about three years. I treated her nice, hopped her up and let her reigns loose against the Chevys. She never lost a race. But she was fickle too, lost interest in me so I had to buy a new one.
Years and years past now, I would love to have the '49 Ford pickup back again, preferably restored. I think she truly loved me and would come if we could only find each other. She probably thinks I dumped her. In reality Dad took her back. Can't trust you own father sometimes.