Thursday, August 6, 2009

Meet Max

Pleased to meetcha. I’m Max.

I guess you could say I’m the newest addition to the White family of cars.

‘Sep, I’m a truck a’course. A ’99 Chevy Silverado with a whole lotta miles, to be exact.

I’m what Derek calls a twenty-footer.

Now, I’m not talkin’ 'bout my length here—although that happens to be 20 foot too.

No, when Derek calls me a twenty-footer he means that at that distance I still look pretty good. Git any closer'n you’ll start to see my scratches and dents.

Which, frankly, is A-OK with me.

Heck, I earned every one of them scratches and dents.

Us trucks ain’t askin’ for a beatin’—but for pete’s sake don’t be afraid to use us. I kinda like havin' a few imperfections—it means I been places, ya know? It means I seen some things.

And Derek don't seem to mind too much neither.

I got a good feelin’ about him.

Ain’t a lot a folks that care all that much for their vehicles. Shoot, an alternator goes out and they think they need a new car. Head straight to the dealership to trade the thing in. Kinda like an ailin’ car is disposable or somethin’. I don’t just don’t seem right.

Funny thing.... Derek drove me to the junkyard yesterday. Ya see, I’ve had this tailgate latch problem fer a while and he figgered he could save some money by gettin’ a used part.

Well, he left me in the parkin' lot and was gone awhile. But when he came back he was kinda quiet. Just sorta set there lookin’ off into the distance. Then I noticed an old, worn Isuzu Trooper manual that he’d set on my seat.

And just about then he grabbed his cell phone and called his wife.

Now I’m not one to repeat private conversations, but I don’t think he’d mind if I told ya that he found somethin’ in that junkyard that he just wasn’t prepared to see.

Seems he saw his old ’88 Isuzu Trooper up on blocks in that ol’ car graveyard.

It was the same one that he and his wife had bought just a few years after they got married.

It was the same little Trooper that carried their kids and them to Yellowstone ‘n’ back.

The same one that crisscrossed the U.S. and took ‘em to graduate school.

Same one where thousands of memories were made.

Well, it was clear that Derek had put a piece or two of hisself into that little Trooper.

He’d dropped the gas tank and changed out the fuel pump.

He’d changed out the radiator.

He replaced the clutch slave cylinder multiple times. In fact he done it once in a parking lot in Cheyenne.

When that little Trooper started to rust in the Pennsylvania heat, he sanded ‘er down and painted it with a spray can. Did a decent job of it too.

He changed out the brakes when she needed it, changed the oil and filter every 3000 miles.

He rebuilt the front when someone pulled out in front of his wife and she properly t-boned ‘em. Used old fenders ‘n’ stuff from the salvage yard.

Well, even I gotta admit that there comes a time when you need a new car. His work was takin’ ‘im up to Salt Lake and he needed to look a bit more professional.

So a good, used Camry did the trick.

But he hung on to that little Trooper for a good while after that.

Shoot, the only reason he eventually sold ‘er was because he just couldn’t stand to see a good little vehicle sit and rust.

Figgered someone else could use ‘er.

Well, yesterday at the junkyard with him just settin’ there starin’ off in the distance—I could tell that he wished he still had that old Trooper.

And I kinda like that.

Just means that he’s the kinda guy that’ll take good care of me.

I figger someday I’ll be settin’ up on blocks in a junkyard somewhere.

But when that day comes I’m just sure I’ll be plum filled up with a thousand memories.

And that ain’t exactly a bad thing.

Anyway, nice to meetcha.