Legacy Writing 365:206

Sitting in line at Starbucks, palm trees behind me, dreaming of red trucks…

If you’ve read here for any length of time, you know it’s one of my dreams to someday have a red pickup–not necessarily a shiny Toyota, but maybe one more like those at the end of this linked post from last year about this time. But what you may not know is what began this craving.

I think it was in the Triassic period when my friend Kathy L helped me get a tech writer job with her company. Oh, how I loved that job. It was one of the first places I felt my skills were really valued, and I was treated like a professional. Sadly, as is wont to happen with space and defense contractors, work ebbs and flows, and my position fell to downsizing (but the HR guy helped me get my next also-great job, so it all worked out). Anyway, while I was working there, I burned out the engine of my car, and for a while until I could buy a new one, I was given the use of Big Red, which was sort of the company’s truck.

Big Red was an ancient pickup–I can’t remember if he was a Ford or a Chevy, but he was beat up as hell. He’d been part of a working ranch or farm (Kathy may remember more details), so he’d earned every dent, scratch, and faded bit of paint he wore. Every time I clambered into the cab, slammed the door, and cranked him up, I slipped inside the pages of a Larry McMurtry novel. And I love Larry McMurtry even more than red trucks, so I am talking BLISS.

I know that one day, somehow, another Big Red will come into my life. If he’s not pretty, I don’t care, as long as what’s under the hood will keep us on the run. And if it doesn’t happen before I check out, then I can’t think of a better way to be imagined: tooling through the universe–make me young and thin again, with long brown hair whipping around me, and all the dogs who went before me taking turns riding on the seat next to me. Whenever you’re sitting at home or inside a place of business, and you hear a bit of music as someone drives by–and if you know me, you’ll probably know what music is likeliest–then think to yourself, There goes Becky. Or, you know, Aunt Becky, Beck, Becks, Beckster, or any of the BettyPeggyBetsyDebby names I’ve been miscalled through the years. It’s all good in a red truck.


10 thoughts on “Legacy Writing 365:206”

  1. I just sold my “li’l red truck.” It was a tough decision. The Ford Ranger had been in the family for decades. It was the first vehicle for sister Kathy’s son – who sold it to his cousin, Gil’s youngest, who wrecked it. I was looking for a old truck just because everyone needs one for those times when a car just won’t do. Dad (the fixer of auto wrecks and all things metal, bent and twisted) brought it back to life and sold it to me for the cost of the parts ($465) and I used it for more than 11 years. The last time I drove it, it nearly rattled to pieces. One day a guy knocked on my door, unbidden, saying, “Hey dude, is that truck for sale?” I thought about it for about a month, then let it go for $750. Now there sits an empty place at the end of the driveway where, “Li’l Red” dwelt. (Tearing up here a bit).

    Speaking of trucks, I was driving down the country lane that leads toward home the other day and passed a green GMC truck, just like the one Steve’s dad drove when we were in high school – the one we used to haul Dad’s flat bottom boat whenever we went frog-gigging, and the very same one, I think, we used the first summer you and Steve came home from ‘Bama. I remember driving down to Tuscaloosa to help you guys and Debbie M. pack up. As I passed it by, I was sorely tempted to pull a quick u-turn, chase the guy down, pull him over, and ask, “Hey dude, is that truck for sale?” If only it had been red.

    1. At least you know Li’l Red went where he was wanted.

      I have photos of an old blue pickup Steve bought after graduation. Every time I see them, I want that truck. I’d just need to get it painted red.

  2. I did not have a little red truck … but I did have a 1978 Ford Mustang Cobra like this one


    Mickey Mustang was white with gold trim and he sacrificed his life so I might live … I can remember turning up the volume on my radio … thank you 8 track converter … listening to the music with the tops off singing along. It was the best … and just like you, one day I’ll have another one.

  3. i have a red dakota with very few miles on it (the speedometer didn’t work for 2 1/2 years) i can let you have cheap. you know my number.


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