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By Jesse Utz 

This old truck


Most of us have one. An old, rusted, two-door rig that moves slowly and rattles a lot, and packs our debris from here to there. Camping trips, dump runs and the occasional adventure are the only times they get out on the road, but we won’t get rid of them; and if we don’t have one, we already have our eye on one to get. I’m talking about the old truck sitting outside right now. Old reliable.

Most men have the old, beat up, rusted, barely-legal truck that we use for the ugly jobs. Of course, they haven’t always been ugly; there was a time when this truck was new, but over time the sun and dirt have not been kind to the outside, though the inside is still as strong as day one. Of course, some of us are lucky enough to have a newer truck to do these tasks in, but those still covet the “old truck.”

My grandpa had one. I remember it, faded light blue. It sat parked next to the wood pile most of the time. My brother and I would climb inside it on occasion and pretend we were on a road trip somewhere adventurous. My dad had one too. I remember driving his red truck and learning to drive a sticky stick. I have an old GMC sitting outside right now, waiting for the opportunity to carry a load somewhere. These trucks have memories, yes, but what they really have is reliability.

I remember years ago, our little local community had an “Ugliest Truck” competition. Year after year the same truck one. I remember it well. The pride that man must have had to have the ugliest truck. Recently a friend came over to the house and commented that his truck was uglier than mine. I take offense to that. Mine is pretty ugly. I want the competition back. To settle this. Yes, we should all have the title of ugly truck and sit it on the mantle for all of our wives’ friends to see. (Of course I’m kidding, honey…kind of.)

So this truck is dedicated to the old truck. The truck our kids learned to drive in. The dump hauling truck. The limb carrier. The hunting, fishing warrior. The Red Road Runner. The wives’ nightmare and the husbands’ dream. The competition king. The winner. Not found broken down on the side of the road, but parked beside the wood pile, waiting for the call to service.

Who has the ugliest truck? Well, I say let’s find out. I’m just saying.

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