Saying Goodbye To An Old Friend: My Red Truck

WagsphotoBy Bob Wagner, AAP Columnist

I am still officially in mourning. My beloved old red truck has been sold. I no longer have four-wheel drive, and must forgo the summer surf fishing season, as far as driving on the beach is concerned.

It took me over a year to decide to part with my surf buggy. Well, it took two months to decide to sell, and 10 months to clean it out. Years of stuffing my belongings into nooks and crannies caused a buildup of monumental proportions. As always, the cleanup process became much like Christmas, as I relocate long lost “stuff.” I found at least three full changes of somewhat rumpled clothing, for summer AND winter; three plastic bags of new “stuff” from Harbor Freight; miscellaneous bags of fishing gear; 11 lbs. of lead sinkers; too many lures with rusty hooks; a pair of old boots; and one size 10 summer Croc. And that was just from the back of the truck. Behind, under, and alongside the seats yielded a grand collection of important papers, lighters, pens, harmonicas, and one size 10 winter Croc. Some of the boxes, five-gallon buckets, and tackle containers remain unopened, saved for going through on a rainy summer day.

At the very back of my truck bed sat a half bag of cement, now as hard as a rock, left over from some long forgotten construction project over 12 years ago. I did find and redistribute three pairs of binoculars, and my good Florida sunglasses. My temporary Toyota wagon is already half full of “stuff,” much to the bride’s chagrin. She was forced to ride with me the other night, and made several unkind remarks about my treatment of the former family wagon. She did comment that the vehicle did not smell as bad as the old truck, but guessed that it was just a matter of time.

I have placed a large rack on top of the wagon, for carrying much needed “stuff,” like my canoe, extra carving wood, and the like. I have found eye bolts and carrying strap tie downs, and just as soon as I finish this column, I’m off to Tippin’s Pond to chase blue gills with my fly rod.

The bride just commented that the term” fly rod” was right up my alley, as she had just returned from bringing in the morning paper, and noticed a few hundred flies buzzing my wagon. Apparently, I inadvertently forgot to remove yesterday’s container of worms from the fishing trip, and two bananas from the rear of the wagon. The 80 degree temps wreak havoc on worms and fruit, especially if they are not in a cooler.

I must remember to open my windows as I trek to the pond, and perhaps add a pine scented air freshener to the front of my vehicle. And removing that spare five gallon bucket which held all the offending worms will help clear the air, as they say.

The good side of this discovery, however, is that now the grandkids will again beg Nana to pick them up, so they won’t have to ride with Bert, in the “fishmobile.” I secretly enjoy torturing the young ones who must occasionally ride in the back, amidst the clutter. But mostly I cherish the banter it provides with Nana.

I’m off to the pond, to feed the worms and bananas to the fish. Enjoy the summer, and stay upwind ‘til the cold winds blow!

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