we welcome into our family of quirky rides this lovely 1977 ford ranger 100. a vintage pick-up which will be my future business address. looks blue doesn't it? its primer gray. we haven't decided whether to paint it the original green or white, but we do know that we will be going the el cheapo route a la maaco or earl sheib. how likely is it that after a few months of looking we found this 9 miles from chickory? it was clearly meant to be.
we bought it from a fellow who traded for it with another fellow who said it had been sitting in a chicken house for 8 years. looked like it too. ive never seen so much mud and dirt and grime in a car. as we looked it over, i wished i had brought gloves or even some purell hand sanitizer.
The seats and dash overflowed with "millionaire lucky bucks" scratch-off lottery tickets -the 2 dollar kind. i asked the guy "have you ever won any money with these things?" i about fell over when he told me that, yes, he had won $5000 dollars, $1000 dollars twice, $500 a couple of times. he said his wife also looks over tickets she finds in trash cans and finds winners there too -apparently some people do not realize that if you have a "buck" you dont need to match it with a number you are already a winner.
as you can see, the truck came with some entertaining after market decorations. I will most likely replace the georgia state flag license plate with my own plate featuring Little Yellow Jacket, a champion bucking bull. I loved the surprise interior featuring a bass superimposed over the rebel flag -or stars n bars if you prefer - and the required georgia bulldog seat covers. the seats are the bench kind -we had fun playing country lovers as we sat close to each other with trout riding shotgun while we test drove.
V taught me about pumping the non power brakes and to sort of pull up on the shifter as i changed gears. i found this far more to my liking than the truck we tried yesterday -a 1967 ford with a column style shifter i knew was too too much for me. i was, and am quite concerned about what we are going to find under that seat cover. we are going to have to stop by home depot tomorrow so i can buy a hasmat suit and goggles before we get too deep into detailing this baby.
the preliminary cleaning we did this afternoon took a while -probably due to the fact that i would pick things slowly and carefully out of the truck with just the very tips of my fingers, taking care to let as little surface touch me as possible as i placed each piece of funky human flotsam into a trash bag. the aroma of the truck was part white owl cigar and part mexican knife fight cologne and part christmas tree deodorizer. finally we got to the point where we could hose out the interior and it started to look and smell much better.
the 8-ball shifter probably wont last past the trip to the auto part store tomorrow. V really likes that the truck is actual old-timey metal and heavy and that the chrome shined up well. that worries me a bit -he likes "project cars" and i worry if he does too much with it, it will get "precious" and he wont let anybody actually use it; only admire it and wipe it with a diaper. "no no no -remember?" said i, "this is a FARM truck -a beater! we use it to haul and pick up stuff. and for me to look cute in when i pull into the farmers market. we'll affix my chickory logo on the door".
the terminator door locks grinned at me as i convinced V that replacing the bed because of the rust was unnecessary. he thought the lock was a skeleton; but with the red glowing eyes it was obvious it was not a mere skeleton, but the dreaded machine from the future. it locks doors. thats all it does. it never stops. until you are locked in. for good.
an eastern tiger swallowtail flitted by and landed on the forest floor. its path and landing was as light as my heart. i thought that V wasn't all that on board with me on the whole "integrated life of art and nature and farm and field" because he doesnt say much about it or want to come to chickory that often. but spending weeks on the truck search and finding the truck and making sure it was safe and fun IS how he says he is on board.
i cant wait take him on an old fashioned date to the swan drive in theater - one of the last drive in theaters in the US and it is right here in blue ridge! we'll throw a couple of lawn chairs in the truck bed and pull in backwards. we'll take a cooler with a great picnic -hopefully including something i grew- and i will spoil him with adoring looks, the occasional smooch and my eternal and deep appreciation for understanding who and what i am.
*update on Trout's eyes: her eye pressure is now in the normal range! we may be stopping the prednisone soon and dropping to one drop a day and then take another measurement. we cant just stop because if it really is glaucoma, pressure can build very rapidly and she could lose her eyesight. i am very encouraged. thanks to all who asked about her.