Old Friends


I’m not a person to give up on a vehicle due to rust. A man once told me “the cheapest vehicle you purchase is the one you already own.” This person was a mechanic so he may have possessed vested interests, however I think the statement was correct. It is better to fix the vehicle you already know than to purchase something new.

1998 was the year I purchased my first “good” pick-up. It was a maroon and white,1989 Chevrolet 2500 four wheel drive which I found on a lot in Bismarck, North Dakota. I mounted running boards, fender flares and a General Motors cup holder to make it mine and truly loved the truck. A few years after the purchase, I found myself driving an awful lot and traded the pick-up on a Ford Aspire. I felt bad about leaving my truck behind, almost as bad as driving that horrid little car made my contorted upper body ache.

Darrel is my brother, he is now a half-century old and wise but showed wisdom even a decade prior to this milepost. Darrel needed a truck and happened upon a gorgeous ’89 maroon and white Chev’ 2500 sitting at the parking lot where I’d left it. Darrel purchased the pick-up and it stayed in the Nelson family. I teased Darrel that it was always uncomfortable when all three of us were together; almost like dating the same woman.

In 2006 Darrel bought a new pick-up and I had the opportunity to make another intelligent purchase. I was now the owner of my first “good” pick-up. Darrel had used the pick-up in his business but it was still the same horse I remembered. It has many miles on it now and has seen several engines and transmissions but still has the same familiar heart beat, it was like I’d driven it only yesterday.

I recently had some body work done on my pick-up. Nothing fancy, just fixed the running boards and doors-the cab corners will just have to stay rusty. It’s true what I was told as it is much cheaper to purchase more time with this vehicle than buying something new. I just wish I’d never sold it in the first place but am fortunate that I know both of it’s owners from the last 12 years.

It got me thinking about relationships. I have old friends that I rarely see. I see Mike on his way to the field, Kenny and Ryan during funerals, Danni at the hardware store and Dave did some plumbing for us. I rarely see Shawn or Daren. Still though, we have a shared history, like my old pick-up, that unites us across borders of time and distance. They were my first “good” friends and even though we’ve all acquired rust and dents through life, each time I see them it’s like I saw them only just yesterday.

I picked the truck up from the auto body shop just this week. It really didn’t look any different but it was better in ways that are important. I guess it’s like old friendships, never changing but improving with time.

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