I was in 8th grade.
Live Aid and We are the World.
Reagan was sworn in for a second term.
The first WrestleMania went top-rope at the Garden.
Somewhere in Canada, a brand-new, black Ford F-150 Stepside rolled off the production line.

Some twenty-five years later, the new version of We are the World failed miserably, the Cold War is now hot-as-Afghanistan, WrestleMania is bigger than all of us, and that pickup found its way South to my driveway in Upstate NY.

It’s been a while since I last owned a truck. Incomplete doesn’t quite describe how I’ve felt all these years. Borrowing my dad’s is OK, and I’m grateful for his generosity, but the logistics tend to be a pain in the ass. Drive my car over to their place, get the truck, use the truck, clean the truck if I make a mess of it, put gas in the truck if I drove it any distance, take the truck back and drive my car home. And the projects I undertake – whether landscaping, hauling trash, hunting or fishing – always finish up at times when I’d much rather park the truck, then park my butt, have a beer and relax.

Having a truck again simplifies things. Having an old truck (oh yea, 25 years old puts it in the antique category…crap) with an indestructible straight-six engine allows me the ability to get my hands dirty instead of making appointments and paying someone else to change the oil, plugs, wires and all that good routine maintenance stuff. I can tweak, tune, repair, replace and generally mess with it till my heart’s content.

I can fill the bed with topsoil, mulch, firewood, plants or powertools. The kid’s bikes and sports gear…hell the kids themselves (for short rides anyhow).

I can throw a kayak or canoe in the back, tackle boxes, poles, coolers, waders, boots, tree stands, ground blinds, decoys and whatever I pull out of the water, carry from the field or drag out of the woods.

No roof rack. I’ve got bungee cords and tie-down straps.
Forget camp chairs. I’ve got a tailgate.

I can put a sticker in the back window of Calvin peeing on a Chevy or Dodge logo (don’t hold your breath for that one), or for Ducks Unlimited, Air Assault, Canandaigua Lacrosse and a list of other gear companies I hunt, fish and camp with. How about this one: My kids can out fish your honor student.

A truck is a new perspective: accomplish more by slowing down. It’s not the destination anymore. I’m enjoying the hell out of the drive there. Much like my decision to spend more time this year hunting, fishing, enjoying down-time with the kids and simply paying more attention. I know there’ll be a time when my kids won’t sit up on the bench seat next to me anymore and go for a ride, as cool as the day is long. These moments are not sitting around waiting for me, that’s for sure. So, until then, we’re going to put that new antique through its paces and get back to slowing down.

25 years has gone entirely too fast.
Thank God for trucks.

The new antique


Filed under Fatherhood and venison jerkey, In the woods, On the water

9 responses to “1985

  1. All hail the pickup. My first was a 1973 Mazda and was the first of many that have included Dodges and Fords (No Chevy’s), gas and diesel, some with dual rear wheels and some with 4 doors, all with 4 wheel drive. A year ago I thought I could do without, and so for the first time since 1984 I found myself truckless. And lost. I now have a 2003 Toyota and life is good once again. Great read!

    • Fishingpoet

      Thanks Kirk! My first was a Mazda too, although not of the 70’s vintage. It’s amazing what a truck can do for the soul.

  2. Daine

    Boys and their pick ups. I have enjoyed reading your blog. 🙂

    • Fishingpoet

      Thanks Diane. Glad you’re reading it!
      Oh…and most of my conversations about LEGOS revolve around why they are all over the living room, sun room, hallway, stairs… 🙂

  3. Diane

    Hey I meant to type, Diane. It’s hard to type and hold a conversation about LEGOS. HAHA!

  4. Lori

    old trucks are one of Gods gifts 🙂 Rockin the truck..love that !:)

  5. I like it. I’ve never owned a truck… have owned a dodge minivan called either the Deer Killer or the Fishmobile and now have an Xterra that has 185K on it and has never had more work done than replacing the AC once.

    On a much more serious note… my dad is a pretty fantastic guy. Retired judge, steelheader, great dad and fantastic grandfather. I’ve only really seen him disappointed in me once. I let slip the word “fishing pole.” My dad paused and he looked at me with a very serious expression.

    “Rod, son. It’s called a rod.”

    And so it has been ever since.


    • Fishingpoet

      That is funny. Reminds me of Full Metal Jacket…This is my rifle. This is my gun. This is for fighting. This is for fun.

      I’ve always used them interchangeably, depending on the situation. In general, spinning tackle is rods and reels, fishing poles are what the boys grab from the barn when we’re heading out for bass (poles is their abbreviation), fishing rods are what I have for bigger/faster/stronger quarry (a la steelhead/salmon/big trout), and fly rods are…well…exactly that.

      Funny the vernacular that’s handed down…

      Thanks for the shout!

  6. He told me that a pole was a stick or branch with line tied to the top and a rod was something with guides. I don’t know if he is right on that or not, but he was very serious about it. I am guessing his dad was pretty serious about it and passed that down. Funny thing.

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