My youngest son, 10-year-old Jamison, has always been very enthused about anything mechanical. His enthusiasm has matured and expanded and in the last few years he has become truly fascinated with big trucks. He builds big trucks with Legos, and rolls down his window at stoplights to admire large trucks that are next to us. He smiles at their size and comments about their rough sounds. Jamison is actually very knowledgeable about different types and brands of trucks and has a few favorites picked out. He is determined that when he turns 16 he is going to drive to school in an enormous pickup truck. I could like that idea because he would be surrounded by a lot of metal to protect him, but with the distance out of town we live and current gas prices, I realize it might only happen once.
Austin, my oldest son at 13 years, could care less about trucks. If it isn’t bright red, low to the ground, have a convertible top, and gets plenty of attention from the opposite sex, he doesn’t feel any love for it. He adamantly denies that he likes the attention, but he isn’t a good poker player, and you can read him like a book.
My Father, Popsy, has always had very eclectic taste in cars. When he got his driver’s license at the tender age of 14, he drove a ’52 Chevy with rust holes so big you risked falling through the floorboards. My heart starts palpitating when I thing about a 14 year old driving in todays world, especially a particular soon to be 14-year-old I know and am very fond on. I cringe and hyperventilate picturing Austin driving up on down the road in front of our house dodging enormous trucks that are in a hurry. When Popsy was slightly older he upgraded and from Chevys to Porsches and has had nearly everything in between.
Recently he decided that his 4 door Dodge dually pickup was too expensive and fancy for the kind of use it was getting on the ranch, and although it caused Jamison much grief, it was sold. Jamison lamented that there was never going to be anything as cool as that silver Dodge dually. I might have known that it wouldn’t take Popsy long to replace that truck after Jamison’s disapproval was voiced with constant reminiscing about the “most awesome of pickup trucks.”
My kids and I had just told my husband goodbye as he left one Saturday morning to go to a meeting. We were sitting at our kitchen table trying to wake up, when all of the sudden we heard a loud “Qweesh” in our driveway. Austin screwed his face up and sleepily said, “Is that a snake or something?” Jamison suddenly stood up and with a twinkle in his eyes said, “No. That sounds like airbrakes. What did Popsy do?” We all ran to the window in anticipation. Then we witnessed Popsy climbing out of a truck that I don’t quite know how to describe.
Austin spoke first and said, “Huh, what did he bring home now?” Jamison said, “It’s a truck. It’s a big ‘ol truck.” He then smiled with sudden realization, “It’s a beast of a truck.” We all went outside and proceeded to hear about this “great bargain” Popsy got on an enormous 1970 GMC 6500. We climbed inside for a test run, and I have to admit it was quite an experience as we tumbled and rumbled across the dusty, caliche roads. The cows will never be the same when Jamison found the airhorn. Honestly, neither of us will. An airhorn is very much an unexpected joy to a 10 year boy. It was hair raising, but it even got a smile out of Austin, who let a slow “Well I guess that’s cool,” slip from his upturned lips.
Jamison said, “Yep, it is a beast of a truck, and I like it. We can load up hay, gates, lumber, barbed wire, staples, pipe, and still have room for the ranch dogs. And it sounds cool. I like that “Qweesh” when it stops. I approve. Signed and stamped.” Austin snuck in an “I like it.” Austin’s sentiment lasted until Popsy teasingly mentioned taking him to school in The Beast. A pained grimace spread across Austin’s face as he let out a loud, “Mom, you really like taking us to school every morning? You really wouldn’t let him do that, right? Mom?” Truthfully I have never felt more wanted by my teenager.
After our initial test drive, I was left behind on the driveway and I just shook my head as Popsy, Austin, and Jamison bounced down the road with the dogs loaded up in the back. I don’t know what was louder, the barking of the dogs excited about going for a ride, the laughing of the kids, the rumble of the old motor, or the “Qweesh”- the roar of The Beast. Then in the back window I could see Jamison waving at me and reaching for the airhorn. Who said living on a ranch is peaceful?