Goodbye, ol’ Red

A few weeks ago I blogged about a distracted teen driver running into Captain Cavedweller and smashing our little red pickup.

The insurance company declared it totalled (no surprise) and the other day the salvage company showed up at our house to haul ol’ Red away.

Yes, the pickup was getting old (1992) and yes, it had a ton of miles on it (196,000), but it ran fine, was paid for, and came in handy to have.

The thing that is really getting to me is the loss of something that was really a big, rolling item of great sentimental value.

Fresh out of college, I’d been employed at my first “real” job for about a month when I scraped together enough money for a down payment on a vehicle. My dad went with me to two dealerships and made me do all the talking. I struck a deal with the salesman for a 1992 bright red Chevy S-10. It had all of 148 miles on it when I drove it off the lot.

I loved that little truck. It zipped all over creation and could take a corner on two wheels like nobody’s business (not that I tried that out, or anything). The job I was working then required me to do a lot of driving and I gladly went wherever was necessary, happily driving ol’ Red.

A few months later, I met Captain Cavedweller.

We often drove Red since I didn’t like riding in CC’s car, which was full of disgusting boy stuff like pop cans, burrito wrappers and unidentifiable objects that appeared to be mutating under the back seats.

Red was full of memories of the year we fell in love, reminders of all the places we went and the things we did. Like the three-hour drive we took to a museum when we were both suffering from hay fever and went through an entire box of Kleenex. There was the trip we took to Jackpot that had both our mothers convinced we were eloping (which we weren’t). And I can’t forget the day CC proposed, because I was leaning against the side of ol’ Red when it happened.

Once we wed, we had a lot of adventures in the pickup. At one point in my career, I did a weekly travel page for the newspaper I was working for at the time. CC and I would drive somewhere on his day off in ol’ Red and I’d write about it, take a ton of photos, and we’d enjoy the day together. We saw everything from petroglyphs to a war plane museum,  ghost towns to bustling downtowns.

Thinking back, there are so many memories wrapped up in that old pickup. Like the time it was pouring torrential sheets of rain and CC and I were getting home late from a date night. We’d only been married a few months at the time and lived a few blocks from CC’s mom and dad. Barely able to see out the windshield, somehow we missed the turn and the pickup ended up high-centered on the post of a stop sign. CC, not wanting to ruin his suit jacket, took it off and ran through the freezing rain to our house to call his dad to come help us and ran all the way back. I thought he and his dad would both rupture something before they got the pickup off the post, but they managed and the pickup was no worse for wear.  Although I can’t say the same about my father-in-law who was so nice to get out of his warm bed to rescue his dumb kids who weren’t smart enough to not strand themselves out in the rain on a cold February night.

It’s not the pickup I’m going to miss nearly as much as all the fun times it represents.  All I had to do was look at it to call up warm, wonderful memories.

I’ve still got the memories, even if ol’ Red is no more.

Rest in peace, my faithful friend.

She Who is Way Too Sentimental

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