I put Brenn Hill’s CD on repeat today at work, and thoroughly enjoyed his “Cowboy Cadillac” song about an old rusty flatbed with four bald tires and new spark plug wires. I really dig his voice! It’s smoother than a brand-new pair of Bill McDonald chinks.
My absolute favorite pickup EVER is a late 90s Ford F-250 extended cab long bed, with running boards and a manual transmission. A cracked windshield is optional, but I prefer uncracked. This might be my fave pickup because it’s my dad’s and the one I learned to drive in, or maybe it’s because those things are dang tough and virtually indestructible. (Unless Oliver drives it….then it’s guaranteed totaled within 36 hours)
I have always been attracted to men in old beater pickups. When I get in a rig and he has to move aside a holey Carhartt, fencin’ pliers, electrical tape, an empty engine oil jug and a piggin’ string, I feel right at home. Reminds me of driving to the Shasta Valley sale yard with my dad when I was six years old in our old rickety cattle truck.
The smell of grease, leather, dirt and unidentified vaccine makes me want to close my eyes and inhale. It smells like workin’ men! I don’t get the craze over vanilla air fresheners and leather seats. Leather is cold in the winter, hot in the summer, and expensive. Great. An air freshener in the vehicle of the people I run around with would be a conversation piece, if anyone could find it amongst the junk – I mean tools – in the cab.
All those tools are usually necessary at some point in a rural driving adventure. Setting out on a Nevada dirt road without a tire iron and jack would be like saying, “Hey, guys, let’s go bear hunting with a sling shot.” You know you’re going to get a flat at some point; better be prepared.
After he bought me dinner with the tip he got for trimming a horse (yeah, farriers get tips??? who knew?), an Oregon cowboy asked me to slide over to the driver’s seat and turn the key when he hollered from underneath the hood, where he was performing some feat of amateur mechanickin’. I smiled and happily obliged.
I’m making it sound like the less able a man is to buy a running vehicle, the more I like him. Not quite true. I appreciate reliable wheels, I just think too many guys buy big fancy rigs on credit and then say, “Oh, I can’t go cowboy, I have too many bills.” I admire a man who works the job he loves and drives a vehicle he can afford. The smell of exhaust in the cab is just a bonus 🙂