“Mars, Venus, and something simply called Stupid.” This chapter has less to do with real estate and more to do with the difference between the genders.
As a young child, my family and I lived in California, Oregon, Washington, and Kansas. In each one of these States, pickup trucks are more than just functional transportation. They convey the pioneer, rough and rugged, attitude of the West. They are ‘can do’ vehicles. Therefore it is really not surprising, that I have always thought that a pickup truck would be a great ‘spare vehicle.’
My ‘need’ for a pickup truck has become more apparent recently: college dorm relocations, junk runs, and a personal residence that is now full of ‘stuff.’ This has been amplified by my recent, nostalgic Pendleton Blanket spree. The memories of my youth in the great West are becoming like the images in the rear view mirror. As time move on, they are getting smaller and smaller. It may be silly but the lessons of youth, particularly those of boy with his father and grandfather, become more important as they become more distant: the time spent learning to shoot a rifle, or hiking, or sitting around a camp fire. These were times, that for me, we were powerful lessons to be of the moment and responsible for and to myself. These were times when you could ask your father or grandfather just about anything. These were times when you learned how to be a compassionate and strong man.
At a recent visit to Jim Cazzani at Passport Motors, I mentioned to him that I would like to buy a ‘junk trunk.’ “Something cheap but in decent shape” He asked me how much I wanted to spend. “Under $2500.” He laughed and asked if I wanted wheels too. The conversation ended with him saying he would keep his eyes open. Three weeks later he called and said he had a truck.” It was under $2500, albeit barely. The truck he had found was a 1994 Chevrolet Silverado with 116,000 miles on it. It was a Rhode Island-Florida truck. It was in good shape with an extended cab and a lined truck bed. My only question was what color. It was maroon. I said I would take it. “You do not what to drive it or see it.” “No Jimmy, you have checked it out and that is good enough for me.”
When I saw the truck it was perfect. In some ways, it was more exciting than my Saab, the Porsche, the Audi, etc…well not as exciting as the Alfa Romeo, but it was very exciting. We did all of the paper work and I drove off in my FIRST pickup truck. It has been great fun and I got 15 miles per gallon with my first tank. Simple joys.
About a month later, I am at the Mid Year meetings of the National Association for Realtors. One of my long time friends from the Association is Bob Snowden who owns a huge ranch with thousand of acres in Wyoming. He is a great guy with several pickup trucks. I am telling him about my pickup. He asks about the mileage. “It’s just a baby.” He asks if I have a picture of the truck. I quickly pull out my I phone to share not one but SIX pictures of my ‘new’ truck. “Ron that is in great condition and that was a great buy.”
I am feeling really proud. As this conversation is going on my wife Susan is listening and watching. She has been surprised at how much I am enjoying the truck. She likes it too, but not for what it represents, but rather what it can do. As the conversation with Bob winds down, and we finish admiring the photos of my ‘baby truck,’ Susan asks if I have a picture of her, (my wife of almost 30 years), in my phone. Bob smiles, as if to say, of course he does. Susan on the other hand knows me. Now my truck and I are in sinking in stupidity. As I stumble, suggesting that my phone is fairly new. It is apparent that this lame excuse will not help. Susan has a quick solution. “Take my picture.” The picture I now have in my phone is one of her hugging, not me, but rancher BOB. My wedding anniversary is coming up soon, and it will not surprise me if my anniversary gift is a picture of her driving the truck.
There is a life lesson here. Have a picture of your wife and family in your phone before you celebrate any other toys, particularly trucks, cars, big screen TVs, Red Sox tickets, Celtics games, or the second coming of Tom Brady. It makes life easier.