• 55°
A. Ray Lee ss

Old Jeep truck  

By Ray Lee

The sight of an old copper-colored pick-up awakened a truckload of memories. I had thought all 1973 J10 Jeeps had been crushed for scrap or rusted away.  

The vehicle of choice for most guys of my generation entering their second childhood was a “muscle car” similar to the GTO Pontiac driven by James Garner in the old TV series “The Rockford Files” or perhaps a beefed up ’69 Dodge Charger like General Lee in “The Dukes of Hazzard.”  

However, I had chosen a Jeep pick-up. 

My Jeep had “muscles” with power to free trees that had lodged on others when I was a bi-vocational pastor selling firewood to supplement the family income.  

With its four-wheel drive, it could plow its way out of the woods fully loaded with split oak and hickory firewood, both axles dragging in the soft soil.  

I loved its brute strength and versatility. It could be urged further down old logging trails and further out into the briar patches on the Post Oak Hunting Club than any of its lightweight cousins.   

I was a lightweight myself. The Jeep gave me an ego boost when I used it to pull out other trucks that were stuck in the muck.  

Effie’s standing with her students was elevated when she drove it to school one day while her car was in the garage for repairs.  

But the truck came with a steep price. It delivered only 8 miles per hour under all driving conditions – fast or slow, loaded or empty, on road or off. Brake pads wore out as if they were made of particle boards. For the best off-road performance, it required expensive tires that did not last long when driven on pavement.  

All repairs were expensive, requiring funds that may have returned greater value to all members of my family had they been allocated to other things. 

It was hard to give it up, for it was connected to many happy days when Clint, sometimes Jenny and I were together in the midst of nature. Some of the best memories Clint and I have are of the days we hunted and the nights we spent with others at the club house.  

Times changed. Life moved on. My interests changed. My passions matured.  

The old truck had served its purpose, but I hung onto it long after the returns failed to justify the investment I was making in it.  

After it had set idle for many months, waiting for yet another expensive repair, I gave it to a young man who thought he wanted it more than I. 

With mixed feelings, I watched as the old truck was being towed away and out of my life. I had a nagging, guilty feeling that I should have paid the young man to take it off my hands.  

Belatedly the words of the apostle came to mind, “When I became a man, I put away childish things.”