Life on the frozen tundra of South Dakota Life on the frozen tundra of South Dakota

An Ode To My Truck: The White Falcon

An Ode To My Truck: The White Falcon

The "Red Hornet" had given me more than four years of faithful service. She had hauled me and my cargo without complaint, never once letting me down when we had a job to do. Even when I brought two 1500 pound loads of landscaping rock home in her bed, she didn't so much as sputter. We did leave a trail of rocks that fell through the rust holes in the wheel wells, but we made it otherwise unscathed.

All good things must come to an end, however, and after revealing to my wife that the brakes were so bad that I had to take the ditch in a panic stop situation because there was no way I could get the truck stopped in time, she banned the Tundra Boy from riding in it any longer. Apparently, I could go ahead and die if I wanted to, but Tundra Boy was to be protected from the rolling menace.

About nine months prior, I had a squirrel chew through my brake line (I am not making this up). I took the truck to a local repair shop to fix the brake line. Due to the terrible condition of the entire brake system and the overall shape of the truck, the owner of the shop didn't want to fix it, and offered to make arrangements to have it hauled away for scrap. I conned him into replacing the brake line, but he wouldn't let me take it home until I signed a waiver stating that he felt the truck was unfit for use and that I wouldn't sue him if I killed myself or anyone else. This was the warning shot across the bow, but I didn't heed it for another nine months.

Well, I hemmed and hawed and looked at my savings account and didn't know how I would get another truck. I did go and test drive a couple of trucks, but they didn't fit into my price range. One day, I made the mistake of taking the Red Hornet while I looked at another truck. She knew I was cheating on her. She brought me back home, but then refused to start for three days out of spite. Apparently three days later she forgave me, and after replacing the battery terminal that had crumbled away to nothing she agreed to start again. Nevertheless, we both realized that she was not long for this world, and we came to an understanding that I was not looking for her replacement, just her successor. I may own other trucks, but I will never replace the Red Hornet as long as I live.

So it's an early winter morning when I pulled into a parking spot where I work. I noticed in the spot next to me was the exact same model truck as the Red Hornet, only white and in better overall condition. One year newer as well. "Nice truck," I thought to myself. "It'd be cool if it was for sale."

As I walked past it on my way to the door, sure enough I spotted a for-sale sign in the window. I gave the truck a quick glance over (it was early, so it was still dark and I couldn't see much.) Hmmm... $800. A little bit higher than my price range, but not bad. I copied down the phone number to contact the person later. Well, seeing as it was parked outside my workplace, I figured the owner probably was in the building somewhere. So I went out to Google, typed in the phone number and bam: the person's name popped right up. Scary!

After a fairly thorough look-over and a test drive, I let the seller sit on it for a day and then offered $500. I expected the seller to counter, but to my surprise he said, "yeah, I guess I'll sell it for that much." I expected more haggling than that.

The truck wasn't blemish free, but it didn't have near the issues list my old Red Hornet did. With the Red Hornet, it took less time to list everything that worked rather than going through what was broken. With this truck, at least the tables were tilted the other way. The issues were minor: cracked windshield, broken dome light, needed a carb adjustment and the rear end was a little noisy.

Unfortunately, the new truck didn't have the mojo that my old one did. I thought maybe I would have grown to love her equally, but I alas my love for this new truck never had the opportunity to surpass that which I felt (and still feel) for the Red Hornet.

In any event, I thought it would be fitting to write another collection of poems in honor of the "White Falcon" which is what I decided to name this truck. Every truck needs a name, doesn't it?

Not the White Falcon, but looks similar.

New truck is needed.
I don't want to give her up.
Weeping and wailing.

Fate brought me to this.
Five hundred dollars later
The White Falcon lives.

Bon Jovi rules the airwaves.
Not in my truck, though.

White paint looks so clean.
Except for scattered brown spots.
Either dirt or rust.

Plastic bed liner.
Makes the back end look brand new.
What is it hiding?

How happy am I?
Gas stops happen half as much.
This tank doesn't leak.

Early in the morn,
While the worn valve guides are cold,
Smoke billows freely.

Parking brake does work.
Now I can park on a hill.
Goodbye old wheel chock.

It's warm in the cab.
The heater works in this truck.
My socks are melting.

Now it is too warm.
Still no air conditioning.
Boy, I'm a whiner.

Rear end makes awful racket.
I'll have to fix that.

Dude ran a red light.
Totalled out the White Falcon.
Only one month old.

Four weeks after I purchased the White Falcon it met an untimely demise when a guy in an SUV ran a red light and took out my truck and another Buick. Thankfully no humans were injured, but the White Falcon suffered a fatal hit to the passenger front quarter. In exchange for me agreeing not to sue, the guy's insurance company offered me $2,000 and let me keep the wreckage of the White Falcon. I then sold the remains for $75 to a guy who needed a transmission to fix his own Mazda.

As providence would have it, at the same time I received the insurance settlement I found an incredible deal on a 1996 Ford Ranger pickup for $2,300. I drove that truck for five years before the frame rusted in two. Unfortunately, inspiration has yet to strike so there is no poetry for that truck. Yet...

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This page last updated on 07/11/2018