Monday, April 07, 2008

Old Lizzy

We had an old 46 model Chevy truck when I was a kid. My dad got it in some kind of three-way trade that involved a rusty shotgun, home-brew, and some farm animals. That must have been around 1961. You couldn't really tell the true color of the old truck because it had obviously been painted with a brush a couple times and the paint had peeled in some places more than others and with the varying shades of rust, blue, and deep reds, it looked somewhat like a stained glass window.
It had a stick shift in the floor and the tires stayed flat most of the time only getting air when we had an errand to run that required us to haul something. The battery was always dead so Dad would pull the old Plymouth around in front of the junker, slap on some jumper cables, pour a little gas in the carburetor and fire that puppy up. It had a hole in the muffler as big as a football which made the old clunker as loud as a NASCAR race. The only communication that took place in the cab while the motor was running was at maximum volume. It was not uncommon to be a little hoarse when the day was done. I think that's one reason I have problems with my hearing today. When to old gal got underway, blue-gray smoke poured out the back until she warmed up, but all and all, the old truck was very dependable.
When we reached our destination for the errand we either had to leave it running or park it on a hill so that we could get a good rolling start. I remember many times, when we got ready to go, Dad would say OK Bocephus, let's push. I always wondered why he called me that, but later in life I learned that Hank Williams Sr. used to call Jr. Bocephus. My Dad loved Hank so I guess that's how I got the nickname. But I'd get on the passenger side and push like crazy on the back fender. When we'd get up enough speed he'd say "jump in!" I'd run around the side of the truck and jump up on the running board before getting inside and slamming the door. Dad would pop the clutch and Lizzy would spring to life and we'd putter on home. The windshield would tilt out from the bottom to let in a cool breeze as you cruised down the road. At that point in my young life, I didn't think it got any better than that.
I used to sit in that truck for hours on warm Saturday afternoons, shifting gears and driving old Lizzy all over the planet. I can still close my eyes and remember the smell of old leather, aging metal, and burnt motor oil. It's where I worked out the hand/foot finesse required to drive an ancient four on the floor.
I lifted the photo above from Pastor Rick. I hope he doesn't mind. Thanks for the memories Pastor Rick.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please consider sharing

Email Signup Form

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required