“It was just the final straw.”
Four times in three months the truck had been in the shop. The fourth repair job the day before and another big bill paid in full.
Long before light, horses loaded, headed north for final horseshow of the season, essential to add yearend points.
Two miles from driveway, idiot lights flashed, steering stiffened. Throttle stayed to floorboard, determined to go another 75 miles, even if limping.
Just two minutes further, power caput as smoke rolled out under hood. Fortunately, able to pull onto a country road before complete death.
Consideration of many possibilities for transportation to the important horse competition, all to no avail.
Still had to get junk truck and ready mounts back to headquarters. Of course, riding horses was first choice, but black dark remained. Scowling ranch assistance with drivable rig again obliged.
Fifth time into the shop where mechanic verified what should have been determined months earlier. “Get rid of the clunker.”
That’s easier said than done, replacement is essential. At least, seemingly.
Buying horses is a sport, supported by tad of knowledge. Purchase of a mechanical vehicle, no smarts, not the least.
Main requirement: dependable pickup to pull loaded horse trailer, get there and back.
Incomprehensible, how come hundreds of dealers and nobody wants to sell a truck?
“Fill out the form on the computer.” No. This is what’s wanted, find it. Salesman gets paid high commission when purchase is made.
Finally, after a dozen calls, one country dealer responded: “We found a pickup that will meet the needs.” He made the sale. It really was that easy money for him, doing basic job.
Still, anything bought has to be paid for, and had to get the old wreck out of the ranch yard. That took some horse tradin’, wheelin’ and dealin’.
Bed liner, tinted windows for skin-eye protection, workable-hitch, light hookup; then finally, agreement was set.
Forgot about running boards, thinking standard equipment; they weren’t. Yet, essential for aging cowboy. So them, bedcover and seat covers negotiated another way.
Congenial trader delivered shiny red pickup to the job parking lot. Life signed away, he took relic. New one works fine as horse trailer puller, so far.
Reminds us of Second Corinthians 5:17: “The old has passed away. Behold, the fresh and new has come.”
Frank J. Buchman is a lifelong rancher from Alta Vista, a lifetime newspaper writer, syndicated national ag writer and a radio marketing consultant. He writes a weekly column to share A Cowboy’s Faith.