The Bandera Courier
Bandera Courier
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2013-01-03

I love my truck

Doug White

Gee, after telling a story about my Dad's 1924 Caddy last week, I decided to talk about my ol' truck. This 1982 GMC pick-up truck has a special memory.
There I was, stationed at the USAF Survival School in Spokane, WA during the mid 80s. I had a super commander by the name of Lt. Col. James Darnell. He knew that I was from Texas and was going to retire there in a few years. He approached me one day and said, "Sergeant White, you cannot go back to Texas driving a 1964 Chrysler Newport."
He continued, "You need a pick-up truck." He was referring to his own truck. It was a 1982 GMC High Sierra. His daughter seemed to wax that truck every weekend for an allowance. It was the best looking truck in Survival School.
I said, "Sir, I really don't believe I can afford your truck at this time." He said all he wanted was the blue book price and that would do the deal.
I went to the credit union and got the blue book price, which was like $3,800. I asked, "What is the high book value?"
The agent replied, "Sir, that would be $4,500." I asked the credit union agent if I could run that amount on the loan.
To my surprise, the loan was approved and I handed the Commander a check for that amount. He was sort of in a state of shock when he looked at that check. "Are you sure this is correct? It seems a bit high."
I told him it was high blue book value. The only reason he got the high book was because of his daughter keeping that truck looking brand new!
Col. Darnell was happy and I was very pleased with the deal, too. The truck is now 28 years old and still runs great! I must admit, it mostly has been just sitting around not doing much of anything. Then I get the notion to get it on the road again.
I recently had to replace the water pump before the next freezing weather. It was a close one, but I got it done a day prior the 20 degree temps.
Every time I get behind the wheel of that good ol' truck, I think of those USAF Survival School days.
Lt. Col. Darnell was much like a Jimmy Stewart kind of fellow. He was easy going and a bit laid back.
I will never forget when I invited him to make a presentation to a departing Supply NCO. I had the engraved plaque in hand. He asked, "Sergeant White, where did you get that good looking plaque?"
I smiled, and said, "Sir, I got it off the wall in your office. You have so many, I didn't think you would miss it."
The truth was I had ordered the plaque a week or so prior to this special day.
See, if it were not for that old truck, I most likely would not have remembered the plaque story!
I hope you enjoyed this week's story.