The Leaves That Were Green

Coming back from Fredericksburg yesterday I spotted this sitting in a field 100 yards off the pavement.  I felt an immediate kinship, made a U-turn to go back for a closer look.

The first new vehicle I ever owned was a 1970 F150.  Standing here looking at this one too-long left in a pasture, flat tires, dents and proud sign I flashed a brief, joyful memory of driving mine back to Austin from the dealership in Luling. 

Someone did the same with this one from some other dealership.  I wonder if he remembers the day, wonder if he’s even alive to remember some piece of geography he shared with this heap of steel, glass and rubber before me.

The young don’t know enough
About being young
They squander youth
And never know ’til later.
Any lad of twelve will testify
An eight-year-old can’t even qualify
To be a child
At eighteen our own ignorance
At fifteen is finally written
In language we comprehend:
We know the score
Reality’s the icing on the cake
Of youthful fantasies;
When the young grow old
They know a lot
About being young
But almost nothing
About being old.

But trucks know
Trucks have the dents
Worn bearings
Frayed seat-covers
Holding a thousand
Passed-gas kisses
Spilled drinks
Forgotten miles
Of those who forgot.

Old Jules

18 responses to “The Leaves That Were Green

  1. Outstanding read Old Jules…

  2. My first visit, but defiantly not my last! Thanks for stopping by my blog.

  3. if cars could tell their stories …

  4. superb presentation!!! although i m young, still missing my childhood too much… lots of love for you, Old Jules… !

  5. My first vehicle, bought with saved up $$ from mowing yards ($165)…was a 1951 Ford F-1….drove it for 3 years with the orig flathead V8….fixed it up gradually, racing stripes from adhesive tape nabbed from the high school gym where I played JV B-ball. Finally sold it for $325, but it was beginning to show signs of vapor lock after long hard drives.

    Great memories…even tho I had to push start it many a cold morning with my brother to get it going to school.

    Thanks Jules

    • Hi Bill. 1951 was a good year for Ford vehicles and those old flatheads everyone had were fine engines. High compression heads and overdrive and they’d think they were souped up. I’m glad you came by. Gracias, Jules

  6. My wife laughs. cause I don’t whistle at pretty girls, like herd of construction workers admiring a pair of long legs walking by but I do whistle at old trucks and they can be like the one in your pic, they don’t have to be restored, they just have to be a classic. Nice post and poem. (~_~)

  7. I have fond memories of the cactus green 1963 Chevy half-ton that I got in high school and drove from California across country to college in Maine.

    I remember distinctly driving through Montreal in the late summer of 1985 and, stopped at red light, looking over at a transit bus and watching the driver check out the old black and yellow California license plate on the front of my vehicle and nod approvingly.

    There was a lot about that truck that didn’t work, including, at various times, the wipers, the heater and the horn, to name just some. But what I wouldn’t give to get it – or one just like it – back, 20 years later.

    Thanks for helping me remember some happy times.

    • Hi Kevin. Thanks for the visit and read. Your ’63 Chev reminds me a bit of my first ever car, a ’40 Chevi sedan nothing worked on but had a hole in the floorboard rotted through to allow disposal of beer bottles. I wouldn’t object to either of us having ours back. Mine was hand painted white with a label, White Lightning on the rear fenders. I could beat almost anybody in town in a reverse drag race 20 yards. Thanks for coming by. Jules

  8. Jules, speaking of driving in reverse, my dad used to tell me how for kicks he and his brothers would occasionally install a transmission backwards on whatever ’40s or ’50s era car they were working on and, presto, end up with a car that could four speeds in reverse, but only speed forward.

    Those were indeed simpler machines. When the rings blew on the motor of my old pickup outside Bangor, Maine, I coasted into a service station. Within a couple of hours the owner located a motor from a ’66 Chevy, installed it, and off I went. Total cost $250.

    There isn’t anyway you could even dream of doing that with today’s cars. Heck, some of them you can’t even change the spark plugs without taking the front tires off.

    • Hi Kevin. I never heard of turning a transmission around backward. Must have been a good trick. I don’t recall whether I ever pulled the trannie on the ’40 model, but on the ’60 and forward ones I pulled trannies on I think the splined shafts on both ends were male, maybe the same size, so the mountings and linkages might be the only thing to stand in the way of doing it. Yeah, pulling the engine out of a junked out car and replacing the smoking ruin in yours used to be a valid option. Too bad it no longer is. Gracias, Jules

  9. Did you write the poem at the end, Jules? I enjoyed it. At almost thirty, I am just starting to get a glimpse of both youth and old age. It is an interesting vantage point. Thanks for stopping by ThreadBareBlossom. I’ll be dropping in again. 🙂

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