We dated only a few months, but one thing Craig showed me was an appreciation for classic cars. I never made it to gearhead status, but when I spotted a car show at our local K Mart Saturday, I had to stop.
a ‘Rat Rod.’ He described it as a collage, “You take bits and pieces of different vehicles, put them together and come up with a new one.” As I listened, I thought it sounded like a short story collection.
“The cab is a 1937 pick-up I found in the junkyard. Originally it was green, but it’s rusted to this color. I didn’t paint it. Those are real bullet holes above the window. I didn’t put those in, they were there when I bought it! The engine is from 1975.”
“Know what that is?” I knew it was a gas tank but for some reason there was an inverted Jim Beam bottle attached to the side. Did the truck run on white lightning? “That’s my gas gauge. When the level gets to here,” he pointed to the bulge in the neck, “I know it’s time to fill up. See that over there? Used to be a military box.
The other piece of military equipment I noticed was a hand grenade for a gear shift knob. Where did he get his ideas?
“The back end is from the 1940’s but I put a new bed on it. Had to have it bent so it wouldn’t hit underneath. The guy who made it painted it with acid to bring out the patina and make it look old.”
“Those are real Native American blankets. The seats were covered just like that when I found it. Kept me warm this morning since I don’t have heat.” He laughed, then told me about his trips out West to the reservations years ago to buy blankets and jewelry, and his appreciation for the Native Americans’ handwork.
I loved listening to Gary talk about his truck. By the look on his face I think he enjoyed talking about it.