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The spot for the good news, the good word, the quick reports of the many, many wonderful news items I hear all the time and want to share with the rest of you. Expect to find the good news when you come to check out "what’s the good word?"

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Spirituality of Trucks


I like trucks. Or more accurately, I have a fondness for pickup trucks, especially old ones like a ‘37 Chevy or a ‘52 Ford. I think most men do. There are all kinds of reasons for this. For some it may be a holdover from our childhood. For example, when I was a child, I had a toy fuel truck that looked just the one that brought gas to the farm for my dad’s tractor. Of course mine was small, green and said City Service, while the real one was big, red, and said Regent Petroleum, but it didn’t matter; I loved that little truck and played with it for hours.

Trucks may also carry a cargo of memories for some. For example, my grandfather owned a truck even though he didn’t drive. For years, my father earned a living driving a truck. Somewhat ironically, the last two decades he drove a fuel truck, delivering gas and oil to the local farms. I drove a truck myself for one summer; one of Carl Farrow’s big, gravel hauling, tractor-trailers. It was an educational experience.

For men, there is often a certain romantic charm associated with the pickup truck. The illusion is that such vehicles can go anywhere and do almost anything. Whether for work or for play, they are the idea tool or toy, depending on your point of view.

Relatively early in my adult life, I learned that owning a truck was not a particularly good idea for me, or for most urban dwellers. Somewhere I acquired an old, Ford pickup. It had a six cylinder engine, a stick on the column, no power steering and rust holes on the floor as well as inside the box, but it was cheap and I thought it was fine. It used a lot of gas, but since fuel only cost about 39 cents for an Imperial gallon in those days, I wasn’t worried. I didn’t worry until the truck died on the Don Valley Parkway with my wife and baby son in the cab. Suddenly the down-side of owning an old pickup truck began to emerge, and it didn’t seem like such a good idea any more. The next time, I bought a brand new truck!

Of course many women like trucks too. In an earlier decade it was not uncommon to hear radio broadcaster Shelagh Rogers wax poetic about her fondness for driving her truck. And just recently I was passed on the highway by a pickup with a bumper sticker in the back window that said, “Silly Boys, Trucks are for Girls!” It may be dumb, but I swear I felt an instant mix of both amusement and respect.

I am not quite as amused by the current advertizing model for marketing trucks. In recent years, The sentimental appeal of ‘Chevy trucks; the Heartbeat of America’ has given way to a very macho style of promotion. Trucks are sold as big, strong, rugged, tough, frequently dirty and on a construction site. The voice-over is always deep and masculine as it extols the absolute raw power of this enormous beast. The message is, this truck is powerful, just like a man! That may be a little intimidating, expecially for wimpy guys like me.

Lest I be misunderstood here, let me hasten to say unequivocally that there is nothing wrong with owning a truck, especially if you happen to need one. Likewise there is nothing wrong with being big, strong, rugged or tough. Of course most of us really aren’t all those things, but generally we are okay with that. That image may not be who we are, but who we are is just fine!

And anyway, at the end of the day, who wants to have it said about them that they were about as spiritual as an old truck?

Posted, just for fun, by Carman

1 comment:

  1. It's interesting to think of something so autonomous as a spiritual object, it brings to mind that there is spirituality to appreciation and inner value in a lot of objects, some that seem very mundane to most.

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