Tuesday 11 June 2013

My Forestry Truck

    Above you see my painting, “Old Green Truck”.  This 1977 GMC was once a Forestry truck.  When when the BC Forest Service got done with it, it was put up for auction.  My neighbor, Kjell bought it thinking he would use it to drive up the old logging roads to the alpine for skiing.  He did use it, but not very often.  I, on the other hand was borrowing it all the time, for hauling of firewood, and lumber, and other such rural items.
    One day, Kjell approached me and said, “Since you are always borrowing the truck, why don’t you just buy it from me, and then I will borrow it from you.”   That sounded reasonable, so that is how it came to belong to me.  Insurance and fuel were always expensive, so I only insured and used it during  the summer.  Its mileage was horrible.
    Most of the time it sat.  It became a real organic vehicle.  Once, when I had to drive it to work, because it was too rainy to bike, I got onto the highway, and a mouse ran out from under the seat.  Another time, when I started it, it sputtered then blew a mouse corpse out of the tail pipe.  I have know idea how or why it was there.  Mice were always building nests in the heating system, and that sometimes led to smoke coming out of the dashboard.
    Because sat unused for much of the time, and I wasn’t very conscientious about cleaning out the bed of the truck, plants began to grow from the corners and cracks in the bed, where soil and sand accumulated.  It began to get clumps of moss and lichens  growing from the hood.  
    I did get a lot of use out of the truck, hauling my firewood, lumber, sand, gravel, hay, and even the bodies of goats, that had died on me.  It had a major problem with rust, and had a hole in the floorboard on the driver’s side.  I could look down and see the pavement moving beneath me through the hole, as I drove.
    Eventually, the high cost of insurance, made we park it out of the way, in my pasture.  When I bought a small truck, it became more of a decoration than a useful vehicle.  Without insurance, I couldn’t take it on the road, and the longer it sat, the more problems, like the smoking dashboard occurred.  I did use it twice as a subject for paintings.
    After several years of sitting in the pasture, I inquired at the wrecking yard if they were interested in it.  At one time they would come out and pick up old vehicles for free, but they wanted to charge me $40 to haul it away, so my old truck continued to sit.  When a neighbor asked about it, I told him he could have it, if he hauled it away.  He jumped at the opportunity, and from what I hear, he has it running and uses it.

To see my other paintings, go to:  www.davidmarchant.ca

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