My father had let me drive out in the country since I was 12 years old, and I had driven trucks and tractors on my uncles' land since I could remember, so by the time I was 14, I was more than ready to get a truck so that I could get it all fixed up and ready to go by the time I had my license at 16.
I went up to Dad, and told him my plan.
"Dad, I will be getting my driver's license in a bit over a year. I want to have a truck all ready and fixed for when I get it, so I want to get a truck, now."
He gave me a wise, sage look, and imparted upon me these words of wisdom.
"You want a truck? Well, Son, get a job."
Well, I had been working a couple of hours a day a couple of days a week at a convenience store, racking soda bottles (remember when we used to take the bottles back and get a nickel or a dime for them?) but I was not making anywhere near enough money to buy a truck.
So, I got a job with a roofing company, loading shingles onto houses in the afternoon after school. I could load a house in an afternoon, and would load one 2 or 3 days a week.
I was making about $10 - $20 per house. I was rich.
A few months went by, and I soon saved up some money, and began looking for a truck to buy. After arduous looking and searching, I found a 1959 Chevrolet Apache 31 pickup. It had the short fleetside bed, and was turquoise blue. 235 Inline 6 cylinder engine with a 1 Barrel Rochester Carb, 3 on the Tree, and factory installed AM radio.
The body was a little beat up, but no rust, and it ran, so I bought it. Cost me $300.
I knew that it needed some engine work, so I kept loading shingles, and started spending money. My cousin and I did all the work rebuilding the engine on that truck, and I spent several hundred more on parts, but by the time I was 16, it ran like a dream. I had replaced all the gaskets, main bearings, rings, valves, had the cylinder head resurfaced, replaced the clutch, new carb, new starter, and a new master cylinder.
I drove that old Chevy to and from school, all over town with friends, and to and from work, still loading shingles on houses, and now doing some roofing on weekends.
I never worried about refinishing the interior or recovering the seats, just about the mechanical condition of the truck, which I kept in perfect order. After all, that was all that mattered. The seat was torn, there was no carpet, no air, and the heater only worked when the moon was in the right phase with Jupiter, but these didn't bother me or my buddies. It was just the way the truck was. We accepted it.
I soon found out, though, that girls were not so accepting of my old truck. After going out on a couple of dates in the truck, I began to get the vibe that they were not accepting of it at all.
I drove that truck all my sophomore year, and listened to disparaging remarks about my old truck from one girl after another, I finally decided that in the interests of my pursuit of comfort and companionship from the fairer sex, I would have to replace my old truck with something a bit more modern, and that provided a higher level of style and creature comforts.
I again went to my dad for advice and direction.
"Dad, girls hate my truck, and they don't want to ride in it. I have to get a better truck."
He gave me another of those wise, sage looks, and told me the secret to acquiring that for which I longed.
"You want a better truck? Well, Son, get a better job."