• 43°

Cook column: Battered old truck tells a story

Is this your truck? I sent that question to coworkers at the Post after finding an old truck in my parking space two days in a row.
I could tolerate one day. Two days called for action ó but not towing yet. This truck looked as though it’d had enough bad luck already.
It had no no doors.
No back window.
No hood ó other than a blue tarp covering the front end.
Caked with mud, the old Ford F-150 appeared to be abandoned.
In my parking space.
The question drew several responses on our internal e-mail. A few people thought the truck might belong to a guy in the mailroom.
Both Kim Lanter in advertising and Tom Marts from the USA Today crew reported seeing a young man at the truck ó either working on it or being dropped off there.
As often happens with internal e-mails, my message drew out the wit in some.
“Not my truck,” Mark Wineka responded. “It’s not quite that bad.”
I’ve been complaining that our ’97 Buick Riviera misses qualifying for “cash for clunkers” by 1 mile per gallon.
“I think somebody felt bad about your Buick dilemma and left you a clunker to trade in,” Scott Jenkins e-mailed me.
“It’s really Elizabeth’s,” Steve Huffman quipped. “Don’t let her fool you.”
Electrician Gary Watson proved to be a man of action. He got the registration out of the truck’s glove compartment.
It wasn’t as though he was breaking in.
He also peeked under the tarp. It was protecting a motor Gary described as “pristine. ”
The owner’s name did not show up in any telephone directory. So I left a note on the front seat.
The truck ó and the note ó remained unmoved for another day. Then it was gone, leaving a few bits of dried mud behind.
Soon thereafter, 20-year-old Patrick Sylvester dropped by and thanked me for not having his truck towed. In my note, I’d said I was interested in the story behind the truck. He filled me in.
He and wife Tiffany both work at restaurants, and they have a 3-year-old daughter named Nevaeh ó “heaven” spelled backwards. They live with Tiffany’s parents.
He said the truck was a 1980 F-150 Custom Limited Edition he’d bought at a junkyard two years ago for $900. He wanted to restore it.
Patrick is a do-it-yourselfer by necessity. Said he lived about 60 different places growing up and spent six years at Nazareth Children’s Home, “the most best place I ever lived.”
Patrick drove the F-150 two days, and it blew up.
He gutted and rebuilt it. He has replaced the motor and the transmission. An axle broke; he fixed that. The brakes needed work; he did that. He says he has spent about $8,000 on that truck.
He pulled into the Post parking lot one day to give a buddy a ride to work. When he tried to crank up to leave, the truck was dead.
It took him a little while to figure out the problem ó the alternator ó and a little longer to move the truck.
Now he’s ready to sell. I shared Patrick’s story with my coworkers and closed with this:
“If anybody would like to buy a 1980 F150 Custom Limited Edition (that usually runs just fine, he says), it’s available for $1,500. Doors, hood and back glass are extra.”
No takers yet.
– – –
Elizabeth Cook is editor of the Salisbury Post.

Comments

Comments closed.

Crime

In letter, PETA criticizes Salisbury Police for K-9 video

Coronavirus

Three deaths, 29 new COVID-19 positives reported

Crime

Blotter: Bullet holes found in woman’s Park Avenue apartment

Crime

Man faces assault charges for domestic incident

High School

Photo gallery: Carson girls win West Regional, headed to state championship

High School

High school basketball: Carson girls headed to state championship game

Local

Commissioners set date for public hearing on potential solar energy system rule changes

Health

Two of Rep. Sasser’s bills successfully pass through Health Committee

Local

Rep. Warren’s measure to allow removal of public notices from newspapers put on back burner

China Grove

China Grove Town Council weighs future of previously rejected housing development

Local

Salisbury City Council hears public comments, receives presentation on Main Street reconfiguration

Crime

Blotter: Man charged with felony drug offenses

Nation/World

California crash kills 13 of 25 people crammed into SUV

Nation/World

Biden vows enough vaccines by end of May

Coronavirus

State to vaccinate medically vulnerable starting March 24

Coronavirus

One new death, 20 new COVID-19 positives reported in Rowan

Kannapolis

Kannapolis man dies in moped crash

Crime

Salisbury Police chief addresses K-9 video, says officer separated from animal

Local

Rowan Rescue Squad sets record straight on fundraising typo

Local

City approves DOT agreement, Salisbury Station project could begin next year

Local

County plans to use vulture effigy, enforce violations to remedy animal carcass feeding problem

Education

Two weeks after ending enhanced protocols, Catawba has no COVID-19 cases

News

Council to hear revised version of Downtown Main Street Plan

Local

Veto override of NC school reopening bill fails in Senate