2017-10-11 / Here's the Scoop

Hauling envy

Well, I attended my first Touch a Truck Family Fall Festival in Margaretville last week. In case you’re not familiar with such events, the Touch a Truck concept is designed to allow kids (of all ages) the chance view all sorts of big rigs on an up close and personal level.

For many people, trucks are a source of fascination from an early age. However, for the most part, some of us only get to experience miniature versions of these rigs in the form of Matchbox or similar toy offerings.

The Touch a Truck festival provided visitors with the opportunity to view more than 30 trucks and other large pieces of equipment — and to even hop inside and see what it’s like to get behind the wheel and imagine rolling down the highway. It was really cool, even though I didn’t climb aboard any of the fleet.

Making kids smile

The Business Association of Margaretville sponsored the event and it was exciting to see hundreds of kids enjoying the show and other offerings during this festive evening. I think there may have been some parallels to when parents “help” their kids build racecars for the Cub Scout Pinewood Derby. The thrill for some of the adults seemed like it may have just as big as it was for the children. Maybe it was my imagination.

Personally, I’ve never been much of a truck driver, even though there are many occasions when I’ve thought it would be good to own one. A small one, though.

This urge becomes particularly strong whenever I get around to cutting firewood. As the late, great Tom Petty sang, “The Hauling Is The Hardest Part.” Oops, I think he actually wrote the “waiting” was the hardest part, but I’m sure Tom would agree that hauling firewood is pretty tough, too. Especially when you don’t have use of a truck — of any size.

Nothing fancy

I try to keep my goals relatively modest, but I do have “beater truck ownership” as something I’d like to achieve. Not only “wood” this benefit my pursuit of an alternative heating source, but I also get the “Sure wish I had truck” urge each week when I load up my car and head to the transfer station with a load of trash. I try to protect the cleanliness of my trunk with a tarp, but sometimes a bit of “dump juice,” escapes and it’s not too pleasant. Worse than V-8 — and far less healthy.

I often see “past their prime” small pickups that fit my needs and get a bit envious. The owners of these vehicles have the ability to haul sizeable items, load large amounts of firewood and hose away any residue from leaky trash bags. What a good feeling that must be!

When the newspaper comes out, I make a point of scanning the classified ads to see if someone is offering the truck of my dreams at a really reasonable price. Rust and dents are not a big concern. On the other hand, I’m not interested in making regular stops at the repair shop. I don’t think that’s asking too much.

Wait! What’s that?

As if by magic, or fate, I saw such a vehicle pull up near my office the other day. If this scene had occurred during a movie, a brilliant ray of sunshine would have broken through an otherwise cloud cluttered sky and illuminated this truck. Even better, there was a ragged For Sale sign taped in the truck’s window.

The driver had vacated the vehicle to run some errands and I decided to take a closer look. As I admiringly worked my way around the rig, the owner appeared and shouted, “Hey, I have that sold, don’t touch that truck!” How nonfestive of him. — Brian Sweeney

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