The last time I wrote about Big Red was almost two years ago almost to the day and for what will be the second time in five months, it seems I'm saying goodbye to another cornerstone of my adult life.
Television commercials and magazine articles aside, the first time I saw a new redesigned second-generation Dodge Ram was late in 1993. I was on a small two lane road driving back from Connecticut and one was coming in the opposite direction. It was cold but there was no snow or frost on the ground, and the roads were clear. I almost didn't recognize it for what it was at first, as it took a second for my brain to process what was coming towards me. Seeing that curvy new Dodge Ram was like seeing the face of God. I leaned forward in the seat of my little Ranger and my eyes soaked in every detail. As the Ram zoomed past me I stared into my side view mirror and watched it grow smaller in the distance. I made up my mind then and there that I would own one.
And so a year later, with my re-enlistment bonus fresh in my hand, I hauled my ragged ass down to Burlington Dodge -- which seems to have been torn down some time between 2005 and 2011, and is now a shopping plaza -- and haggled myself out a deal. I placed that order on 24 October 1994, and seven weeks later, on the afternoon of 13 December, my phone rang at work and my salesman told me my truck had arrived. Dick Mitchell -- aka the greatest boss I've ever had -- let me have the rest of the afternoon off and I fucking rocketed back down to the dealer. There sitting in the back among the new arrivals, was the bad ass fucking Dodge Ram 1500 4x4 that would come to be known as Big Red.
I was immensely proud of, and babied the living shit out of, my new truck. At the dorms, I wouldn't park in the lower parking lots next to the dorms where all the losers parked, I parked up the hill in the MIT labs parking lot, because that's where winners parked. At work, I didn't park over with the rest of the fucking losers in the ESD parking lot, no I parked one parking lot over in the AARCOM building parking lot, and in the winter months would trudge through snow drifts that were 3-4 feet deep. But that was okay, because nobody dinged my fucking truck.
And as the next 22 years waned on and the tide of my life ebbed and flowed, the one that has always remained constant was my fucking truck. Big Red carried me away from the Air Force and into the civilian world. There it carried me to customer locations from downtown Boston to the Holyoke college. It carried me up into the Berkshire mountains for camping, up into New Hampshire for ATVing and into New York to see my family. It carried me down into New Jersey to get Ike, and years later here in Florida, over to Fort Myers to get Bianca. It has seen me live in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Florida, through four different employers and more than a few handfuls of women. It carried me home to see my dying mother, and then to her funeral. It has carried me to serve on jury duty ans send two criminals to prison. It has carried ATVs, dirtbikes, snowmobiles, and scooters. It has jump started countless dead batteries and pulled God knows how many stuck cars out of the snow. It has moved me and my things, and my friends and their things. It has kept me safe and warm in dry during blizzards, torrential downpours and minus-double-digit weather in the Vermont mountains. It has seen me through triumph and so much bitter heartache. It has served as shelter, as entertainment, and in a weird quirky way, as loyal companion.
But time yields for no man or beast, and I suppose machine, either. Enduring eleven New England winters left its mark on Big Red, and while it could be slowed down, that was a cancer that could just could not be shaken for good. I has previously mentioned that Big Red was rusting pretty badly and in the ensuing two years, as my usage of it grew less and less frequent, things have not gotten any better in the body department. So as the rust stains in my driveway grew larger and darker, I made the decision that I would touch Big Red up as much as possible and see him off to a new home. And so with the aid of some spray foam insulation and half a dozen cans of spray on bedliner I placed an ad on Craigslist and began my search for who was worthy of giving Big Red a new home.
I immediately ruled out cash offers from junkyards -- fuck you vultures -- and from a guy looking for a good drivetrain to transplant into his truck. Sorry, even though it's rusting to shit, there's no fucking way I'm selling Big Red to some asshole who is going to cannibalize it. Eventually a young 21 year old kid -- one year younger than I was when I ordered Big Red -- replied that cosmetic issues aside, he was looking for a pickup truck as reliable transportation. After some casual conversation on Big Red's humble beginnings, he thanked me for my service and mentioned that he was hoping to make it into the Army soon. And so yesterday, in exchange for $750 American dollars, I signed over the title to my beloved truck. So long, Big Red. I'm glad you're leaving under your own power and not on the back of a tow truck. You sure as hell were a great vehicle and I hope Steve gets many more years of loyal service out of you. Spend what time you have left running into the wind and not rusting away in my driveway. And I really hope I see you around one of these days. Be well, my friend.
The Bat-Signal is a distress signal device appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics, as a means to call for the superhero Batman. It is a specially modified searchlight with a stylized emblem of a bat affixed to the light, allowing it to project a large bat symbol onto the sky or buildings of Gotham City. In the stories, the signal is used by the Gotham City Police Department as a method of contacting and summoning Batman to their assistance in the event of a serious crisis and as a weapon of psychological intimidation to the numerous villains of Gotham City.
Here's what's left of the American 767. I heard it was an HPT stage 2 disc failure. Part of the disc was found a quarter mile away in a UPS freight building. (a different) Rick
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A clothes iron is a small hand-held appliance with a handle holding a flat, roughly triangular surface that, when heated, is used to press clothes to remove creases. It is named for the metal of which the device was historically commonly made, and the use of it is generally called ironing. Ironing works by loosening the ties between the long chains of molecules that exist in polymer fiber materials. With the heat and the weight of the ironing plate, the fibers are stretched and the fabric maintains its new shape when cool. Some materials, such as cotton, require the use of water to loosen the intermolecular bonds. Many materials developed in the twentieth century are advertised as needing little or no ironing.
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