This story isn’t mine, but I’m going to tell it like I heard it. I first heard it from an old man who drove a Ford. And I have a soft spot for old Ford men.
So there he is. The old man is driving. He sees a car on the side of the highway. A kid stands beside it. Hood open.
The man pulls over.
He’s America’s quintessential old man. He drives a half-ton Ford that he’s been babying since the seventies. He changes the oil regularly, waxes it on weekends. The candy-apple red paint still looks nice.
He looks under the kid’s hood. He can see the problem right away, (a) the transmission is shot, and (b) it’s not a Ford.
Fixing it would cost more than the vehicle.
The kid is in a hurry, and asks, “Can you give me a ride to work? I can’t afford to lose my job.”
So, the old man drives the kid across town. They do some talking. The man learns that the boy has four children, a young wife, and a disabled
mother living with him. The boy works hard for a living. Bills keep piling up.
It rips the man's heart out.
They arrive at a construction site. There are commercial framers in tool belts, operating nail guns. The kid pumps the old man’s hand and thanks him for the ride.
“Take care of yourself,” the man tells the kid.
The kid takes his place among workmen, climbing on pine-framed walls, swinging a hammer.
The old man decides to help the kid. He doesn’t know how. Or why. But it’s a decision that seems to make itself.
That same day, he’s at a stop light. He sees something. An ugly truck, sitting in a supermarket parking lot. A Ford.
A for-sale sign in the window.
He inspects it. Single cab. Four-wheel drive. Low mileage. The paint is flaking. Rust…