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 on the doors. It’s a glorified hunk of metal, but they don’t make them like this anymore.
Out of impulse, the old man makes a deal. Old men who drive candy-apple Fords have been known to do that.
When the workday is over, the old man pulls into the kid’s jobsite again. The kid is loading work vehicles.
“What’re you doing here?” the kid asks.
“Came to give you a ride home.”
The kid hops in. They drive. They talk again. The sun is lowering. The kid smells like sweat and sawdust.
They arrive in a supermarket parking lot. The old man shuts the engine off.
“What’re we doing?” the kid says.
The old man points at an ugly truck with a for-sale sign. “What do you think of that truck?”
The kid’s face gets serious. His eyes become large.
“I asked you a question,” the old man says. “I know it don’t look pretty, but with a little work, it can be a dependable vehicle.”
The kid is unable to speak. He looks like he might even cry.
The old man doesn’t care much for tears—men from his generation don’t. So, he tosses the kid a set of keys.
“She’s all yours,” the old man says.
“You gotta be kidding,” the boy answers. “You BOUGHT that truck for me? You don’t even know me.”
“No, son,” the man says. “I didn’t buy that truck for you. I bought it for ME. I’m gonna fix’er up, make her pretty again.”
The old man pats the steering wheel of Candy-Apple Red.
“THIS is the one I’m giving to you.”
Old men. May I live long enough to be one someday.
Steve McCaleb - May 15, 2022 6:39 am
Boy…….you got a nasty habit of making me cry like a stood up cheerleader in front of the gym on prom night. But I appreciate the effort. You are one of an ever-shrinking number of people who make me think there may be some hope for us after all. It feels good…..thank you.
Sally Ann Sisson - May 15, 2022 11:28 am
I agree….. I start every morning on the verge of tears!
Dave T - June 30, 2022 7:57 pm
Steve , you’re gonna be ok. I’m right behind in front of the gym thinking the same thoughts.
Jomi Murphy - May 15, 2022 6:47 am
This reminds me of my Daddy, JB Martin, May he Rest In Peace… We need more men like them
oldlibrariansshelf - May 15, 2022 8:06 am
Thanks for reminding us of the good guys. Some days it is hard to find them. (My daughter’s three young children were with her when she had to change a tire on the interstate near Atlanta in ninety-something heat. Two men stopped, not to help but to watch! Military wives have to be tough.)
Sandi - May 15, 2022 10:55 am
You’ll make a great old man!
Tami - May 15, 2022 2:24 pm
I did an audible “huh” or whatever that sound is when your jaw drops. Surprising and tearjerking ending to an excellent well-written story.
Becky Thomas - May 15, 2022 11:16 am
Restores my faith in humanity. Thank you.
Phil - May 15, 2022 11:39 am
Great story. Very uplifting.
Keloth Anne - May 15, 2022 11:41 am
Oh what joy your writings bring!!!! Thank you and know you are so appreciated and missed🥰🥰
Eddie Bruner - May 15, 2022 11:53 am
Shaun,….Just keep breathing in and out…and when you get here jump on in..the water’s fine…..p.s. And keep doing what you’re doing ‘cause some of us old men need you younger fellas, that can still see, to adjust the little idle screw on our brains!…lol…..Eddie in Winter Haven,Fl
marisa - May 15, 2022 12:00 pm
You have me crying!! After reading some of the awful news headlines this morning I felt my blood boiling. Then I decided to read your story. Ahhhh!! Thank you! I needed this. This is the way I want to start the day — thinking of all the good in the world!
Sheilla - May 15, 2022 12:04 pm
We need more people to have a mindset like this now a days
Naomi Smith - May 15, 2022 12:25 pm
My husband, a 71 year old, loves his trucks! He has an old 53 Chevy. He is now working on a 76 Ford for our oldest grandson, who is 13. He has spent countless hours and dollars but the pride and joy he has in his projects, is a big pay off.
He is retired but sets his alarm every morning. After his Bible study, he goes out to the shop and works until break time, comes in for a snack, then goes back to work. He takes a lunch break, afternoon break, then comes in when it gets dark.
I’m sure his drive to get the job done will be rewarded, when he sees our grandson drive off in that truck.
Randy - May 15, 2022 12:32 pm
Such a great story as only you can tell them.
Jan - May 15, 2022 12:33 pm
Love this story! Does my heart good after reading all the sad stories in the news. Thank you, Sean!
Ellouise - May 15, 2022 12:46 pm
Ah, Sean. You’ve been one of those “old men” all your life. Well, since you could no longer be a child. This sounds like something you, my frien, would definitely do❤️
NancyB. - May 15, 2022 12:50 pm
I was smiling with joy by the time I got to the end of your story. In my mind I was anticipating an ending that was very nice. But the real ending was joy filled! Thank you for helping me stay in a joyful, thankful mind set.
Linda Lewis - May 15, 2022 12:52 pm
Wow! What a great story! It touched me.
Kay Quinton - May 15, 2022 1:01 pm
Wow…you’ve done it again!! I just want you to know that I share your emails with a plethora of friends!! Keep ‘em coming, Sean!!
Jean - May 15, 2022 1:03 pm
crying now….and I feel sure you will be one of those very special guys.
Shults - May 15, 2022 1:17 pm
Wow what a great older gentleman.
Robert - May 15, 2022 1:19 pm
Love this – we need more of this in all of our lives. Thank you for these stories.
Melissa Armstrong - May 15, 2022 1:33 pm
I love stories like this where I don’t see THAT coming!
Patricia Gibson - May 15, 2022 1:40 pm
Have heard this before but great story!!❤️❤️❤️
Jennifer Dunford - May 15, 2022 1:48 pm
I’m an old Ford truck woman. 1982 F-150, 1994 F-350 7.3 liter diesel dually, and currently 2018 F-150 with heavy duty tow package white in color Lariat trim…a virtual Cadillac. And I’m only 65 years old.
Beau - May 15, 2022 3:04 pm
Thank God for old men with big hearts.
Susie Flick - May 15, 2022 3:05 pm
Love this wonderful story of human kindness.
LIN ARNOLD - May 15, 2022 3:06 pm
When my Dad retired from the Army in 1968, the first thing he did was move us all to his hometown (yes, in Alabama), buy a house that was still under construction and buy a pickup … a red one … with glass packs on the dual exhaust pipes! It’s a southern “thang”!
Cyndee - May 15, 2022 5:31 pm
If only we all followed the old man’s philosophy.
Kathy - May 15, 2022 5:47 pm
Sean, you are a pen and ink artist, too!!! Love the addition of your work to your writing. Thanks for sharing your special talents with us every day 🙂
Linda Moon - May 15, 2022 5:55 pm
My old step dad was a Ford man. It IS better to give than to receive. So, thank you on behalf of the boy, Old Man. And Sean, you’re already a giver, so now all you have to do is grow old.
Cynthia Russell - May 15, 2022 5:57 pm
A Blessing of a story today!! Thank You Sean,
C k - May 15, 2022 6:09 pm
Not even a Ford man can diagnose a shot transmission from under the hood
Debbie g - May 15, 2022 11:36 pm
Really ck 😂😂. Love the Story sean
And love to all
Cathy M - May 15, 2022 6:27 pm
I think I love you. I don’t watch the news anymore bc it makes me sad but this sweet story has made my Sunday brighter. You are a treasure to all who follow you
imcdbw - May 15, 2022 6:37 pm
Sean, I love your story telling!
Ann - May 15, 2022 7:34 pm
Beautiful Sunday story to share❤️
Lisa K Riley - May 15, 2022 8:59 pm
Now you’ve made me cry. That old man was my dad. I watched him do just that once.
Russell - May 15, 2022 9:08 pm
Nice story Sean. Would love to know the next couple of chapters and how the “kid” is doing now. I bet he is taking damn good care of two things….his family and a truck.
Karen - May 15, 2022 9:50 pm
My kind of man.
MAM - May 15, 2022 10:17 pm
I cried happy tears. Thanks for the heart-warming stories you send us, Sean!
Marsha Mitchell - May 15, 2022 10:18 pm
Thanks for sharing this heartfelt story.
Nancy Robertson - May 15, 2022 10:36 pm
Nothing can make you come undone like kindness.
April M - May 15, 2022 11:01 pm
OMG. I just subscribed to this blog. It is amazing. I am going to read this every morning to put me in the right frame of mind to then read the news highlights. Thank you so much for these stories.
Donna - May 15, 2022 11:22 pm
Oh my gosh!!! How precious! My Daddy drove and old white ford truck❤️❤️❤️ They just don’t make men like them any more. Broken hearted Daddys girl!
Susan Poole - May 15, 2022 11:23 pm
LOVE⭐LOVE⭐LOVE this heartwarming story❣
Bonnie Specchio - May 16, 2022 12:01 am
Sean, I adore the addition of your hand-drawn artwork to your stories! What a treat for the eyes – you have a good hand. Bonnie
M beasley - May 16, 2022 1:23 am
Love this story. Ending was unexpected!
Dale Parsons - May 16, 2022 2:25 am
CHARALEEN WRIGHT - May 16, 2022 3:58 am
Lee Faucette - May 16, 2022 4:35 am
NICE STORY. I BELIEVE IT CAME FROM THE HEART.
Tammy S. - May 16, 2022 9:43 am
Wow, just wow!! Did not see that ending coming, but it was just the best!! My grandfather drove an old blue truck. I was only 19 months when he passed away, but knew his love for me through the stories my parents and my Mamaw told me about him and how he loved me so. He use to pass our house going home from work. They tell me he would pick me up on his way home from work, sit me in the seat of that old truck, beside him, and take me to eat dinner with him & Mamaw. Every time I see an old blue truck I’m reminded of how much I’m loved. Old trucks and old, good men are a rare beauty.
Jim Morris - May 16, 2022 4:09 pm
Puddle…I’ve seen this before…but, I puddle each time I see it…thank you Sean…
For those who do not appreciate your column, go find you a sharp stick, and jump on it!!!
Jim Morris - May 16, 2022 4:11 pm
Puddled!…Have seen before, but still puddle each time I read it…
For those of you who do not like Sean…go find you a sharp siick, and jump on it!
Karen - May 16, 2022 9:14 pm
My daddy was one of these men. Always a Ford. ❤️
Sonya Tuttle - May 16, 2022 11:47 pm
Didn’t expect this, brought tears to my eyes. Angels among us!! 😇😇😇😇😇😇😇😇😇😇😇😇😇😇😇