In 1994, I walked into the local Chevrolet dealership in Denver, CO. I knew what and how I wanted my new truck. I explained to sales I wanted a long bed extended cab 3/4 ton Silverado 4X4, w/factory fender flares, Quasar, and Indigo Blue 2-tone. 454 cu. inch with manual transmission fully equipped with the heavy-duty tow package. “Just fully loaded with everything”, I said. “You got one?” He said, “No… but we have that exact model in North Platte Nebraska, do you want it? I can get it here for you”. Really? Do I have to answer? Needless to say, my truck showed up and I was enamored. In my eyes, she was a beauty! It sat on the showroom floor for a couple of days as per the dealership’s request, locked doors of course was my clause. Picked it up on a Friday afternoon, and the salesman told me they had several sales based on this truck on their SR floor and asked if I’d leave it there over the weekend. I said laughingly, “Go get your own!” They had already ordered that exact model to my chagrin. Today, she’s still my one-owner, well-cared-for, original paint, 29-year-old truck. I still get many compliments and she’s been through some rough winters and hot summers, snow storms, desert heat, and every type of weather mother nature could throw at her, and she’s still standing, proud, tall, and great running. Yep, she’s a keeper. In my world, that’s a big deal. GM reached out to me a few years back and personally invited my truck to the 1st annual Chevrolet Truck Legends 100-years get-together at Lowe’s Motor Speedway to participate in the 100-year trucks lineup. Introducing the new Silverado line unveil. So, They take 100 trucks- all years – and line them up in a 100 design and take pics from above for the Chevy Truck Legends 100-year benchmark marketing campaign. Pretty cool, right?
I have many stories, helping folks, hauling things, elk hunts, skiing trips, camping, and fishing trips, but my most important memory involved my dad. He owned a ’49, ’65, a ’73, and lastly an ’86 Chevrolet truck. He passed a while back, I had to travel to the upper mid-west in my truck, we hit bad snows, and white-out conditions, so bad, that it was hard to see, let alone travel. I stopped for fuel somewhere in Nebraska and a bunch of diesel rigs I noticed pulled off too. One of the drivers came up to me as I was filling up and struck up a conversation asking me about my truck and then asking me if I was gonna keep going or bed down. I mentioned I gotta keep going, He smiled and said, “Good, you know there lot guys in rigs that were talking about you on the box (cb) stating that they’d follow you if you keep going.. so they’ll be glad to hear you’re gonna keep on. You are cutting the path for us to follow, sometimes all we can see is your truck’s path you make. Keep her steady we’re following you” I said “I’ll keep her at a trot and let the guys know I’ll be doing double nickles to the border or until this storm lets up”. I gotta 10-4 and off we went.
I counted about a dozen rigs behind me getting on the interstate, and we slowly got up to speed. My dad would’ve been proud. Nobody slid off nor got left behind. I prayed a lot and trusted my Chevy. I didn’t have the CB radio so we’d communicate by headlight flash or my tail/brake lights. I had my boys with me giving me updates as I had both hands on the wheel. We passed many cars and trucks that had slid off the road during our trip and many that were rolling were now joining our winter snowstorm convoy. This went on all across Nebraska- there’s nothing there to stop that wind! Hours later, we got into Iowa and I was ready for a break. I pulled off and watched the convoy go by, the weather had started to clear and all those truckers acknowledged us by honking their airhorns, flashing lights, rolling windows down, and giving us the thumbs up, and just really appreciated me for cuttin’ the path for them. I noticed we had many more truckers that joined us as well as many more personal road travelers than what we started with! It was a great day for all indeed. Glad I could do my part in sending it down the line. Needless to say, we made it to the small-town church on time, and everything was completed and done. Without my truck, my son’s help, and my convoy pushing, I don’t know if we would’ve made it. This truck made it happen. Yep, I think I’ll keep her.