Feb 052014

An era is coming to an end, my faithful steed Roy is going to a new owner. When Jen and I bought Mz. Parker last year, I knew it had to happen, and now it’s time. I’m just feeling the whole shift.

As usual with my posts, there is a story in the background. Nancy’s-brother’s-wife’s-father was a delightful man named Roy Kristensen, a guy born and raised and lived his whole life in Sonoma County. Roy was in his 70’s when I met him some ten years ago, and he worked part time doing small construction jobs and fixing things for folks, I suspect mostly because he loved it. In 2006, a friend of his decided to sell his full-size pickup truck, and Roy very happily bought it, this 1994 Ford F150 just as you see it here. As far as I can tell, it was his pride and joy. Then in 2007, Roy passed away quite suddenly from a stroke.

All of us were deeply impacted by the loss of Roy, a cheerful and engaging man, the kind of guy who always had a twinkle in his eye and a funny story to share. Very knowledgeable about Sonoma history and active in the community, he was born in Two Rock, and I would wager that no one who ever reads this blog will know someone else born there. Hell, most of us barely know where it is. Roy and I talked for hours about the train routes running through Marin and Sonoma, and in fact one of the main routes ran right across the front of my property, cutting through the hill and creating the steep slope that my house is built into. Everyone in the family loved this man, and I miss him still.

Some months after he passed, his family decided to sell this truck just at the time when Nancy and I needed a bigger truck for our house construction. So we bought it, and promptly named it Roy. Roy is a construction truck through and through, with a bed liner, camper shell and lumber rack. The motor is a very well-developed and proven design, a 300-cubic-inch straight six that is smooth and burns no oil after 224,000 miles. There are some dents and scratches, the front fender has been bent down a bit on the left side, but all three of us who have owned him have cared for him well, and the drivetrain and body are solid. No one ever dumped 3000 pounds of rocks into the bed, sagging the frame. No one ever skipped oil changes. It’s hard to find a 20-year-old truck that looks this good and works this well.

So it’s time to let him go, as I no longer need a full-sized truck. I’m contemplating the shift, looking at this as a dream through Jungian eyes. This is a change of vehicles. While building my house, and tending to Nancy and then myself after she was gone, I’ve needed a lot of capacity. Here it is, reflected back, a big sturdy reliable masculine vehicle that has carried cords of wood, a ton of custom-milled cedar siding, stacks of 4×8 plywood, a BMW M3 motor, every piece of furniture and every appliance that is in my home, all my mother’s belongings, forty tons of trash from the construction site of my house, concrete, tile, mortar, Jen’s furniture from her retreat space in Monte Rio…I can hardly remember all the wonderful loads of *stuff* that Roy has moved for me and for us, friends and family. Such capacity I have had, in his form.

I posted him for sale on Craigslist, shared the event on Facebook, and voilá, a friend from the past, an architect renovating a house, needs a construction truck. It’s so serendipitous, we are both startled and delighted. We’re meeting tomorrow, and I expect that she will take him into the next chapter of his life.

Adieu, Roy. But you will keep the tape measure that Nancy kept aboard you, and the fire extinguisher I kept aboard you. If you know about the Enneagram, and know that Nancy was a One and I am a Six, you will smile as you read this.

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