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I hope I never get restored like those other cars and trucks you see on those television shows. While I certainly can appreciate all the great skills and tremendous effort by those craftsmen in order to bring a bucket of bolts to its former glory, well, that’s not for me.

While you might simply dismiss me as a crusty old jalopy sitting in a field, there was a time when I had that new truck smell. There wasn't a mark on my pristine sheet metal. But that only lasted until my first day on the job on the farm.

With every mile on my odometer, I can proudly say that I have lived a life with purpose and meaning.

Every ding, dent, scratch, missing fender and bumper, crack in a window, mismatched wheel, tear in the upholstery or broken knob on a radio that picked up more static than stations gave me character. I’ve never missed a day of work. I’ve towed tractors stuck in ditches. I’ve delivered fresh produce to the market. I’ve hauled hay and horse crap. I’ve been cursed at. I’ve been praised. But I’ve never sat still until they decided to park me here in this pasture.

A restoration would remove every blemish and scar. The paint would be showroom-fresh. All the chrome trim would sparkle. Under the hood would sit a rebuilt engine with new rubber hoses and fresh oil. Every nut and bolt would be up to factory specifications. And since vintage is in, I might even make some decent cash if I were to end up on the auction block.

But is it worth erasing history? Isn’t the patina of an authentic life story worth something greater?

Prose by

Name
Kenny Lee
Location
Nor Cal
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I'm an advertising consultant. I'm a dad to twins. My favorite color is PMS 2735.
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Naomi Guttman
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St. Paul
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College student, photographer/artist/musician in my free time.
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