For this man, a truck is the way to go

Published 10:55 am Friday, May 12, 2017

I can’t remember the title of the song from the late 1960s, but I remember one line, “Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone.”

I lived that this week when I put my truck in the shop and rented a car for a few days.

I’m not knocking the car I rented. It provided me with necessary transportation for two days and helped avoid a family transportation crisis. Besides, I requested a compact car because the rate was cheaper, it was better on gas and I was staying in town.

This is a story of my experiences driving it instead of my truck.

I have in a previous column extolled the virtues of owning a truck, and my 2005 Nissan Frontier is my third in 30 years. Since buying my first truck in 1987, I’ve had to drive a rental car only one other time before this week.

That’s when my venerable F-150 went deep-six during Katrina in 2005. And during the time I had that car, a co-worker looked at it and said, “John, this just ain’t you.”

Making the transition from a pickup to a car is a major change. Instead of riding high and looking above the traffic, you’re eye-level with taillights and exhaust pipes. Those bumps in the road are more pronounced on the derriere and the curbs look like small walls. Instead of being able to step up into a roomy cab, you have to perform contortionist movements to slowly ease into the car and get settled. It’s the same getting out.

But what really made me miss my truck was a stop at my bank’s ATM. Usually when I drive up to an ATM, I just reach out and slightly down to punch the keys and accomplish whatever I need to do. Not with a car. I had to get almost halfway through a small window and reach up to check my account — a procedure that came close to choking me. My suffering ended Wednesday when I returned the car and picked up my now repaired truck. It was like going to heaven.

My truck is 12 years old, has more than 180,000 miles and starting to show its age, and occasionally I think about the possibility of replacing it, possibly with a car. The reasoning was simple — we no longer live in a house and I’m no longer hauling furniture or lumber or pavers for my wife’s home and garden improvement projects. So a car sounded feasible. And in the back of my mind is that dream car — an F Series Jaguar I’ll never have unless I win the Powerball.

But my experience with the rental car has taken those notions out of my mind. If I ever replace my Frontier, it won’t be with a car. I am a truck man, and that’s what I’ll get when it’s time.

Although an SUV would be a suitable substitute.

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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