Friday, October 29, 2010



Sheryl J. Bize Boutte

October 29, 2010

Those who know us know about Big Blue. He has been a part our family for decades. He has been around so long that friends of ours call and ask how he is doing. But Big Blue has got to go.

Big Blue is a now faded blue 1979 Dodge “Power Wagon” that has been sitting in our driveway since my husband purchased him in the early 1980’s. My husband bought another Dodge truck in 1997, which he still owns and drives, but he remains attached and committed to Big Blue.

Although my husband has not driven Big Blue in years, that truck is still here. This manly 4X4, with 6” Rancho suspension, 3” body lift and 36” Dick Cepek tires is a prominent feature of our lacking curb appeal. He causes us to have to carefully back our car in and out of the garage, a feat that once drew a “wow” from a neighbor.

Recently, after many years of gentle prodding from our daughter and myself, my husband got Big Blue running again in preparation for sale. He went through the bureaucracy of the Department of Motor Vehicles to get insurance and a day pass so he could get a smog check and put Big Blue on the block. After being turned down by three smog stations, two of whom refused to do the check due to the age of the truck, and one who said Big Blue would not fit into his garage because of his 9-inch “over stock” lift, my husband is frustrated that no one will help him humanely dispose of his beloved truck.

Now don’t get me wrong. I do understand his attachment and the difficulty in letting go. If he asked me to get rid of some of the clothes I have that fill three closets, it would give me great pause. But at some point we all have to de-clutter our lives and move on.

At this point, I feel the nearness of the end of Big Blue. And as much as I want him gone, I still feel a twinge of sadness about his imminent departure. It is not just a truck; it is my husband’s first truck. And while he has been the home of countless spiders, a wasp’s nest and a large weed growing out of the truck bed, he was also the one that safely carried many Christmas trees, new furniture, and even his own replacement tires and optional performance parts. He survived being hit on the San Mateo Bridge,hail the size of golf balls, and the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. There is meaning in all of this history that makes it simply feel wrong to hand Big Blue over to the junkman. After all he has done for us, and all he has been through, it would seem that Big Blue deserves a better fate than that.

But it looks like the junkman it will be. That’s just how the world is about old things. But I am going to think of Big Blue as a hero. I am going to remember him as the truck that gave us so many precious memories and in the end, gave his parts so that other trucks could live.

I can tell you one thing for certain; my husband and I will both shed a tear the day Big Blue leaves our happy home. And we have some friends who, when they call and find that Big Blue is no longer here, will do the same.