Birthright.
the old hoss mercury project - page i
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Last updated May 24, 2020.
The Time Machine.
I have not had what most would consider to have
been a happy .. or an easy life. Especially early
on.

Indeed I've been told that I should write about it
one day.

Not that I'm complaining though. Looking back
now from the fourth quarter of this particular idiot
game - this only an
abstract realization; without
subjective contrast or comparison - didn't
everyone experience the same exact horse shit?

At the end of the day though, I have to put things
into perspective.

Aye, so the lasses don't check me out at the pubs
anymore and my wrists and knees hurt - but I do
eat well every day and sleep in a bed, and I'm
able to afford life's frivolities - like those cinnamon
swirly frosty cookies that are so freakin' awesome
with coffee.

Boo-hoo, poor me.

That said, however things were, there was a time -
an almost tangible place that I sometimes fancy
still exists in some inter-dimensional tesseract.
Just out of reach, veiled by linear perception of
space and time. A place where everything is safe
and comfortable. A place that I want to return.

I loved my Grandfather dearly, and miss him to
this day although he's been gone 38 years at the
time of this writing. I miss the feel of his whiskers
on my baby cheeks before he'd shave in a large
white porcelain bowl, I miss playing Meccano with
him on the carpet of the rec-room, and I miss just
hanging out, feeling as if I were somehow useful
while he tinkered at his bench.  

One of my fondest childhood memories were the
road trips. Laying across the seat of his Harbour
blue 1968 Mercury 3/4 ton work truck, resting my
head on his leg as he drove - listening to the fuel
slosh in the tank behind the seat, the hum of the
bias-ply tires on the highway, and wondering how
he invariably knew which gear to select.

Ironic I suppose, with current laws and the state of
baby carriers - that
this is what I recall so vividly
as being the absolute safest place in my world.

Road trips with endless hours of silly questions
and patient answers that typically ended at the
A&W in the days when they still clipped food trays
to the rolled down side glass of your vehicle. I was
his
pal.

The truck was sold to my late uncle Nelson
around 1978, and the last that I saw of it was in
1980. Forty years ago.

Having recently reconnected with what remains of
my kin, I tentatively asked my Aunt if the Mercury
had perhaps been abandoned on her farm
instead of towed for scrap, bits of it yet having
returned to the earth.

Entirely plausible in deep rural areas where it's
often not worth a scrapper's time to collect a
vehicle for it's salvage value.

My hope was at best to collect an artifact or two -
perhaps that mysterious shift knob, an emblem -
or the cargo lamp pull-switch that once gave me
hours of childhood enjoyment illuminating.

If there was enough left to winch out in one or
more pieces, then I would take the entire truck.
Although likely beyond any hope of repair, it could
at least return to the ground here - with me, where
it belongs.

The truck as it turned out had been sold again to
a family friend in Eganville in the 90's, she would
inquire as to it's current whereabouts and send
the owner's contact info.

The best I can describe learning that the old hoss
was at worst in a repairable state, is being kicked
in the soul - if such a thing were to be considered
the most excellent and exciting thing ever.

The current owner, Rick, was willing to
give me the
truck. The caveat? He had intended to restore it
and had bought quite a few parts. Sheet metal,
and a spare engine. Would I mind paying $300 for
the spare bits, as he would have no use for them
without the truck.

Caveat. Right - like Kate Beckinsale ruining your
pillow covers with lipstick - or being told that you
can't actually eat your birthday cake because it's
made of platinum?

I made the five hour round trip early this May to
see her, and yet another kick. There she sat on
four inflated tires in a mowed field.

Rough to be certain - about what you'd expect
from a retired decade old "bumpside" Ford, but
she's still all there after five decades!

Indeed I'm certain that I could make her run with a
battery and an hour's worth of work.

And she's mine. Three weeks later and this still
feels as if a dream.

On this twenty-fourth of May, she still has yet to
come home.

Plague times, my phone at the bottom of the
pond; thinking it might be a swimmingly (no pun
intended) idea to take my idjit dog for a canoe
ride and snap a few photos.

It's been difficult to arrange a float, and where the
hell is my federal tax refund?.

But she will come home very soon. Home.

The closest that I will ever come to navigating
back to those very special times.

She will eventually be a driver. When I grow the
set to cut into the rusty floor panels and weld in
replacements.

There have been many movies made over the
decades depicting how love transcends all. Maybe.

Repairing this truck will not bring him back .. but
man - is it close!

Upon reflection, my Grandfather was a sensible
man. There's the temptation to turn this project
into a ten year second mortgage factory
restoration project.

But I'd like to believe that he would have approved
of a more pragmatic - and personal - approach.

I'll clean up the body - there is much welding to
do, repair what needs to be done, and get her
back on the road.

I want to
drive this truck.
If she still existed at all - this itself a long shot for a
workin' man's vehicle over half of a century old - I
expected to find a rusted hulk buried frame deep in cow
shit, abandoned behind a barn.

It would be the understatement of my lifetime to say that
I was surprised to see "this", still on four inflated tires
when pulling into the field where she rests; an old dog
resting in the sun on a warm spring day rather than an
abandoned derelict. Sure, she's rough - but she's all
there!
I don't know how it's survived all these years. With the
risk of sounding all new age crystal moon-tard ..
perhaps she's been just waiting for me to come. Surely
she was always supposed to be mine eventually.
As a small child I would sit in this very cockpit and
pretend to drive while my grandfather tinkered about his
workshop - window down, answering my stupid
questions and smoking.

Again an understatement - but I just can't believe that I
will one day soon actually drive this truck.
Twenty-fifth of July, 'Sixty-eight. Armstrong Neil who?
This would come later. I still though shitting myself was
the most fun thing in the entire world.

He would have been a mere five years older than I am
now when he bought this truck.

Something like this .. Something of his - the best that I
had hoped to retrieve from whatever was left of the Ford
in the month that passed between learning of it's
existence and actually driving out to see it.

Hope may very well spring eternal, but I'm too old and
hard-assed to have dreamed of actually finding a
complete vehicle in a field.
A thing of absolute old school Raquel Welch beauty. Oil
bath air cleaner, manual choke, manual everything ..
Indeed four way flashers an option in 1968, the switch
located in the glove box.

This in fact the 240 ci engine. I had mistakenly believed
all these years for some reason that she had a 300.

I don't yet know if she still runs, but I pose the following
question: Where will your 2020 F-250 be in the year
2072?