About 2.5 years ago, my paternal grandfather passed away in one of the most sudden and tragic ways imaginable. He and I were never very close, especially as I got older, so once he had passed I felt extreme regret and remorse and wanted to hold on to anything I could.
Grandad was a hoarder to the extreme. He had a couple dozen acres of land in rural NC, across two properties, so he had room to hoard.
One of the things he held on to was a 1977 Ford F-150 extended cab that he had owned since new. It was green over green, and despite half of the glass being missing, lending it to being a house for random critters, the interior was mostly in tact. It hadn’t run in years, and I never asked why. This could have made an awesome shop truck build, were I so inclined. Being an extended cab would make it unusual, and thereby undesirable to many wanting a regular cab, but it was a vehicle my grandad owned for nearly 4 decades, so it was special to me.
But there were several issues. Grandad was leveraged to the hilt, and my now widowed grandmother needed every penny she could muster. The two properties were worth only slightly more than their respective mortgages owed, and she lacked the physical ability and the desire to tend to either. So everything had to be sold off.
I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that she would have given me the truck had I asked. But I also knew I had the 4Runner project going (still going by the way), and this one would just sit on my parents land until I could get to it (read: years).
My dad actually found a local hot rod shop who agreed to take it in exchange for getting rid of a lot of trash and junk from the land. The guy in question fully intended to turn it into a rat rod/shop truck. I like to imagine it turned out like the below:
I can at least take solace in the fact that there is a good chance it went to a loving home. But my natural ball-of-anxiety self also knows it could have been sold for scrap metal.
It slipped through my fingers, but I knew it was always going to.
If you’ve got a similar story, please share.