The Circle of Life
Originally posted Sept 13, 2013
A very long time ago, when I was a young man and my daughter a little girl, our family bought – by the month, naturally – a brand new, “Firebolt Orange” Chevy Blazer with white vinyl upholstery with “Tartan Plaid” cloth inserts and all the options. This was quite the vehicle, and we purchased it right out of the show window at Duteau Chevrolet when it was still on “O” Street. It was actually our second “four-wheel-drive,” this being long before some adman had invented “SUVs” for yuppie moms to take the kids to school and drive to the grocery store. Humph.
And this vehicle went places. Two or three times a year out to Fr. Robinson, both to vacation and hunt, and at least once a year to the Colorado high country to climb over rocks and wade mountain streams, navigating long dis-used narrow gauge railroad rights-of-way. It was a family pet, which over the three or four years we owned it, had a lot of custom additions and upgrades. When it was traded in on a new Jimmy at the dealer in Crawford, Nebraska, he later told me he darned near lost every friend he ever had, in a local dispute over who got to buy it from him. I’ve always said that if I got as much use out of everything I’ve ever purchased as we did from that Blazer, the world of commerce wouldn’t owe me a thing.
My daughter Kristi was about four when we got the Blazer, and because she didn’t quite process the word, she tagged it “The Razorblade,” and the name stuck. The Razorblade it was, and still is.
I hadn’t thought much about that for decades, and wouldn’t be thinking about it now, except last Fall, Cindy and I – well I, actually – stumbled on a 2002 4WD Toyota Tundra pickup, for sale with low miles and in virtually new condition. It was a local one-owner truck with the papers to prove it, and I swear whoever had it must have kept it in the living room. I needed another vehicle like I’ve needed another thumb but eventually brought it home anyway.
And since acquiring it, I’ve been busy – and having a high old time – upgrading and refurbishing it, beginning with new leather upholstery and most recently adding Toyota original equipment “TRD Off-Road Development” accessory wheels(!). To quote Toby Keith, “I like [off-toward-love] my truck,” and like that long-ago ’72 Blazer, it has become a family pet. In our household, inanimate objects frequently collect a name…as in “Arthur,” Cindy’s beloved Suzuki Sidekick…but so far, this tendency had escaped the Toyota. We have been variously referring to it as “the truck,” “the Toyota,” or “the Tundra,” when the other day it hit me: that old pickup occupies essentially the same emotional space as the Razor Blade did way back in the seventies. Cindy and I had previously decided we would give it to Granddaughter, Delaney, when she turns sixteen in May, 2016, and when we were in Florida over Labor Day weekend, I asked Kristi if she remembered what she called our Blazer. “The Razorblade,” she answered immediately.
"What would you think about ‘The Razorblade II’ for the Delaney’s truck?” I asked.
Kris thought that would be only perfect, and yesterday, the nice guys at Lincoln’s Autographics Specialties made it happen with a dry transfer on each side of the bed, that a future owner can remove if they wish, but which for now, gives that truck a name…and a great and appropriate name at that.
It tickles me so much that across the years, the beautiful young woman I am so proud to call my granddaughter will begin driving in a vehicle with a name that harkens all the way back to a well-loved “four-wheel-drive” that was so much a part of her mother’s little-girl years.
When I texted the attached photo to Kris yesterday, she responded, “Smiling and a bit teary-eyed.”
So’s your old man, Sweetheart.
The circle of life.
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