I am a car nut. Specifically, a muscle car nut. I hung out w/car nuts in high school and they brainwashed me into believing that late 60s muscle cars were the only cool cars that existed. 70s were ok, (and closer to our price range), but the coolest guys had the 60s muscle and raced it on the strip. The man I married got noticed because he drove a 60s muscle car. Because of him (among others), I have been exposed to other beautiful vehicles, and the joys and pains involved in restoring old iron to street-worthy condition. So when a new-favorite author writes a book about his love for an old truck that he’s in the process of restoring… well, that’s just a book with my name on it, isn’t it?
Truck: A Love Story is a year in the life of Michael Perry. A rather eventful year, in which he commits to restoring his old International pickup truck, growing a garden, and (unexpectedly) to a woman he wants to marry. It’s also the year that his book (I think Population 485, but could have been Coop) hits the big time and he must travel to support it through radio interviews and book-signings.
The reason I like Perry so much is this: he’s a master at observing ordinary life and finding something extraordinary to say about it. He’s not the first, or the greatest, or the most famous writer to make a living doing this – he’s just my most recent discovery in this area. Also, his humility: he’s conscious of the fact that he is indeed no one special, and his life is not all that special either. Except that it is his life, and therefore special to him. What he writes about is not terribly significant in the details, only in his awareness of it – how one lives it with purpose and joy, appreciating the miracle of waking up and finding someone or something to love. Even if all we have is Mom and an old pickup.
Gives me hope to read of men with humility, sensitivity, wit, and a thing for old trucks. And did I mention, a musician as well? Because I would like all of those things in one package, thank you.