Some of us in this trucking industry tend to have a sentimental soft spot for certain trucks we’ve had. We may even give them names or refer to them as if they’re a person. I have been moved to tears when it was time for me to walk away from a truck I loved. Sometimes, when I see old trucks dying in a field or a scrapyard, I consider how excited someone must’ve been the day they got that truck new – that first time they got to swing open the door of their brand new ride and hit the streets with pride. Then, they may have spent many years (or even decades) relying on each other, man and machine, in a dynamic relationship that becomes difficult to sever. Time passes by, and at some point, the driver will swing that door closed for the last time. The truck may find itself in the graveyard, fading away, never to roll again. Recently, I visited the yard at Pistoresi in Toppenish, Washington, while searching for some parts. This is a company rich in history and generations deep in trucking. Some of their old cabovers were lined up in a row, like a big rig grave site, so I snapped a few pics and asked if there were any photos available of any of their trucks when they were young and beautiful. I’d like to thank Brennen Ramirez and Matt Pistoresi at Pistoresi & Sons for letting me look around at these old relics and sharing some pictures of James Pistoresi and some of his trusty cabovers in the Nello Pistoresi fleet several decades ago (Matt is the grandson of James and the great grandson of Nello Pistoresi). I hope you enjoy this poem about revisiting an old truck and recalling the years spent together – from the first time the door was swung open to the last time it was slammed shut.
By Trevor Hardwick
The first time that I swung your door,
I never wanted nuthin’ more.
Makin’ trips from shore to shore,
Alone, just me and you.
City streets and traffic jams,
Mountain passes, prairie lands.
Everglades to desert sands,
Or anywhere we’d be.
All that weight upon your back,
Pushin’ fumes out of your stacks.
I sure gave you lots of flack,
But you have served me well.
And now you’re out here sitting still,
With broken glass and a missing grill.
Out to pasture on a hill,
I’ve come to say farewell.
A couple million miles or more,
Since I first opened up your door.
And now I’ll swing it just once more,
And hang my head down low.