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I'd always wanted a truck.
When I moved back to Florida in 1996, I didn't have a car, then after my dad had served as a cataract-ridden chauffeur for six months, my parents, God love 'em, gave me a small amount of money as a down payment on a vehicle.
Thanksgiving weekend 1996, Angus Og (the Irish god of love) came into my life - a 1993 V-6 Ford Ranger XLT extended cab pick-up.
That truck was like a dog or horse for me. He was my buddy, my I-got-your-back-adventurer-slash-partner-in-crime, and perhaps most importantly, my introvert escape pod.

We spent every weekend together, listening to Fiona Apple, taking pictures, traversing the back roads of northern Florida and southern Georgia.
Horse Stamp Church Road, Burning Church Road, roads I no longer remember the name of. Jekyll Island, Sea Island, St. Simon's Island, Savannah, St. Andrews Island, St. George, Big Talbot, Little Talbot, the Okefenokee Swamp, Fort Clinch, all those places were our stomping grounds.

As a pick-up driver, there was a wave - loosely speaking - of camaraderie. When you saw another pick-up, you did this: with your wrist lying over the steering wheel (that's how you steer, duh),  you ever so subtly raise the first two fingers of your hand and give a slight upward nod. Sometimes you just got the two fingers in return - not the nod. Younger people did not know this etiquette, this is a generational gesture and only people thirty and older know it.

When Fawn and I were in Ireland, we noticed many of the older men had a head twitch when they passed us. Kind of a neck adjustment sort of thing - a quick twist to the left. It was several days before we realized this was the Northern Ireland equivalent of a hat raise.

Angus at the beach


  1. I had a similar experience with my first and only Ford Econoline Van. It had me sitting up high,had love seat customized behind the drivers seat, curtains on the windows and carpet thoughout. We had a great time together until one Thanksgiving day when I got in started it up and it immediately cut off. I tried to start it again and no luck. The timing belt had broken and messed up the engine and that was the end of my adventure. I miss that Van.

  2. Ahhh... Angus. Those were the days. Angus was such an insightful photographer too. My house is decorated with Angus Art Photography.

    The nods. That's funny. I had forgotten about that. So glad you catch the details and remind me of them!

    Love you sweet friend.