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30 November, 2012

My Little Pony

Like most little girls, I believe in the magic of ponies.
A few months back, I heard an elder explain to a room of non-tribal folks that he had an uncle who said his truck was his pony, that uncle and truck had a relationship like their forefathers did with their most cherished war ponies. This needed to be said, because the non-tribal people were drifting off into the peculiar fantasy that maybe the native people should be more old fashioned. As in, if you want to exercise your treaty rights and gather plants in the woods, walk or ride a horse, but don't expect a key to the gate so you can drive in. And so we got a lesson on the fact that native people may adapt, but that beneath adopted trappings lies a resilient culture. 

But the last thing we need is more of a white guy interpreting native stories. What I really wanna talk about is my pony, the steel steed that carried me across the continent, that pulled my wagon along the Oregon Trail all the way to Olympia. 

For several years, it sat mostly idle, gathering moss, but recently it's my main ride...other than the bus, or my legs...and I'm enjoying being back in the saddle. I spent alot of my adolescence and adult life rebelling against the redneck, confederate rebelry revering culture surrounding me, and so it comes as a surprise that I'm so attached to a pick-up truck. 

Much less the F150, iconic old school Red State chariot. I never figured I'd ever participate in the sort of vehicular manslander that leads to bumper stickers like "Friends Don't Let Friends Drive Chevys," and heated debates of the merits of a Dodge hemi, whatever that is. Maybe I'd poke ironic fun, but that kind of thing has a way of slipping into iconic seriousness. And so I drive a Ford and consider all the other ponies malformed and weak. I've come to learn from my daughters that they too would chafe at a Chevy and disdain a Dodge, more or less out of loyalty to me and their belief that I seriously am a Ford Man. 

And maybe I am. Or maybe it's just the only truck I've owned. Or maybe I just like the stripped down-ness of it. No extended cab, no electric windows, no cruise control (OK, maybe I'm not thrilled about that part), no working CD (much less an i-whatever or satellite radio), no all sorts of shit. Yes, eight-foot bed. Yes, 4-wheel drive. Yes, that little slidy window in  back to let air flow through. Yes, heavy-ass 20th Century steel, built in my home state. 

Oh, and yes, paid for. Running for almost 15 years with just a little over 100,000 miles, so plenty more years left if I treat it right. Not the most efficient beast on the road, but then again I don't drive a lot and there's much to be said for squeezing the most out of a car already there and avoiding the new car(bon footprint). And in case I have not already said so, it's paid for. 

It may not be my war pony (a peace mule, maybe), but I do have to admit I like that truck.

1 comment:

  1. I was a Ford woman myself for like ten years - are we making this a family thing? (Staying tuned to see what your kidlets will do!)