My Very Own Honkytonk Fly Ride
I saw this picture and one thought came to mind:
Ooh, I need this rig in Montana to pull my boat!
Now despite many years of failed attempts, I still harbor this fantasy of spending a summer in Montana totally under-the-radar. Just fishing and minding my own business and staying out of the fray. I realize this vehicle wouldn’t do much to help me in that personal goal…
…but who freaking cares! It’s badass!
To be clear, I am not a car person. I do not know one thing about cars. But I do have a history of making bad decisions where flyfishing vehicles are concerned. You see a long time ago I was in Craig with some friends and a touch overserved in Hookers (which is now Izaaks.) I just started blabbing about how cool it would be to have an old Carolina blue Cadillac. Go Heels. Just made it up off the top of my head, for no good reason.
Well, the very next day I was driving through Helena and saw one for sale. No lie, I have witnesses to my accidental drunken prophecy as well as the discovery of the car the very next day. Clearly it was meant to be my fishing car. A four-door Tarheel blue 1966 Sedan DeVille. Go Heels! I got for my 30th birthday — against the wishes of every member of family, including my then-husband. Financed at the ATM in the Helena Safeway. $1000 cash.
It was a foot too long to fit in my parents’ garage so I kept it in the neighbor’s barn for a few years. Unfortunately the horses kicked it around a bit and ate some paint off the hood. Eventually the neighbors needed the space in their barn so I had it hauled to Texas where it’s been in dry dock ever since.
Lest you think I did the predictably Texas thing and welded some Longhorns to the hood, let me refute that assumption. The situation is far worse and much more white-trash than that.
A few years ago I used the trunk as a cooler and filled it with ice and beer at my birthday party. Since then, the latch won’t stayed closed so if a light wind blows the trunk just pops up. It was making me crazy so I ventured out to a shed I apparently have (I’ve set foot in that gnarly shed only two times in the past seven years) and grabbed a pair of Longhorns to weigh down the trunk.
Every so often someone offers to buy it. My non-redneck voice starts to speak clearly and vociferously about how insane it is for me to keep this car. Besides the fact that it looks utterly vile in my driveway and my daughter is getting old enough to be embarrassed when her friends come over, I know I should be thinking about my mortgage and my taxes and PTA meetings and clients and my aging dog who has cancer and fixing up my backyard and getting my life in better order.
You know, all those age-appropriate albatrosses.
But just as I am ready to pay to have the damn thing hauled off, I think about how fun it was to cruise alongside the river on a sunny day looking at rising fish through a haze of tricos. How fun to race through those river towns with my wading boots dripping all over the floorboards and my windows down and the AM radio hopping from The Bee Gees to Loretta Lynn to pure static.
I’ve said goodbye to many things in my life but I just can’t seem to adios this ole fishing ride. Even though I’ve totally let it go, I’m nowhere close to letting go.