Early on in our marriage, I had the bad habit (at least from my wife’s perspective) of acquiring cars and trucks that needed a little extra TLC. The one that was the most unique was the one we called the “White Whale.” I can’t remember it’s year but it was an oxidized white International Travelall with white panels in the back windows. If you had any exposure to the 60’s and 70’s you know the look… like a wannabe van but in a humongous SUV. In addition to the great window replacements, it also had a dashboard that was missing a large part of the padding. We were told by the previous owner that the chunk taken out of the passenger side dashboard was from his Doberman pincher dog who decided he needed a taste. Since there was only one bite taken out, I guess he didn’t like it.
Anyway, back to the White Whale… I loved this truck. It was a real truck… could carry anything… and all the other drivers seemed to give it a wide berth. For some reason though, my wife didn’t particularly like to ride in it or drive it. I don’t know whether it was the oxidized paint that rubbed off onto your clothes every time you rubbed against it or maybe it was the gear shifter. It had this minor problem that every once in a while the gear levers would get out of synch and you would have to pull to the side of the road, open the hood, stand inside the engine compartment, and realign the linkages. We got to stop and enjoy many roadside sites that we would have normally just driven right by… but I guess she didn’t like the sightseeing portion of ownership. Also, for some reason, she never wanted to learn how to realign the linkages. Go figure. Come to think of it, maybe the gas gage was a problem too. You see, it didn’t totally tell the whole story. When it said half a tank, it sometimes meant it was empty. The unpredictability added excitement for me but maybe too much for her. Thinking about gas, I thought it was pretty handy that, in addition to the awesome truck sounds, you could tell it was running because of the fumes… but again, that didn’t seem to be very positive to my wife, especially when I pulled into the garage and it took 3 days for the house to air out. Reliability and predictability seem to be more important for some.
I’ll always remember the day Ship Rickman and the Texas Critters decided to use it as a backdrop of a picture for their debut as a band. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity. Yes the White Whale was my pride and joy. But alas, my joy in ownership was short lived and it was a difficult day when we decided that we needed to sell it. I was hoping that no one would buy it but for some uncanny reason, it sold really quickly and on a day that I wasn’t home. My wife, with the help of my dad, got cash from the first person that saw it. It’s my understanding they didn’t even try to drive it before they bought it. People are strange. I wonder where the White Whale went and if the owner appreciated it as much as I did.