My Tonneau Cover
After having a sixty gallon auxiliary fuel tank installed in the bed of the truck, I found that the tri-fold tonneau cover, the cover for the bed of the truck, was no longer not well-suited. I couldn’t access the filler nozzle to the auxiliary tank as the tonneau cover above the fuel tank was clamped down. I had to remove the entire cover in order to fill the aux tank.
I bought a different style of bed cover that rolls up right to the firewall and allows me to refill the aux tank with much less difficulty. I then listed the tri-fold tonneau cover on Pensacola Craigslist. It took a while but I got a buyer. A very interesting fellow who had just got his truck out of the shop after the hurricane damage.
The what? Hurricane Michael… I barely paid attention as it didn’t affect me at the time…
Approaching the Florida Panhandle, Michael attained peak winds of 155 mph as it made landfall near Panama City in the Florida Panhandle, on October 10…by October 28, at least 45 American deaths had been attributed to the storm, causing at least $14.58 billion in damages, including an unspecified amount of damage to U.S. fighter jets with a replacement cost of approximately $6 billion at Tyndall Air Force Base, and at least $3.3 billion in insurance claims in the U.S.
As I traveled along I-10 from Jacksonville and passed Tallahassee 160 miles later, I started noticing “Lane Closed” signs. Construction? A wreck? Nope… road crews with heavy equipment cutting the thousands of (still) downed trees, then loading them into trucks to be carried away. The RV Park that I was staying at overnight was a few miles and a few county roads off the interstate. I saw dozens of homes covered by a blue tarp on the roof and debris neatly stacked at the foot of their driveways awaiting the overwhelmed county pick up.
The feller interested in my tonneau cover lived near Panama City, his truck was damaged by downed trees and it had taken over two months to get the body work done. For his work, he needed a bed cover, short term, until his replacement truck cap arrived as, he said, “This is Florida, it’s always raining.”
Fascinating guy. I listed the cover for $160. He didn’t argue the price, just asked if I would accept “a few” ones… ($1 bill). “A few” turned out to be one-hundred and ten, plus two fives and two twenties. This guy owns and operated a series of ‘vending’ machines…games(?)… gambling(?)… where you insert a dollar then maneuver a ‘crane’ (claw?) in the hopes of picking up a stuffed toy. I’ve seen these machines all over and thought (very wrongly) to myself… “Right, who is going to be stupid enough to waste money in this?”
Apparently, thousands. This guy can’t make money fast enough. He told me that he grew up dirt poor and couldn’t understand it himself. He said that when he’s emptying the cash, there will be ten and twenty dollar bills in there where some chump has “invested” $20 to get a $2 (wholesale) toy. He quit his job as a Corrections Officer… he was a STOCKY guy… and he got this route going. I asked him about Insurance. He said it’s working out really well for his family. His wife always wanted to be a school teacher. She had a $41,000/yr job, took a $10,000/yr pay cut but is now a teacher with excellent benefits.
Yes, $31,000 per year salary for a teacher in Florida. A shocking figure, I’m sure, for many Canadians.
I’m settled into this RV Park, now. There’s a good church nearby and Winn-Dixie just a little further, so I’m fairly content now that it’s warmed up a little. The park doesn’t offer cable, but there are about forty stations from Mobile, Al., and Pensacola Fla., that I can pull in with the rooftop antenna, and in hi-def. However, the Alabama – Oklahoma game was broadcast on ESPN, and available only at the park’s Club House on DirecTV. A couple of us went up there to watch the game.
One guy was a chatty feller, maybe 80. He and his wife had been full-timing in his RV for about twenty years. After retiring, he had been involved in radio-controlled aircraft, then he started building and selling dulcimers. His wife died about five years ago and since then, he said, he really doesn’t care about too much. He made me take stock of my own life and circumstances.
If I had it to do all over again, would I do things differently? Yah buddy. Just as long as I end up right here where I am right now.
I have thought a hundred times over, comparing my life with those who stayed put, born, raised, educated, worked and retired pert near in the same spot. For some, it’s “security”. For me, it’s “boredom”. After I gave up my house to take to the road, I’m sure the preacher questioned my sanity, so I explained, I’ve already seen Bethlehem Georgia.” There’s some who have a lot more and some who have a lot less. This guy lives here year round and his power bills can reach $250 per month to either heat it in the winter or cool it in the summer.
Overall, I’d say I’m a blessed man.