This story of persistence started about four years ago in a field in Wodonga. I saw two beautiful Bedford trucks rusting away and my heart broke for I felt that a real injustice had been done. These hard-working trucks, like many others, helped Australia progress in the years after World War 2. They helped farmers on their land, sole-traders grow their businesses and industries develop and regain their strength.
I decided to restore them and although I knew absolutely nothing about restoring vehicles, I was eager to learn.
I had the trucks transported 3,474km to my home in Kalamunda, on the other side of the country and slowly the restoration process began. I started stripping down one of the trucks into its individual pieces (an incredibly methodical task). Seeing each piece, every nut and bolt labelled and laid out was such an odd feeling. These individual pieces of rusted metal, weathered wood and rotten fabric were essentially useless by themselves, but when pieced together, they created something magnificent, something that made me smile.
Years have since past and I have struggled restoring this truck, yet I persist. The time, patience and money it takes to restore a vehicle is astounding and I have so little of each of them. I have hit many heartbreaking hurdles along the way and this journey has nearly broken me. I’m nowhere near finished. I have a long way to go… but I persist. Today I know that I’m closer to finishing the restoration than I was yesterday.
I am deeply in love with this old truck, to my own detriment. I genuinely care about her; this damaged, once unwanted labourer, unrewarded for her hard work. She is worthy of respect, of compassion and recognition for her contribution and loyalty.
There is probably a fine line between persistence and stubborness. Everyone around me tells me to give up, but I made a commitment and I’ll continue to persist. I believe in standing up for what’s right, even if you stand alone.
I am reminded every day why I should persist; I drive a nearly-completed, beautiful old 46 Chev truck. She’s my everyday drive, my work vehicle and my friend. She was once run down and forgotten too, but now she shines with pride as she keeps her history alive, creating smiles wherever she goes, igniting beautiful forgotten memories in older people and radiating happiness like the sun radiates warmth. When I’m feeling down, I go for a drive in my truck and within minutes, someone smiles or a child waves. I see that wonder in their eyes; the same wonder I have. We share a moment of magic… and my sadness is gone. And so I will continue to persist until the job is done.