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Last of a Dying Breed

They don’t make em how they used to

We bought and sold cars for a while, nice ones too. Car flipping came natural. When I decided to branch off from my partner, we stayed good friends. But the independence gave me new life. I don’t mind helping people but way times it began to seem unfair to be doing most of the wrenching and dirty work but still dividing the profits equally. In fact, at the time I made this decision, it was because I had my 1st born on the way. My daughter was on her way and I wanted to test myself. She was born in the fall of 2000 and coincidentally it was also when I felt I became a man. I was a huge fan of Chevy trucks and when the year before GM announced they were discontinuing the 2 Door Tahoe model, they had my attention. I rushed to find the perfect one. It had to be black with gray interior, Z71 suspension and the Sport model. When I can was lucky enough to find it, I was beyond excited. The guy I bought it from seemed to be in financial trouble but I didn’t ask questions. Just negotiated the right price and hit the peddle to the floor. The next day I went through it cleaning it to make it perfect. I removed the front seats and got to deep cleaning the carpet and interior. What happened next was shocking. There was a little black book tucked under one of the interior panels, barely visible. I struggled a bit to get it but when I’m did, it was not only someone’s personal phone book, but it clued me into a stash inside the truck that I’m guessing the previous owner didn’t know about or forgot about. The back page cover had some numbers that added up to about $80,000 odd dollars. Right under the total it also indicated “RR bench” and nothing else. I sat there with curiosity and quickly began inspecting the rear seat and cargo area. Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined this was one of my luckiest days. Inside the right side of the rear seat I found some stacks of cash wrapped tightly and consealed carefully where a piece of foam had been modified to hide $80-100,000 in cash. In a panic I began to feel shaky and nervous...asking myself if this could be true. If this could be dangerous or illegal. I collected my thoughts and found a perfect place to keep the full amount of legal tender safely. I decided to never mention this to anyone in fear of losing it or bringing any bad vibes around. Then I waited. I waited to see if the previous owner would call me to try and claim it but he never did.

Six months passed and I decided to take a drive back to see if the guy that I bought it from still lived at the house I met him at. To my surprise, he had recently moved but I was able to chat with his younger brother for a while. After getting to know him a bit, he complimented my truck and mentioned how nice I had made it look. Without hesitating, I jumped right in and asked him where his brother had bought it, thinking this was a perfect chance to ask someone who might not suspect anything. His answer didn’t seem ingenuous. He said it belonged to a good friend of his brother’s that had been killed by a rival gang and his family offered it to his brother dirt cheap. It made me wonder about the activities this guy must’ve been into, but I learned not to ask to many questions and to keep my mouth shut at an early age. So I allowed him to continue until the conversation shifted in other directions without hinting at anything. I was convinced that this was a secret stash that was being quietly kept for a rainy day that never came for someone.

I drove away friendly and jovial to the music playing on the radio. A smile that felt a bit of guilt was under my nose, but I kept my revelation to myself and never whispered to anyone about it. To this day I am thankful for the blessing and have been able to continue to flip and upgrade lots of cars since. Buying, fixing, restoring and beautifying cars has been not only a hobby but I nice little side business that really has rewarded me over the years. Some things are better left alone. But I can’t say I don’t think about this person that blessed me that I’ll never ever know. I hope he’s resting peacefully, but I can’t help look over my shoulder every now and then just because I still own that Tahoe to this very day. I love this truck. The last of its kind amd believe me when I tell you, they sure don’t make them how they used to.

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Read next: 'Stop! We're Going to Crash'
Ed Sand
See all posts by Ed Sand

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