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Ranch Detail

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

A breakdown recently resulted in me having my dad’s ranch pickup in Douglas for the week while ours was at the mechanic in Gillette. With Father’s Day just around the corner and my dad’s pickup in desperate need of a clean up my mom suggested she, along with my sister and I, pitch in and take the pickup to the detail shop. Since I had the pickup and am the daughter with an inability to say “no” it only made sense, at first blush anyway, that I make the arrangements.

Anyone who has seen the inside of my car knows I don’t do a lot of business at detail shops. So, like any 30-something, I typed in “detail shop Wyo.” on Google. They had a website, must be legitimate, right? So I scheduled an appointment.

Arriving in town, not thinking to first clean out my dad’s pickup, I located what now appeared to be a detail/pawn shop and soon realized the only requirements for running a detail shop are a hose and a vacuum. Standing amidst the 1970s televisions I found myself asking what seemed like a question from high school. “Is it really a good idea to leave my dad’s pickup at this detail/pawn shop?” Consistent with my high school mentality I threw caution to the wind and handed over the keys.

“Come back at noon,” said the detail/pawn shop owner as I headed out the door. Looking back I wondered if they’d spend their morning using my dad’s Hydrabed for entertainment, loading and unloading the compact car parked behind it. I was certain the syringes, Skoal cans and vaccine bottles in the console would bring some definite questions to mind. There weren’t a lot ranch trucks at the detail/pawn shop.

With the consequences of my decision weighing heavily on my mind I was back at 11:30 a.m. They evidently don’t detail a lot of ranch pickups as the gentlemen doing the cleaning commented, with a thick southern accent, “This thing is full of mud and the MANURE!” As I left this time there were no specific instructions on when to retrieve my dad’s pickup, but just a, “We’ll call you when it’s done.”

The call came at 3 p.m. and I was off to retrieve what was to be a shiny red Dodge. How much I asked? “A lot,” the detail shop owner joked. I paid the bill and was on my way. Two blocks down the road it occurred to me the pickup was EMPTY…bringing my worst fears to life. Back to the pawn/detail shop I went to get my dad’s belongings.

There was a simple explanation. They normally put people’s belongings in a small box, which is then placed on the seat of the vehicle. The detail/pawn shop owner went into the room where he keeps the 1970s television sets and returned with a box. Unlike their normal customers, this was no small box. It was the box a Craftsman shop vac comes in and protruding from it were overshoes, coveralls and everything else a rancher might need, EVER might need that is. I smiled, thanked them for the great job, took the box of my dad’s belongings and thought to myself, “My dad is kind of like McGyver from the old television show, only rancher style.” As for the detail shop, when customers call from now on they’ll be asked, “Is it a ranch pickup?”

When we presented the “gift” to my dad, along with the story of getting his pickup detailed, he just started through a list of things he’d been keeping in his pickup, before even so much as saying thank you. I just told him not to worry that he’s getting hubcaps for Christmas.


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