Friday, August 21, 2009

The End of Summer Raid

August. Even when you live in the land of the Endless Summer, summer is gonna end. Bookended by Memorial Day and Labor Day, for my family it is a glorious stretch of beach outings, barbecues, unscheduled days off, camp outs, and various larks. This season, so far, we had four days at a fabulous beach house on the quiet windward side of the island, a camping trip complete with huge illegal bonfire and meteorite-like marshmallows, numerous evenings at the King Kamehameha Club, lots of surfing, and goodness knows what else.

To do all of that, you've got to have your kit together, ready to bring it, just like the Long Range Desert Group brung it to the Afrika Corps. Swiftly. Confidently. Effectively. Definitively. The Rat Patrol was already on re-run rotation when I discovered it as an eight year old. I have never been more enamored of a television show I rarely saw. This was back in the early '70s, when regularly scheduled programming hardly was. Some afternoons I would turn on the TV, tune the rabbit ears and there it would happen to be. The Rat Patrol. Sgt. Troy, prissy Sgt. Moffitt, Hitch, and Tully, cresting dunes at high speed in the greatest TV vehicles ever broadcast, a pair of G.I. jeeps mounted with .50 cal. belt-fed machine guns, all trained at the halftracks and "panzers" of Capt. Dietrich, the honorable Prussian.

All that pre-teen adrenaline certainly contributed to my choice of family summer vehicle: the crew cab with surf racks, in desert tan. Capable of transporting all the equipment you need to whatever outdoor destination you've chosen for your tribe of family, friends, and law partners.

I got mine mere months after my son was born. Turned in the two door pick-up after my wife rightfully cut my head off for trying to stuff my son's baby-seat into the rear "Xtra Cab". Sideways. I've never looked back (well maybe a little. That old truck would've taken me to hell and back). This crew cab has since dutifully carried my family through five summers, and I fully expect my son to drive it a dozen years from now.  I dubbed it "Warthog", because to me it is reminiscent of the indefatigable Fairchild A-10 Thunderbolt II attack aircraft, basically a flying rat patrol jeep.

So with roughly two weeks left in August, I've still got hunting coming up, and then beach cabins for the Labor Day weekend. And I still haven't had to mount the fifty cals in the back.

Someday, this summer's gonna end. And when it does, hopefully it ends like this:

Bottom pic: The Crew Cab, laden wih surfboard, pole tent, folding tent, 3 coolers of food and alcohol, Weber grill, beach toys, water guns, barbecue gear, dry goods, 40 lbs. charcoal, and son sitting safely in the backseat.

1 comment:

M.Lane said...

Man, what a super rig! You MIGHT be able to get some gear in the back if you really work at it. You have to have the RP theme on your ipod, right?