• 1996 Dodge 3500 – Jessica Y.

Boo Radley

My truck is a 1996 manual 3500 dually that my dad got me to haul my horses when I was 15. I remember seeing that truck drive around Belen, then seeing it on the lot. At the time, it had dual stacks coming out of a custom bed and a pristine paint job. I remember DROOLING over it, ‘how cool would that be?’

Being a truck driver’s daughter, the stacks and the roar of the engine appealed to me a lot. So, we came home a day after my birthday and there it was in our yard. My dad looked over at me and said, “Happy Birthday, Jessica!” And I just stared at him; our family wasn’t the kind to give their kids trucks. This must be a joke! And I was only 15 years-old! But it was mine.

I named him Winchester in those earlier years: he was loud and obnoxious, and really made a statement in my 15 year-old mind. Here I am, 25 years-old. My dad paid for my truck but I had to keep it running. I’ve since gotten rid of the stacks but have kept the custom flatbed and done a few more things to it.

Over the years, as each new problem arises, I fix it. It has only been to the shop a couple times. My friends are always gracious enough to help me fix my own truck and learn all that I can about it. I’m currently waiting to get a new hood so that I can paint it. It has a white body with a black and diamond plate flatbed. I want to paint the entire thing gunmetal gray with a few dark purple accents (nothing too girly or overwhelming). I’ve kept it running all these years but since I’ve needed it to haul, I haven’t made too many changes to the performance. Haven’t needed to. It has been the most reliable vehicle I’ve owned thus far; any problems it’s had were when I was too ignorant to figure out a problem and get it fixed before it became a bigger problem.

This truck has been with me through high school, college, has taken me to my first adult job, and every job in between. It took me to my high school rodeos and roping jackpots, and the practice pen countless times over the years. That truck hauled me and my new camper to my first work station far from home and was my daily driver until 2016 when I purchased my first new car. I’ve fallen back on this truck many times since 2016 if I ever needed it, and it hasn’t ever quit, and it always brought me home.

There’s probably a lot more this truck has done over the last 10 years but it’s too much to explain. Hell, this is probably way too long. But my truck was renamed Boo Radley recently, and he’s fixing to get a new look, a new vibe, and maybe a few additions to up my towing game. I love my Dodge and we have had a fun history so far.