UD Student "Auto-Biography:" Matthew King and his 2003 Ford Ranger XLT


I have been lucky enough, although my parents may say spoiled, to have received a 2003 white Ford Ranger XLT for my 16th birthday. I can remember the day that it happened. My mom came to my work and asked if I had my driver’s license on me because my dad wanted to have me drive home after we went out to eat for my birthday. I replied, “Yes.” My dad picked me up from work and proceeded to drive to dinner, but stopped at a Ford dealership to “use to the bathroom.” Little did I know, he was finalizing the deal and signing the paperwork. About 20 minutes later he came out side and asked me to look at this car they had on the showroom floor. As soon as I stepped out of the car, he handed me a set of keys to my brand new and very own truck. Honestly, I had no idea this was coming because, ironically, my brother, just 18 months older that I, had also receive a white 2002 Ford Ranger XLT for his 16th birthday. So, within an 18 month span, my parents had bought two brand new white Ford Ranger XLTs.

I had never thought that a car had so much influence on my daily life activities. I, apparently, had been taking my parents and friends’ parents generosity, when it came to transportation, for granted. But, now that I had my own truck, I no long had to depend on them or anyone else; I was free, or so I thought. I can remember being a good driver, never getting into any accidents, never getting any speeding tickets, and never mistreating my truck. This attitude continued for about two years, until I got into my first accident. I immediately hated my truck because of how much money it was costing me to fix the damage, roughly $600. Soon after I began speeding, still no tickets, and taking my truck for granted. My parents recognized my actions and took the truck away. I, again, became dependent on others for transportation. Then and truly then, I realized how much I needed that truck, my truck. It took about one week for me to realize my previous actions and to quickly ratify them in hopes to get my truck back.

After graduating high school I attended a local community college, Lorain County Community College, which was about 35 minutes from my house. My truck was my only means of transportation. I knew no one in my classes and could not rely on my brother or parents for a ride to and from the college. I, once again, was completely dependent on my truck. About four months after my college career started, it looked to me over, grades came. My parents felt that I was capable of doing better than I did and punished me by taking my truck away for two weeks. When classes resumed in mid January, I knew I had to put in the hard work, not just to appease my parents, but to keep my truck. I hit the books and made the grades.

After one year of community college, I transferred to the University of Dayton. I came in a sophomore, which meant I could have full access to my truck. My truck provided everything yet again. It was my way to and from home, to and from the store, to and from work, to and from anything. My truck moved me in and out of my first and only college dorm room too.

In that summer, the summer of 2008, I receive an internship with the Sherwin-Williams Company where I was a sales representative. I was responsible the territory of four neighboring cities to my home town. I had to drive to meetings, drive to meet clients or potential clients, drive to sales calls, deliveries, pick-ups, you name it and I drove there. Many miles later that internship ended August first of 2008 and back to college I went where my truck moved me down again. For the most part, the same uses of my truck applied my junior year as they did my sophomore year; they uses may have been more frequent, but not different.

That school year came and went and I, thankfully, had another internship waiting for me in the summer. I worked for a company in Jersey City, New Jersey in the summer of 2009 but lived in Manhattan. With the exception of moving me in and out of my temporary living arrangement, I was not dependent on my truck. I was able to take a subway to and from work, to and from the grocery store; to and from anywhere I wanted to go. But, the nicest part about not having a truck was that I did not have to pay for gas, for oil changes, for storage, for anything, not even insurance (parents covered me). I did have to pay for a subway pass but it was far cheaper than my truck expenses. It was also nice to be able to go out after work and not have to worry about getting home after a few drinks. I did not have to worry about rush hour, or any of life’s little annoyances. I was free of my truck, which I then noticed was a burden.

I am currently in my final semester of my senior year and I am still using my truck. Thirty thousand miles later, my truck is still there for me; through the good times and the bad, my tuck never left my side. It is clear to say that I have formed a relationship with my truck and don’t plan on ending it anytime soon.


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