Conversation tip #12: Nice truck!

Sometimes a simple comment leads to a delightful conversation.

Today I noticed a very, very old truck parked on the street while walking my dog.

“She’s as old as I am,” replied the owner from his frontyard. He soon came to the sidewalk. “Made in 1931.”

Although I’m hardly a car guy, we proceeded to have a rather detailed and informative conversation about Ford, Model AA, and vocational education. That ancient truck, donated to a local veterans group, still runs. The local adult education high school will help train mechanics on it – and restore it. Cool.

I have an old 1981 Volvo with 249,000 – and the antique truck owner, Deano, has several Toyotas with over 300,000. We both find something wonderful with quality cars built to last – unlike so many models today.

Deano, by the way, is a former high school teacher who volunteers at the local Veterans Administration (VA) hospital. You can’t help but respect a man who helps soldiers and veterans recover from war wounds – visible and invisible.

Friendly and folksy, I instantly felt comfortable with him and traded a few teachers’ tales. We shared a few frustrations with standardized tests too. We will, I suspect, have other fine conversations in the future.

A casual comment, “nice truck”, lead to a satisfying exchange. with a neighbor. That’s my conversation tip #12: make a sincere comment about a situation and be curious about your neighbors. You never know what you will learn!

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