That was the theme for the annual Ugly Truck Contest and Classic Car Gathering yesterday morning in Shedd, Oregon. I drove up the valley to meet a friend at—what else?—the Shedd Cafe, a friendly place where hot-rods, restored vehicles, ugly trucks—and those who love them—meet regularly.
I pulled to the curb a block from the cafe since I didn’t want to be accidentally considered an entrant—my 1990 pickup is rapidly losing paint on the hood—but I needn’t have worried. A couple of rigs parked in front of the cafe were way ahead of mine in terms of disintegration, and carried a load of trash in the back for good measure.
Most (if not all) of the people at the contest knew everyone else. Shedd is a small farming community, and the Ugly Trucks (and a few gleaming classics, too) were lined up to help raise money for the Central Linn Alumni for scholarships for FFA members at the high school.
I ate a Farmer Burger inside (aptly named and roughly the size of a John Deere combine), then walked around looking for pictures and listening to people having fun. The sun was bright and welcome, augmented by laughter and the genuine good mood of the crowd. The contest organizers sold a stack of t-shirts, raffle tickets, and food, and when it was finished the assembled vehicles started up with muffled roars and drove away, no doubt to return again at the slightest excuse. Me, too.