Gaston, SC (Paul Kirby) – This is a story of fate. Fate is both strange and fickle at times, but this story may interest you if you’ll just read on. It is certainly a story of fate.
In 1979, a 6 year-old boy named Matt and his brother were staying with their grandparents. During the visit, each of the boys was given a toy truck as a present. The boys were happy to receive the trucks and played with them as boys will. Their father, a man who was employed at a sticker manufacturer, brought the boys stickers to put on each of their trucks. The stickers had each of their names and their age so they could tell the trucks apart. Matt was proud of that truck with his number 6 on it to let everyone know just how old he was.
As they grew older, they did the things that brothers will do. When they got mad at each other, they’d kick their brother’s truck, putting dents in it. Time went by and Matt and his brother eventually lost interest in the trucks. Over time, they disappeared, and the boys lost track of them.
As he got older, Matt fell in love and fathered a daughter named Lauren. Later Matt and his girl split, and his ex married a man named Tim Spires. This made Tim Lauren’s stepfather. Tim’s brother John Spires was just Uncle John to Lauren.
More time went by, almost 30 years, and Lauren fell in love and decided to get married. To perform the ceremony, the happy couple asked Uncle John if he would do the honors. “Certainly, I will,” John told the couple. In fact, it was decided that the couple would get married at Uncle John’s spacious home in Gaston.
The day of the wedding, Lauren’s father Matt attended the ceremony as one would expect. At some point, Matt realized that Uncle John was a collector of many eclectic things. He had old cars, tractors, and lots of old toys he’d picked up for a song here and there. Matt liked the old toys and mentioned the interesting collection to John’s brother Tim. He knew that what Matt was seeing was the tip of the iceberg, the real collection of toys was in John’s basement. Tim arranged to have the door to the basement unlocked, and together the men all walked in to look.
Matt was very impressed by the extensive toy collection in the basement and walked around looking in awe. At one point he stopped, looking down at one particular toy. “This can’t be, he thinks,” bending down to take a closer look. Suddenly, Matt’s voice changes as he sees the stickers on an old rusted truck. He really is in disbelief as he bends down picking up the toy. When he clearly sees his name and the number 6 on it, he can hardly believe his eyes. It’s his old truck that his grandad gave him more than 30 years ago. In fact, the old rusted truck still has his name on it too.
As the three men stand in that basement, they are all thinking, “What are the odds of Matt finding his childhood toy truck after all these years?” John had picked it up somewhere and added it to his collection thinking nothing of its origin. It had to be fate that had united Matt and his toy. He tried hard to get Matt to take the truck with him, but he refused. “No,” Matt said, “It’s in the best place it can be.” Together the two men pose for a picture with Matt’s old truck. Then, it was put back into its place, safely in John’s collection.