A dream come true
Probably a lot of boys want a truck for Christmas.
This year, Monty Kurtz got his wish.
Monty had a red 1994 F-150 Ford four-wheel-drive truck in his younger days. He spent years getting everything just perfect for wheeling and driving.
"It devastated him, but he had to sell his truck in 2007 because we were moving to Portland for jobs," his wife, Qristy, says.
But, with the help of a buddy, his persistent wife, the guys at the Bend Robberson Ford dealership, and some Christmas magic, Monty now has his old Ford back.
Having grown up on a ranch in Southern Oregon, he needed a truck that could pull a horse trailer.
"I was looking for a new truck, and it was a good deal," Monty says. "I think I paid $18,000 or $16,000 for it when I was 19."
That was 1996. The truck had 12,000 miles. Over the years, he put 165,000 miles on it.
"It's got all custom suspension that I built over the years. I lifted it and did a bunch of stuff to it," Monty says. "It's been a project for a lot of years, and it's a body style that I love, and I always enjoyed the red truck."
He sold it to a friend about 10 years ago, who put a snow plow on the front of the truck but then sold it a year later.
Monty and Qristy moved to Powell Butte last year, and his buddy kept jabbing him about his old truck.
"He works right next to the Robberson body shop that's there in Bend, and he said, 'Hey I saw your truck,'" Monty said of his buddy. "I didn't really think anything of it."
But, his buddy saw the truck again, so a few weeks ago, Monty drove by and, sure enough, it was his old truck.
"I got in the back and looked at it, took a couple pictures. It looks a little worse for wear, but it's a truck," Monty laughed.
He told Qristy about his old flame and joked about buying it back. He then went to the Ford lot to inquire if it belonged to the dealership or to a customer.
"It was our snowplow truck for around the dealership," explained Bend Robberson Ford Service Manager Duane Fuerstenau. "I think we've had it about five years."
Monty asked if he could buy it, and Fuerstenau wanted to talk it over with Jeff Robberson, the owner.
Fuerstenau and Robberson were talking about it when they received an email from Qristy, asking if she could buy it for Monty as a surprise Christmas present.
"I sent him the great old pictures of Monty with his red Ford and pleaded how cool it would be," Qristy said. "To my shock and excitement, he said yes!"
"That's where Jeff said, 'Hey, unless you really need it for something, they really want that truck, let's let them have their dream of getting it back,'" Fuerstenau said. "When they have emotional attachment to a vehicle, that's a fun part of the business."
Last week, Qristy convinced her husband to go with her to the dealership to make one more "plea" to purchase the truck.
Fuerstenau played a long, saying that they had brought the truck in to charge the battery and get it ready for the winter.
"So, we went and looked at it, and then he told me that they had already worked out a deal," Monty said.
"Monty was laughing like a kid as soon as he got in," Qristy said, adding that he inspected all the parts to see what was left that was original. "Driving home, he said it fit like an old saddle. Just like old times."
In the 10 years it had not been in Monty's possession, it only had 11,000 miles put on it.
"But I think those are all plow miles, so it's probably equal to another 100,000 miles," he laughed. "I'm going to turn it into a fun rig. I kept the plow. It'll just be my go-out-and-play rig."
Qristy added that he'll probably help keep their neighbors' driveways clear of snow this winter.
"We have many elderly neighbors, so I'm sure the gift will be paid forward many times over in Crook County," Qristy said.
"I think many people can relate to that feeling of losing or letting go of something very special only to have the universe surprise them by bringing it back around," she continued. "But in this case, a really generous local businessman has made a hard-working local guy's Christmas dreams come true by reuniting him with his big red Ford tough truck."