In retrospect, it’s amazing that the old panel van lasted for as long as it did.
When I bought the van from my Uncle Pete it was already ten years old.
Pete had taken good care of it, so it ran well, but it didn’t have too many good years left in it. I drove that big van everywhere, and when things went sour with my parents I turned it into my home. It was big enough to sleep in, and got me away from their house. This turned out to be a bad idea, because although the city of Philadelphia, PA is enormous, it’s darn near impossible to find a long term parking spot. Once the Philadelphia cops find out you are living in your vehicle they will make sure you can’t park anywhere for more than a few hours. After the third time the Philadelphia cops made me move from under a bridge, I was getting tired of it. I found an RV park on the outskirts of Philly that let me park and sleep there at night. This was a stroke of luck, because it’s also where I met the owner of a cannabis dispensary who offered me a job. At this point cannabis had just been legalized, and new dispensaries were popping up all around Philadelphia. This guy needed workers, and I needed money, so it was a match made in heaven. I stayed in Philadelphia and worked at the cannabis dispensary for six months, then I paid to fix the van and hit the road to find a new home.