Dear Editor:

This is my experience so that others will never endure the same fate as I have.

I had separated from my marriage. Everything that seemed together fell apart. I had to start at the beginning with the basics and lower income. I changed many lives – I am truly sorry for this.

I realized that I had one object that I could not move – my collector 1930s Chev truck, my children’s Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Over the years I had many offers to sell and each time I smiled and said I would never sell it; it was not for sale.

After separating, I thought my truck would not be safe with my children’s dad. This thought I will regret for the rest of my life. I did what a lot of people do; I asked a dear friend. I phoned my dearest friend and I was told it was no problem and not to worry about it.

I received calls from my friend about my spouse’s interest in the truck. The same reply was given every time; I would never sell my truck, it is for my children. I was told that the spouse received this message many times. When in town, I did confront this person and said that the truck was not for sale and I would never sell it. I also regret that I did not move my vehicle right then.

Years went by and a few things that were said was it would be nice to drag race again, or maybe we could do a little work on the truck. Well, that was all it took.

I came to visit and the truck was chopped-up. Too late to say anything, and I thought racing is a family sport. I returned my exchange for work by helping in situations when they asked and using my painting skills. When I had a finished job, I said to stop on my truck. Things seemed to change.

I was unaware that my truck was now claimed as a gift from me and my children. I wonder why my friend never said “thank for the truck” to me, or “are you sure you want to give up your children’s truck?” All the time that I had my vehicle stored, I was never told it was not mine anymore.

I do take full responsibility for the situation, for I had made a great error in judgement. My children do forgive me for what has happened. The days of a hand shake or “you have my word” are days long gone. I will ask if anyone out in the world would like to gift a 1930s truck for my young boys. I would accept this gift.

To spare anyone this fate, if you have valuable property and you are going to store it, make sure you have a contract – a signed, legal document. This may have saved my truck.

I Elizabeth Tynke Biccum, formally of Lower Nicola, B.C., delcare that I never signed a gift letter or gave my truck as a gift. I never received money for the sale of my truck.

Tynke Biccum

Salmon Arm, B.C.