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Shop restores classic truck for grandfather with ALS

restored truck
Posted at 11:56 AM, Sep 14, 2022

LEBANON, Tenn. (WTVF) — Tracy Parsons is always on the lookout for a worthy opponent in chess.

"You gettin' pretty good," he said while playing a game with his 11-year-old grandson, Corbin Smith. "I see some thinking going on in that head."

"Ever since he was a one-year-old, he's been my best buddy," Parsons said. "When he was three, I think it was, I thought it'd be great for him to learn how to play chess. He took to it very well."

"He'd teach me how to play," Corbin remembered. "He'd teach me new moves every morning."

Corbin has never beaten his grandfather.

"I've gotten close, but I haven't done it," he said.

"The past couple weeks, he's pushed me to play a game, and I've kinda pushed him off 'cause I'm afraid he's gonna beat me," Parsons added.

The truth is, it's gotten harder for Parsons to play ever since his diagnosis in 2020.

"It's ALS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis," he said. "I've lost the ability to walk. Losing my hands — it's hard to talk about."

Two of Parsons' brothers died from ALS, and he doesn't know how long he has left. It's been hard for Corbin.

"I was scared," he said.

Parsons has some work he wants to see get done before he dies.

"It's a 1973 Ford F-100," he said.

Several years ago, Parsons bought the truck. He planned on restoring it and giving it to Corbin when he turned 16.

"When Corbin gets his license, I'm not going to be here," Tracy said. "I'm not gonna be here to see that. I'd like to be able to see him and his face and his reaction to the truck before I die. That's what I'd like to see."

"I can tell he's putting all of his power into it," Corbin said.

The staff at VZ Customs heard about the truck and wanted to help out.

"It was just one of those things that we felt led that we had to do," said Seth Penhollow.

The staff restored the truck. A crowd of dozens of friends and family members gathered at Parson'shome to watch Corbin's truck be revealed.

"I love you, buddy," Parsons told his grandson.

"I love you too," Corbin said after seeing his new truck.

This story was originally reported by Forrest Sanders on