Sunday, January 07, 2007

May the road rise to meet you, Old Red

This morning I parted with Old Red and put her in the caring hands of a nice guy named Patrick who was going to put a new engine in her and give her new life. Of all my options something about him struck me as the one who should have her. That and he paid in cash.

I've never been very nostalgic about cars but for this one I'm allowing myself to be. I didn't realize how much that car meant to me until that night it broke down and it dawned on me that it may very well be the last time I drove it. It was.

Back in 2003 after I had hastily fled NYC and was back in Austin in full "what next?" mode I decided to come to Atlanta to the Portfolio Center. I was gonna need a car. Mercifully my grandfather had left us some money when he died and so I was able to buy one. I found this '96 Jetta on a lot in south Austin and was able to buy it for $6000. Cash. It only had 72,000 miles on it. I knew from the second I drove it it was the one.

The reason I'm waxing all sentimental about it is it never let me down. Not once. She drove me to that awful job in Austin that summer. And for two years as I lived hand to mouth, a shade above the poverty line, she stayed strong. She got me here to Atlanta. She got me to the mountains of North Carolina a few times for much needed vacation. She took me every Saturday night to valet park much nicer cars and waited patiently until I got back in her and tore-ass home with the radio blaring, a six pack in the passenger seat. She took me to sample salsa at Whole Foods in Gwinnett County and Alpahretta. She took me to assist that photographer guy and to be a PA on those Rooms-To-Go shoots. She did it all. She knew I was working my ass off to make this happen and so she did too. In fact, she waited until I started making real money this fall and held out until just before the holidays to croak. She knew I'd need a week or so to think and then a week or so to shop the year-end deals. For that I'll be forever grateful. I took the front license plate off this morning to remember her by. For whatever reason, Georgia only requires one.

From Santa Monica to Austin to Atlanta to wherever Patrick takes her.

Godspeed, little buddy.

2 Comments:

Blogger Tania Rochelle said...

I think I have a tear in my eye, Howard.

7:29 PM  
Blogger Howard said...

I know, I know. It's a sad tale.

Now about that book about drinking games for stay-at-home moms.....that's got gold mine written all over it!!!! When do we start?

7:58 PM  

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