Until this week, I could brag that I was still on my first wife and my first car.
Not any longer. I’m keeping my girl as long as she’ll have me, but we’ve officially parted ways with the 1980 Toyota Corolla — “Old Blue” — that we bought new off the lot more than 30 years ago. Over the years, it had become part of the family, part of the landscape in which we lived. Our two daughters — both off on lives of their own by now — expressed shock and disbelief at the announcement. And when my wife posted the news on Facebook, the responses varied from surprise to melancholy:
“Omg you still had that car!!?!! Whoa!!”
“Ohhh, not the Little Engine That Could! I remember it well…in fact, can’t imagine you without it.”
“WOW! The car I learned how to drive standard with in Oregon. Even Mai is getting teary eyed now and she never sat in it.”
“Jay looks a little sad in that photo, if you ask me. I always liked the beautiful blue color of that car, and I remember the joy of driving it one time when you let me borrow it to go out on a story when my car was in the shop. I understand your sentimentality. Mary cried when we sold our blue van that our kids grew up with and that took us on many a vacation.”
The car has seen a lot of road, some of it rough and some of it smooth, just like the rest of us. And while the air conditioner’s busted, the radio doesn’t work, the headlight switch is fickle and it’s got some dings in it, the engine is sound and she’s got a lot of miles still in her.
They just won’t come with me driving it. She ended up in good hands, sold to a college-student friend in need of transportation who’s willing to give her the care she needs. I’m sure we’ll still see her from time to time, and smile when we do.
So of course, all of that’s just a long-winded way of saying that tonight’s theme is … car songs!
– Jay Bookman