18 December 2009

The Resiliency of Little Red

Little Red, oh how I missed you. Little Red is one of the lesser known members of my immediate family; the reason for such is likely that she is a car. Although she has feelings and a life span, she is not considered a first class member of our family simply based on her intelligence. That sounds really cruel, but it's true.
I learned to drive on Little Red, my two older sisters learned to drive on Little Red, my brother learned to drive on Little Red, and my father put the first 200,000 miles on her, so he taught her how to drive. If you have never traveled in Little Red before, you probably should before she passes on, although she has shown incredible resiliency in the face of corporal death. Spiritually, she is immortal. I arrived home today and took her out for a nostalgic spin, which reminded me of why we love her so much.
One of my favorite of her many characteristics is that the steering wheel can be turned a full 1/4 turn in either direction before the wheels do. That allows you to begin a turn, then change your mind before it's too late. Brilliant.
Secondly, her thermometer gauge starts well below the "C" for cold mark. Even after a half hour drive it was barely making it to "C." She is a trooper if I ever rode in one. Perhaps that's because the heater doesn't work. A number of years ago-the number is unimportant, although you may calculate it if you desire (it was the year 2001)- the speed/tach/odometer succumbed to high mileage. We replaced it, but the precise total miles will forever be a mystery. We suspect its around 250,000, as of 2009. Little Red has been across the United States plural times, and even down to Mexico. She is on her third clutch, fourth windshield, and at least sixth door handle. Speaking of which, the driver's handle is broken right now. *Sigh* (of happiness).

There is something supremely satisfying about filling a car up with gas and knowing that you have just increased its value 200X. It's gratifiying for you and for the car. Little Red will forever live in our hearts. She sputters like a stuttering putter when you turn her on, and she shakes like a shivering snake when you exceed 55 mph, and we love her all the same. When it was my brother's turn to drive her he got her a paint job, new woofers and speakers in the trunk, and imstalled blue lights in her interior. The lights are in the airconditioner vents, which means they shine in your eyes like spotlights when you have the A/C or heat on. But then again, there's no use in turning them on since they don't work. Come to think of it, they stopped working about the same time he installed the lights... Oh well, I'd take cool blue lights over heat and coldness anyday. Little Red, live on. Live on, and love on.


Benjamin said...

I don't usually comment on your blog, David, but I had to say something about Little Red. I'm thrilled to hear that she's still going. So many memories from high school and college involve that car. I borrowed her many times. Little Red, I raise my cup of gasoline in salute of you. Those who have never experienced you will never understand this post as deeply as those of us who have been blessed by your love.

Megan said...

Unfortunately, my only memory of Little Red is that it is, in fact, red.

Becky said...

i really want you to write something for the masses...be it in the newspaper, in a book, on soup labels, the public needs you.