Wednesday, March 01, 2006
In the early to mid 1990s – and I can’t remember when, exactly, my sister’s husband gave us the car he had been driving before he married her, a 1978 Volvo. It was a stunningly kind and generous thing for him to do. So, we got on the Amtrak and rode the train to Los Angeles, had a wonderful visit with the family, and then drove the car back. It was a harrowing trip. We hit an ice storm in upper New Mexico that extended through most of the Texas panhandle, but the Volvo sailed through it when cars and trucks all around us were sliding off the road. If one can love car, I can honestly say I loved that car. We had never driven anything quite like it before. We happened to know the only other Volvo owner in town, and he told us that the only mechanic that repaired Volvos was 90 miles away. We did some checking around, and that seemed to be accurate. And R drove the 90 miles several times to have minor repairs done. Then the Volvo developed a major brake problem – more than just new brakes -- and it couldn’t be driven safely. It would have to be towed, but money was tight right about then, and we didn’t happen to have the extra $100 (or more) that it would cost to have the car towed. So we parked it until we could figure out what to do, or maybe find a mechanic closer to home. Then disaster. Rats got into the engine compartment, chewed the heck out of the electrical wiring and hoses, and suddenly the Volvo was dead in the water. The last time we drove it off the property was in 1999, and it had been sitting there ever since. Until today. A man showed up and wanted to know if we cared to sell him the car and he would haul it off to the crusher. So we did. After he got it loaded onto his trailer, he pounded on the back door and said “well, wave goodbye to it.” So I did.