The little red car died today at the age of 15. My '98 Ford Escort.
I'd like to say she served me well, but she didn't. She is in competition for my most expensive ride ever.
I thought I had a real bargaiin when I got this car. And there was an interesting back story. The couple who sold it to me had given it to their niece who had won a full scholarship to a good school.
But then, her aunt told me, she went off to college and quickly got pregnant and flunked out. "I went up there and repossessed this car," the aunt added.
"Where is she now?" I asked.
"Bojangles," the aunt said.
She can't have been very happy, this girl who landed pregnant and carless at Bojangles.
I have a theory that before she let it go, she ran it through a shallow fast-moving river . Because pretty soon I learned that there was mud in the air conditioner — it kept dumping pints of ice water onto the floor of the passenger seat — and dirt in other remote locations under the hood.
It wasn't mud, though, that ended her years of service. The brakes were about to give up and the two front tires were on the verge of falling off….for a start. I was told not to drive it another inch. This was the second opinion I got. The first mechanic said that the brakes should be okay until day after tomorrow at least. Seriously. Should be fine until Thursday.
So I got a 3-day rental, a car so updated that it had no key and I didn't know how to start it and then had to call back to the rental office for more operating instruction before I was 3 miles down the road.
It must mean something that the little red car dies the same week that Cobalt Blue is officially published, but I'm not sure what — other than a very busy few days.. The SISINDIA license plate you see in the picture, flaunting previous novel Sister India, is soon to become history; the COBLTBLU replacement has been ordered, but may take a couple of months to get to me. (I don't know what people are doing with their time over at that prison.)
Anyway, this post is really an ad in disguise. Anybody want to buy a little red car? The engine still runs pretty well.
Tags: Bojangles, Cobalt Blue, Ford Escort, Peggy Payne, Sister India
Peggy, I have been reading your blog since its inception. (I'm a recently former Raleighite; we have mutual friends.) Your words often make me laugh, brightening my morning, but this time I just wanted to tell you. Gretchen
PS I'm certain it means something that little red died this week. I can't wait to read your book.
How nice to know that you’ve been visiting all this while, Gretchen. Your words have brightened my morning.
my R.I.P. was a 1984 Toyota Corolla – mother-in-law owned and drove from 1984 (when her husband died) until 1997 when she died, age 92. It had 45,000 miles on it in Atlanta. I drove it for more than a decade and let it go (still going great if not much more than body rust) around 140,000 miles which is low-mileage for such a vehicle. It got me to and from work at around 35 miles round trip per work day. Now we are a one-Prius and two-bicycle household.
That’s a great car story, Bob.
Only needs brakes and tires? How much? 🙂
Well, brakes and tires and a few more things, Lacy. Definitely negotiable.