Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Chariot of Choice

I haven't talked about cars after all this time which is pretty lame for a guy to overlook I must admit. For my own personal car I prefer Nissan products, having owned two Maxima's in a row and enjoyed nearly every minute of owning them. After more than a few mechanical disasters with G.M. I vowed never to own another make of theirs no matter how much they say they've improved. I have one life, I only ever need to own one car and I'm not about to waste a second of living wondering when, not if, the thing will cost me two months' salary on top of the monthly payments to fix.

Although I haven't done much touring with the current model, with the first Maxima I got in to the habit of taking photos of the car at various places of interest around the country. It was bought in California and ran for over 209,000 miles before finally giving up the ghost in Maryland. In between the more memorable trips included driving the Pacific Coast Highway, Devil's Tower National Monument in Wyoming, Mt. Rushmore, the Eastern Shore of Maryland and a few weekend road trips from Chicago to St. Louis for baseball games.

My father, one among many, started the family tradition of giving our cars a name. Rather than name each one individually, however, it was simply handed down from one to the next. His name of choice? "The Goose." I have no idea why. It started with a green Oldsmobile Delta 88 and made it through at least a few Cadillacs although I think he only calls his Lincolns by their given name these days. When it came my turn, with my first Maxima I took one look at the thing and declared it "Snoopy!"

Actually the car had more than a few names, depending on the mood I was in and where I was going. "Snoopy" came from the all white exterior with the exception of the black side mirrors, just like the ears of that oh-so famous beagle. If I was in a hurry to get somewhere, Snoopy was also referred to as Max, the more butch side of the model name Maxima. (Maximillian was never a consideration). More often than not, though, I simply referred to the car as "Buggy" whenever I went out riding just for the sake of going somewhere.
From top to bottom, I'd like to introduce "Snoopy" resting by the Bay Bridge the week I bought her, paying her respects at Buddy Holly's grave in Lubbock, Texas, patiently enduring the hijinks of a friend's youngest son in Little Rock and last but not least, "Buggy II" in Maryland where she was acquired. She drove me swift and true to Texas where we live happily today.

"Buggy" has lasted through all of those names and on to the car I'm driving now. It fits whenever I say I'm going to take the Buggy out for a ride in to the countryside although I don't have driving gloves, a long coat and goggles. Before the Nissan fix I drove around in a Mazda once but thankfully hadn't quite gotten in to naming my cars at the time. If I had I might have called it Madge!

Gotta go!

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