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Vamoose Old Van

August 14, 2009

But, sort of like an aging George Foreman, the once champion heavyweight has become a bit of a parody of itself — without a second career in television commercials very likely. Unless, of course, the ads might be for Little Miss Sunshine II with our minivan as a stand-in for the VW bus and its continuously honking horn and non-existent brakes.

I imagine my side of the conversation with a prospective buyer:
–“Oh, that light that turns on and off when you hit a bump in the road? It’s got something to do with the safety features, I’m sure.
–“Yes, the needles on the dash board do sometimes flip from one side to the other, but the good news is that’s not an indication we’re near any magnetic fields created by UFOs. By the way, you look way too young to remember ‘Close Encounters of the Third Kind.’
–“The automatic door? No, it doesn’t always close when you push the button. I like to do it manually anyway because I’m in training to get arms like Michelle Obama.
–“I just hate those hanging-tree car deodorizers, don’t you? That’s why we got these cute flip-flop shaped ones. They don’t always get rid of all the odor but they work pretty well.”

The old van has dozens of dings, scrapes, and one or two real dents these days — a “clunker” by official government standards. It has long white stripes down its side, a product of that cozy, white-painted garage — a bit of a squeeze for such a mammoth vehicle. Its interior is grimy from years of fast-food meals, muddy shoes, and beach vacations. I suppose it is time to say goodbye, which is what we did after one last family ride full of remembrances and familiar arguments over who got to sit where. In a real sign of transition, my daughter drove part of the way.

Just before I parted with my old friend, I tried to reclaim the knee highs from the arm rests, thinking the new family that gets the van might not notice a few scribbles, considering all the other blemishes my own gang had wrought. But the stockings had embedded themselves over the years in the joints of the movable armrests, securing an almost custom fit and making that part of the van, at least, remain almost as flawless as when the van was new — a decade and two young families ago.

The Last Night With the Van

The Last Night With the Van

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. August 14, 2009 10:47 am

    You’ve made me all misty eyed.

  2. Lisa permalink
    August 18, 2009 1:57 am

    Goodbye old van, we’ll sure miss you around the neighborhood. Thanks for sharing your memories Danna

  3. Liz permalink
    August 18, 2009 9:34 pm

    Let’s see–10 years, 2 kids, and at least 5 daily trips in AND out of Drumm Avenue! God Bless that old car!

  4. August 20, 2009 1:46 pm

    Good one! That’s like the old blue Toyota we had for so long. It died on the street. J. called Salvation Army to pick it up and finally they came, but kept driving past us, lost. J. was chasing them down the street in the rain. They couldn’t get the plates off, so rusted, but J. persisted — “Please, I beg of you, take this car away.

    Then, the towing truck got everything squared away. He pulled away slowly. The Tercel that brought D. home from the hospital, in the snow, was being sent away forever. It had been arrested, cuffed and hauled away like a forlorn little prisoner, its crime, the ineptitude of mechanical old age.

    We get so attached to our vehicles!

  5. September 6, 2009 2:59 pm

    Goodbye old van, we'll sure miss you around the neighborhood. Thanks for sharing your memories Danna…

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