My Kingdom for a horse (part 1)

My life is changing, and with it must come another change in vehicle. If we exclude the yellow 1970s Toyota Corolla I owned just long enough to learn how much I hated working on cars, and the Pathfinder and Taurus I owned with Laura, I’ve owned 4 vehicles in my life. Here they are…

1) Pontiac Grand Am – I owned this because it cost less than $2,000 and I probably had no business being on the road anyway (and my parents were wise enough to know it. Perhaps because they were also once 16, and had raised two other children). By the end of its life, it sometimes didn’t crank, once stopped working on the highway, the AC didn’t work, the windows didn’t roll down, and my speedometer pinged back and forth between about 15 mph and 85 mph like a tennis match. Evidentially the Grand Am made me some kind of time traveler. But it DID have a sunroof.

2) Ford Escort – I loved this car. It may be my favorite car I ever owned. Black, kick ass stereo, and really good ‘get up and go’ if you knew how to work it. And I did. On my way to work one day a lady came to a dead stop on the highway. 4 other cars piled up behind her (although we all avoided actually hitting her), and my car was essentially totaled. In fact, it WAS totaled and the insurance company got very angry after THEIR recommended repair place did extra work to make it road-worthy again. They told me if they had thought it would cost that to repair the car, they’d have just cut me a check (like it was somehow my fault). As a side-note, the lady who caused the pile up drove off and avoided ever being charged, leaving us to take the heat. Anyway, the car never drove the same again, and I traded it in a few years later for…

3) Toyota Corolla – I also loved this car. I thought I’d hit the jackpot of cars. I kept it (mostly) clean, other than the school books and games and change of clothes that took up permanent residence in the trunk. I changed the oil (or had it changed), I paid for all the recommended upkeep when it was recommended whether I really thought it needed it or not. And then on the way home from Atlanta after seeing Tom Waits for the first time, the car died. And I mean died HARD. I was 700 miles away from needing an oil change, but there was strangely no oil in the car, and the engine bricked. It gave no signs of trouble until the moment it died. It made me sad. And it made me poor. Awesome.

4) Chevy S-10 – I thought I was getting a job with Time Warner Cable and they HIGHLY recommend I have a truck. Fortunately my dad wanted a new truck and generously donated his S-10 to the “get Travis a job” cause. Of course then I didn’t get a job with TWC, but I still had a truck. I never thought of myself as a truck person. Hell, I could barely drive the thing around at first because I was so used to small compacts. But a few months into it I decided having a truck was the coolest damn thing on Earth and I would never give it up. It moved tons of friends to new houses, transported band equipment, got me to Charlotte to help another friend move, moved me out of my house (and then back in again), and if you add a tarp in the bed and fill it up with water, it’s a mobile pool. But it’s nearly 19 years old now, and I’m about to have a daughter and an S-10 is not exactly what I’d call “baby-friendly.”

So, “yay!” for all my fond, and not-so-fond, memories of these vehicles. Some were awesome, some were clunkers, but they all did what I needed them to do at the time.

And now I need a car to do something else – mobilize a family.



  1. Barry said,

    October 23, 2009 at 10:30 pm

    I have been through all of these cars w/ you. Hopefully this next one will be the very best for your needs. This is a gt. time to buy. Daddy and I both got the best deals in late Oct. We got on the internet and bought both of ours in Easley, S.C. Good Luck. Hope all is well with you, Meg and baby. Mama

  2. Sox said,

    October 24, 2009 at 11:56 am

    I just bought a new car about a month ago. The Camry I was driving bricked like your Corolla (except I knew it was coming) It had been leaking oil for about a year or so.

    Got a 2007 Elantra and I freakin’ love it. Reasonable price, nice stereo and plenty of zip.

    The kid who had it before me apparently was wanting to customize his whip so there’s reflecty crap on all the consoles. that sucks.

  3. Brooks said,

    October 29, 2009 at 12:11 am

    I’m so glad to see this next phase of your life Trav! how sweet… you are having a daughter ❤ I can hardly stand it!

    I love you all 3… Brooks

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