After a prolonged illness aggravated by by improperly qualified old car docs, the Y.S. has met her match. She crawled into the front yard, and breathed her last. Yes, after more than 200,000 miles, the old station wagon has gone belly up.
Perhaps the most interesting part about the Y.S. was not the fact that she made several cross country trips, or that we could load her with enough gear for six people for two weeks (that includes camping gear and a full collection of schoolbooks for five different grades) or that she once went airborne, landed in a water/mud filled ditch and was pulled out by a tractor practically unscathed, or that she could never be mistaken in a parking lot or even any of her other many, many adventures. Rather, the best feature of the Y.S. was her unflagging ability to remind people of good times--or fond times at least. We cannot even count the people who have smiled on our old wagon and chuckled, as they said "We had one just like that when I was a kid...."
Realistically, a car is just chunks of metal and plastic and cloth. However, it is also a mnemonic device, and looking at it tends to trigger memories connected to the time when countless similar cars roamed the streets, though they are now about as common as bison.
This has been very traumatic for some members of the crew, not just because the car that has served us well for the past 8 years is no longer among the living, but also because the death of one car means that another must be brought home. Shopping for a car is an activity that has been avoided like three plagues among our crew. So many factors to consider, and so few vehicles that fit the bill. Also, there is the sad fact that fewer and fewer car dealers are willing to haggle. For instance, one really should be able to argue until a great deal has been made.
Which is precisely what the Commodore did. And after all that bargaining, well, she was sorta obligated to bring the thing home. So, without further ado, I introduce the new station wagon Otherwise known as Freebird.