Elie's Expositions

A bereaved father blogging for catharsis... and for distraction. Accordingly, you'll see a diverse set of topics and posts here, from the affecting to the analytical to the absurd. Something for everyone, but all, at the core, meeting a personal need.

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Monday, June 04, 2007

RIJ, Baby Huey

Well, I knew it was going to happen one of these days. Our 1995 Dodge Grand Caravan, the green and white behemoth which I liked to affectionately call Baby Huey - though I also contrarily persisted in thinking of her as a female - is no more. Her transmission went this Friday, quietly in her sleep as they say, in my workplace parking lot. Went so utterly and drastically that they couldn't even tow her away; rigor mortis kept her locked in "Park", poor baby. Luckily the tow truck driver was willing to drive me to my house even sans vehicle, or I would have had a very long Shabbos trek home on foot.

We bought Huey way back in December 2000, from a thrift shop no less. She already had 92,000 miles under her fan belts, and if the price hadn't been such a metziah, we would have passed. But the mechanic who gave the van a once-over told us, "1995 was a good year for Caravans. It could go another 90,000!" Well, Huey didn't quite make it that far, but she came pretty darn close, giving up the good fight just shy of 160,000 miles young.

Over the past couple of years, she had begun to show her age, to be sure. Her air conditioning quit a summer or two past, her back door could be closed only from the outside, and that by a trick motion that only advanced Jedi masters could achieve. She was increasingly prone to self-censorious bouts in which her radio would suddenly shut off for no reason at all, usually right in the middle of a hot guitar solo, or just when the DJ was up to the punchline of a great joke.

Even so, her engine was still strong to the last. But it just doesn't pay to put a new tranny - or even a rebuilt one - into such an old car. So we made the humane decision. Rest In Junkyard, Huey.

OK, it's just a car, I know. I'm not going all Christine on you. But I have lots of good memories of that jalopy: family trips, carpools, carsick (or worse) kids. And no, it wasn't the car Aaron learned to drive on; he was a bit daunted by the size of the thing. But now both cars we
owned during his lifetime are gone, and with it another little tie to our lost lives in the great "before".

Today we put down a deposit on a sassy, somewhat less used Chevy Venture, reddish-maroon in color. So to keep up the Harvey theme, I'm thinkin' "Hot Stuff"?


At 6/5/07, 10:56 AM, Blogger torontopearl said...

Drive it safely and use it in good health.

At 6/5/07, 11:29 AM, Blogger Jack's Shack said...

Enjoy the new van.

At 6/5/07, 12:21 PM, Blogger Soccer Dad said...

The van we just parted with was a reddish maroon Chevy Venture. Now we still have a silver Venture.

Did you have a problem with your Caravan's paint peeling. It wasn't an uncommon problem with the 95's. (We had one too.)

At 6/5/07, 12:26 PM, Blogger socialworker/frustrated mom said...

Hope you like your new van.

At 6/6/07, 10:16 AM, Blogger Elie said...

Thanks for the good wishes, all. We're hopefully picking up the car today. Huey left my work parking lot on a flatbed truck.

Didn't have much peeling paint on the Caravan. It was much bigger problem on the station wagon we had from 95-00.

At 6/8/07, 10:07 AM, Blogger PsychoToddler said...

We drove plymouth/chrysler minivans from 1989-2003, when we picked up the PTMobile, a gmc savannah conversion. That thing was an albatross. Constantly needing things fixed.

We finally traded it in on a Toyota Sienna lease, and it is by far the best minivan we've ever owned.

BTW I FINALLY got a new car for myself, but I couldn't bring myself to part with the 94 geo, so the kids are driving it. It leaks oil and seems to be a magnet for vandalism (since we had to stop keeping it in the garage).


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