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"?