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There's just something about your first

August 21, 2011

Car that is.

me and the girls - freshman year 1999

I didn’t drive until I was 21. I know, I know, some people look at me with a bit of consternation when I tell them that, but the truth is, I didn’t need to. I had great friends who had parents that bought/gave/helped them to get their license and a car and they lived close by and they liked me (I guess) so, I didn’t need a car all throughout high school. Once at IU for undergrad we weren’t ‘allowed’ to bring a vehicle, and I lived on campus, so a car just seemed something more to spend money on. My parents came to pick me up (yes, a three hour drive) every weekend my freshman year, holiday weekends my sophomore year, and friends started to drive me home/visit for most of my junior and senior years.

college grad

Upon graduation my mom actually rented me a car to drive (because I’d finally gotten my license) and we played it off for a good while like it was mine (it was a sweet Sebring that had the nice Enterprise sticker on the back). And then, after that I decided it was time. With the money from graduation and a few extra from my parents, I bought Gossamer.

He sat on the side of the road in someone’s front yard with a sign and I knew he was mine the moment we drove by. Giant and Orange and Old and Lovely. I paid $4,000 cash and never looked back. 1979 Chevy Blazer.

Goss didn’t have air conditioning, even though I did buy him in the hot Indiana summer. He had no power windows or locks. 1978. One year older than me. It also just so happened that his brother (quite literally) lived across the street from my parents, in all his yellow glory. His top came off (with some work) and I absolutely ADORED him. We paid the extra money to put a pretty kick arse stereo system in and he was mine all mine.

Fast forward about two years later. Goss had done me good. Gotten me though a couple bad winters, bad relationships, and through the not so great part of my early twenties. I replaced tires, a transmission, odds and ends. But then the breaks went, and that’s all the money I could put into Goss, especially when I was about to marry the man of my dreams and gain a whole family that, let’s be honest,  might not be the safest to carry around in a 25 year old giant hunk of metal. So, I traded Goss in for a brand spankin’ new (leased) Blazer and parked good ole Goss at my parents house.

Fast forward about seven years later. Goss still sits at my parents property, pretty worse for the wear actually. His ceiling has been eaten by moths, his undercarriage finally carried away with rust. He still smells of that old leather and opening up his doors brings back so many memories . . . taking the girls to Lake Monroe and carrying one special girl on my back b/c she was afraid to touch the sandy bottom . . . taking trips out the Salamonie and attempting to make fires with a Bic and twigs . . . picking up my dear Odin from Bedford and carrying him all the way home . . . driving to PE in E-ville every day to work from the west side of town (that’s when my transmission blew) and having perfect strangers help me push that big old hunk to the side of the road when I got a flat . . . getting pulled over for the FIRST (and only?) time swerving while changing the radio station in Elwood (“this is a big ole truck for a little lady” the officer said, thinking I was some drunk old man swerving I guess) . . . jamming out to ‘Now that we found Love what are we gonna doo…’ and that’s that. The stories are innumerable. But now, it’s time to say goodbye.

Goss eats gas for a living. He still needs breaks, he’s missing a battery, and his tires are likely dry rotted. But some dear soul wants to buy him, and perhaps spread his parts all over this dear old state, and to that, I guess I say ok.

Goodbye Gossamer. You sure were good to me.

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