Copyright © 2005 Henrietta W. Hay
April 8, 2005
I sold my car today -- my beautiful white Honda Prelude, my pride and joy for 13 years. I am sad, but I am happy that it has a good home with a friend who promises to let me ride in it now and then.
I decided many years ago, after hearing the story of my Illinois uncle, that I should stop driving at 90. He threatened to sue the state of Illinois because they refused to renew his drivers license when he was 90. Of course, when I heard that story I thought 90 was the end of the world. But when I reached that magic age I assumed that I was just as good a driver as I had been at 40. On further thought, however, I realized that my hearing and my sight are not 40, and my reflexes, although still pretty good, might not be good enough.
I have had a running love affair with cars for most of my life. The first one I actually remember was an Essex coupe. On checking the Web, I find the Essex 6 listed at $735 5o $835 in 1922. Derided as a "packing crate" by competitors, I feel sure my folks were very proud of it.
Then came the old Hudson, that workhorse of a car that hauled my parents and me all over Colorado, with Dad driving, me in the front seat and my flatlander Mother in the back with her hands over eyes on the high roads.
Not too many years ago I found a dealer here in G J who had a Hudson sedan just like the one I remembered. He graciously took me for a ride in it and did it ever bring back memories.
When I went to College in 1930 there were very few cars on campus. but by my senior year, my boy friend had a Ford roadster convertible with a rumble seat. He loaned it to me now and then and my popularity rose sharply. Later, after we got married, we drove it across the country to New York, and some years later back to Colorado. It was a classic car.
In the years since, there have been several great cars. Probably the most exciting was a little bright red Triumph Spitfire. That was in the sixties and a perfect car for an aging mother of a teenager. It got run over one day up on Glade Park when son Dave was showing it off to a girl. Nobody was hurt, but the Triumph was never the same. It wasn't Dave's fault, but the girl's mother never forgave him. Ah youth!
Somewhere along the line I had a beautiful blue Plymouth convertible. I always liked fresh air and got plenty of it in those cars. One day my boss, George VanCamp, told me that his sister claimed that in a rainstorm, if you drive a convertible fast enough you will stay dry. I tried it one day. Theory didn't hold water.
With a couple of more conventional cars in between, I ended up with the Prelude. It is gone, but not forgotten. My friend says I can drive it sometimes as long as my driver's license is valid. Not to worry. I'll be 94 when it expires and it still carries my motorcycle validation.
So long, Prelude. Have a good life -- what's left of it.