Saying Goodbye to an Old Friend

Yesterday was my last day with a companion that has been by my side every day for 11 years. She has been with me through my biggest ups and downs and all of the twists and turns of my twenties. She brought me into adulthood and came with me and supported me when I decided to pursue my dreams. She was with me when I suffered heartache and also when I took Amy on our first date. I didn’t always treat her well, but she forever demonstrated that enduring “Japanese inspired but American made” spirit. I’m of course talking about “Betty”, my “champagne” colored 1998 Toyota Corolla (I named her after Betty Rubble, don’t know why really, probably because I have a thing for brunettes). Since I’m not driving right now, in order to help Amy and I get a new car, we decided to sell both our cars. I’ve never really considered myself a car guy but I have to admit that I got choked up this morning when I realized how attached I actually was to her. We cleaned her out yesterday and it was like going through a time capsule. There is still a dent on the side that one of my housemates (cough, cough…Ryan Polivka) gave her when I lived in a house with a bunch of good friends during my last year of college, there were still pens and things from my old office that I had when I worked in ministry right after college, as well as several marks and scratches from carrying around film equipment during film school, My trunk also had a bunch of random artifacts from various film shoots since then, and some stuff that I had stored there when Amy and I first got married.

When I finally packed everything up and moved to LA, Betty and I made it in one 17 hour trip. Later the next week, some friendly neighbors welcomed us to LA by keying Betty all over her sides and hood, then broke one of Betty’s windows and tried to take her soul (the stereo). We continued to feel welcomed as LA brought out the cheerful sun every morning to greet us and eventually melted parts of Betty’s interior (just keep in mind that neither of us even knew what the sun was until we moved here…News Flash: It rains a lot in the NW). Betty never complained. She just endured and did her job. One of the kids I worked with while I was doing ministry, Taylor, is down here in LA now and I taught him to drive stick with Betty in the church parking lot back when I worked there. He said to me recently that one of his favorite things to do now is to drive stick and I wish that I could give Betty to him as a wedding gift this summer but unfortunately her fate is meant for someone/where else. I like to think that Betty has accepted the fact that she is retiring and moving into the role of “commuter car” now. I 100% believe that she has come to understand that her better years are behind her and that she is just as thankful as I am for the many adventures and times we shared together.

Here is a poem I wrote for Betty. Please read and enjoy.

“Betty”

Betty, you are more than just a car.

So what I’m saying is that you are more than you are.

The fact that you made it this far.

Shows me how high to set the proverbial bar…….for a car.

Greener pastures is now where you are.

With scars that make you so gnar.        (“gnar” is SoCal slang for “gnarly”)

To me that makes you a star

and  more “auto”cratic than a Russian Tzar…….or a car.       (I’m saying that “She RULES!!!”)

I’ll miss you ’cause you were more than a car.

You were a servant, a companion above par.

You’ve made my life only better thus far

and you’ll do the same for the next person who calls you……..their car.  

"Betty the Beauty". Photo Credit: StaceMom

"She's going to a better place" is what I keep telling myself (teardrops, mascara running) Photo Credit: StaceMom

Thanks for indulging me,

Alex


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