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Cape Fear Voices/The Teen Scene

Cape Fear Voices/The Teen Scene

Cape Fear Voices/The Teen Scene

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Good-bye Old Friend

I see my car sitting next to this one at some car auction

I sold my car the other day.  It was 14 years old and had 147,000 miles on it.  It was the air conditioner that sealed the fate of my old friend.  It stopped working in the 98 degree heat of August.

My husband and I had discussed this before.  We are both retired and he had the newer car, so when mine broke down, we were not going to replace it and only have one car.  It made sense.  We would save on insurance and have more room in the garage.  Yes, it made sense.

It wasn’t until I was driving to the dealership to surrender it, that it hit me.  I loved that car.  I would crank up the radio and sail past slower cars on the highway, singing at the top of my lungs as I went by.  When red lights turned green, I was the first to jump out into traffic.  I would look in my rear view mirror at the cars so far behind me that had just been next to me at the red light and I would pat the steering wheel and say proudly “Good girl, good little car.”

That car held good memories.   How many times did it take Tony and I on an adventure?  How many trips back to Cleveland did we make in that car to see our grandchildren.  And when we kept two of our grandsons for a week, how many trips to the ice cream store did it make?

I have been driving for more than 40 years and this is the first time I find myself without a car.  I feel like I am giving up some level of freedom–my safety net.  It was always there if I needed to escape the doldrums of depression.  It was mine–my sole asset and it’s gone.

Oh, I know, I’ll have the “other” car when I need it.  I can still crank up the radio and sail past the 18 wheelers, but it will be different.  The memories of my youngers days aren’t in this car.

When I was at the dealership, the finance person cutting the check mentioned that he wouldn’t keep the car on the lot, it would be sent out to auction.  I felt bad.  I had visions of old horses being put out to pasture or even worse, of cannibalized metal skeletons with valuable parts missing.  It didn’t seem fair to do that to something that served me so well.

I watched as someone drove it away–stripped of my license plates and my Cleveland Browns sticker.  It was headed to “the back” away from the flashy, pre-owned sports car that were lined up out front.

I thought about my car and me; and how we had both changed.  We were something when we were young.  We were hot and fast and turned a lot of heads.  But we are old now.  We can’t stand beside the flashy sports models lined up out front anymore.

So, good-bye my friend.   I will miss you.  I will miss the sound of your engine accelerating as I took off into the empty spaces of the highway.   I will miss the sound of your seat belt signal giving up on me and bleeting that last note of warning.  I will miss seeing you in the garage.

But mostly, I will miss the freedom you gave me.


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About the Contributor
Jan Morgan-Swegle is the Editor of Cape Fear Voices.  She has been writing for CFV for almost 3 years.  She is originally from the Cleveland area and moved down to Leland 12 years ago.  She and her husband, Tony, and their dog, Dixie, enjoy sitting on the lanai listening to music and sharing wine (Dixie likes white wine but only gets two finger tips full!!)  They have 3 children and 9 grandchildren living in Cleveland, Ohio,  Charlotte, North Carolina and Lakeland, Florida.

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