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Thursday, Jun. 20, 2002
Oh boy, I've wanted to do this for a long time and I've finally brought my memory to the same place as my fingers so, keyboard, do your stuff.

Here's a comprehensive list of the cars I've owned.

1976 Toyota Corolla
1969 Postal Jeep
1973 Dodge Dart
1976 Chevy C/10
1981 Mazda Station Wagon
1974 Chevy C/10
1982 Volkswagon Jetta
1984 Ford Bronco
1986 Ford Aerostar
1982 Volvo DL Sedan
1987 Ford F150
1986 Mercury Marquis
1993 Ford Aerostar
1997 Ford F250 (the current one, for me)
1998 Ford Expedition (the current one, for Ally
1989 Toyota Tercel (the current one, for Beth)

I suppose it's a stretch to say that I own the F250, since it really belongs to the company. It's in my driveway, I'm the one charged with the care and feeding so I guess I'm claiming surrogate ownership in that way. There's a couple of missing vans somewhere in that list that were furnished by other companies, so they got left out.

And what does this all mean? Why the sudden desire for listing vehicles as if it were Outfoxed Used Car Emporium?

Because I'm sitting here looking at the Certificate of Title for the F250, and realize that, for the first time in a long time, I owe no man (or bank, whatever) for the ownership of a ride.

Stu and I finally paid the damn thing off. Ally's car is paid for. Beth's car is, well, I paid for that up front. $700 is nothing to go into hock over.

There's no more fear of the repo man coming in the dead of night to tow off my morning commute. So I've got that going for me. Not sure that this was actually a fear but now that all semblances of it are removed I can move on and brood about more topical things, like the algae blooming in my swimming pool, for example.

So is there a favorite car from the list? I really loved the first one (who doesn't? Talk about objective freedom, whoo baby) and the first truck (I was the envy of the framing crew at the time) and the Jetta (which was German made and made me feel all sorts of Porsche-like, what a motor that thing had in it). The Volvo probably saved Ally's life so I have a pretty good reason for ranking that one high on the list.

The '69 Postal Jeep was a hoot. Not only was it left hand drive (as opposed to the more ordinary right side, I guess the Postal manager used it for running errands or something) but it was the sort of indestructible government issue thing that everyone should be exposed to at least once. I used to come to rather screeching halts by jamming it into reverse at 45 mph and letting nature take its' course. The suspension system suggested a Conestoga Wagon. The doors, naturally, slid open rather than being swung on hinges. Which allowed for fun on summer days, you slid the doors back and just let the air blow in. Someone had painted it solid blue in lieu of the more patriotic, but hardly fashionable flag themed colors. And covered the little back end of it in shag carpeting. Cool.

That was my college ride. Today I wouldn't be caught dead in it.

Of course, I wouldn't be caught dead in a Chevy either, but you live through certain horrors in your life and two Chevy trucks were ultimately all of that. Aerostar vans? Think multiple small infants. The '86 was driven for more miles than any other car I've owned and at trade-in time, the interior resembled the tray on a high chair after a round of oatmeal. The first few weeks we drove it as if it were a palace on wheels. And really, it probably was. It had every conceivable option, it was full of the armrests on Captains's chairs, full sound system, electric convenience stuff that endear me to cars so much. Then one of the kids hurled in it or tossed a sippy cup or something and it became more of a kitchen floor than a paneled library. You got used to it.

So, what's next for me? If I had my way I'd freeze the condition of the current cars in place and drive them until I was forcibly removed on account of my more apparent dotage (as opposed to now, when I'm concealing it so well).

I haven't had the fever to upgrade, either. There's no real rush to do better, I'm more inclined to look at the situation with an eye for what's paid for than what's available to me. Besides, driving new things would tend to increase my alarm over the increasingly combative local drivers and their rampant need to cut me off on the highway.

I don't know why they're in such an almighty rush. I go 55 mph, they go 65. I go 65, they go 80.

All in the name of getting to work a little faster. What's that all about?

They should be more like me. Then they'd be happy. Yes.

What was I talking about?

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