Sunday evening saw Tango (and my wife) receive a direct collision to the rear driver side wheel. The perpetrator sped off immediately after the conflict, but not before several witnesses observed the ordeal and subsequently gave their statements to police. Poetic justice may be realized at some point considering that the perp’s car was a 90’s compact and most likely received the brunt of the damage. I’ve joked that you could probably just trace the trail of anti-freeze down the street to the immobilized vehicle. Word’s still out on that one.
Fortunately, Lisa is ok. A couple bruised ribs, soreness in her back and shoulders, and two sprained wrists… but nothing apparently serious. Prayers would be graciously accepted, however.
I simply wanted to take the opportunity to reminisce about the second car I’ve owned and contemplate the 148,000 miles I’ve experienced with her.
Most of those miles over the past eight years were done so via commuting to work prior to my marriage. A 25 mile trek in each direction is a great way to log some meters, but it’s not the most exciting. No, the true reminiscence should be all-encompassing, especially those unique moments. Things like two 5,000 mile round trip road excursions to the Rockies (North and Central). A couple scurryings over the 49th parallel to see our northern neighbors. A 10-hour mad dash via back roads and unused byways just to see a couple wind turbines in the hills of Appalachia. Countless 17-hour car rides to Wisconsin to visit the in-laws and experience the Dairy State. Hiking expeditions all over Penn’s Woods. The myriad conversations and long-forgotten words spoken while sitting in those leather-wrapped bucket seats. The ego trip I used to get when someone would notice an early-20’s kid driving a brand new car.
The more mundane would include the many road rage incidents years ago before I found some amount of peace and worry-freeness. Harmlessly dozing off on late nights as I would round the off-ramp of 322 yet still seem to navigate the curve without crossing white or yellow paint lines. Logging 12-hour days counting traffic from the confines of the cabin with the stereo cranked. Meticulously tracking fuel mileage on my customized spreadsheet and always looking forward to the next fill-up to see if I could get another 2/10ths of a MPG better. Brake jobs, crank case seal replacement, oil changes, routine maintenance in my dad’s garage.
After the exciting travels (like ascending Pike’s Peak and Trail Ridge Road) and the mindless happenings (like simply enjoying the firm side bolster supports while stuck in traffic), Tango will be laid to rest with 147,928 miles on the odometer. My wife says I’m taking this better than she thought I would, considering she “killed my car” and all. But, as I’ve been telling most people, I would’ve rather Tango go out with a bang than be sold to an irresponsible stranger.
The dances we’ve had were beautiful. I don’t regret a single tenth of a mile we’ve traversed. And I’ll be sure to put the payout from insurance to good use. The title of “family car” has now been solely placed on the fenders of the Mazda Bus. Rest in pieces, Tango Sierra X-ray.
Consider this an automotive obituary.