In or around 1996 Dean’s mom bought a new car. If my memory is correct she wasn’t exactly delighted with it at the time — I think she thought it was too sporty.
After she passed away the car was passed down to my kids. Dean drove it back from Illinois in or around the summer of 2009. Dean’s brothers put some time and money into making it as safe as possible for the kids and for that we are grateful. The car was a familiar sight on our corner for several years — the kids tended to park it across the street. In recent years when I’d look out the window and see it, it made me smile because it meant one or both of my kids were home. At some point they named the car Apollo and Clare decorated the ceiling of the car with the solar system. She said that anyone who worked on the car was always pretty impressed.
This past March the kids’ spring breaks overlapped by one week and the plan was for Clare to pick up Andrew from college and drive him to Maryland after visiting a friend in Ohio. The plans changed somewhat so Clare drove from New York to Maryland and spent some time with us before heading to Oberlin to drop off the car for Andrew and then continuing on to other adventures (in my car). Andrew drove the car back to Maryland that same day. I posted on Facebook that I was somewhat concerned that the car could handle such a trip, but Andrew got home safely.
A few days after the Big Trip and shortly before Clare was to drive it back to New York the car would not start. After several attempts and Internet searching the conclusion was that it had something to do with the head gasket. We’d pretty much decided that we were not going to spend much more money on the car — we’d already spent several thousand dollars more than our knowledgeable car mechanic thought wise — so it was decided that Apollo would be donated to a charity. Clare is borrowing my car for the final stretch of her undergraduate career and remarked that she was relieved to be driving an automobile that didn’t cause her to fear for her life.
On Tuesday the tow truck arrived to take Apollo away for good. I never liked the car (That fear for your life thing. Also chalk dust.) but was sad anyway.