‘Coming of age’ stories abound. They are to be found in books, movies, tales told from bar stools and, of course, memories.
First kiss. First car. First love. First time surrendering the keys to Dad for a speeding ticket, bad grades, sassing Mom, ignoring curfew … select one from my impressive list of youthful offenses committed.
Yes, potential subjects for coming of age stories are everywhere. But I wonder, could there be such a thing on life’s other end as ‘going of age’ stories?
It sure feels that way as I pass along the car I always loved best to son Aaron and eventually, I hope, to one of his kids.
The 1991, twin-turbo Toyota MR2 you see on this page has been in my treasured possession north of 20 years. I have enjoyed its speed and quickness on county roads, the interstate, the odd huge, empty parking lot when no one seems to be looking and one especially memorable evening when I snuck onto the dirt oval of the Dawson County Raceway in Lexington for a few hot laps. I promise the pop-up headlights were not shining that night.
Those places were fun to drive, but nowhere on earth did I revel in goosing the MR2 and having it goose me back, though, as on the labyrinth of mountain switchbacks of northwest Wyoming.
I came to particularly enjoy driving it, all shiny red and dressed up in sparkly chrome wheels, to cover local high school events and seeing transparent young facial expressions that read, “Whoa, neat car, but geez what a tragic waste on that old, fat guy.”
But time eventually caught up with life. It always does, doesn’t it? In recent years I had to admit I was driving the car less and less. Cursed with a long and increasingly girthy carcass, I found it an ever greater struggle getting down into and, even more grunt-inducing, up out of that tiny, perilously low-slung driver’s compartment.
Gradually it seeped into consciousness; I was driving the truck a lot more and the wee two-seater lot less. It seemed the transition just happened on its own somehow. It was still fun and all that, but clearly the car arrived at senior citizenship with more pizazz intact than did yours truly.
And so my baby is gone, delivered complete with title, keys and owner’s manual to Aaron and his family. A new home in Kearney.
I want him and his bunch to enjoy it while the blush of youth remains to them. Time had come for it to weave a tapestry of wonderful memories for an all new family.
Plus, I wanted it out of the garage. Dang thing was crowding the boat.