Mixed emotions the other day. I bought a car, which is great. As wonderful as the Enterprise Rent-A-Car folks have been over the past few months, it was time to get something of my own. If for no other reason, the extra insurance coverage cost was killing me, so it was time to stop the bleeding. James Oaks from the Enterprise Wichita office, who I met a few months ago (he introduced me to some senior drivers and that experience led to me writing a small piece which I’ll post on the Eldercation site – See "Wisdom On Wheels").
I'm now the proud owner of a charcoal gray Pontiac Vibe. My brother swears by the car, I know others who love it and Consumer Reports says it’s a gem, to boot. It has a Toyota engine so, right away, I knew it was something I wanted. When James told me he could get me a great car down in Wichita, that’s the direction I decided to take. Aside from working around a few minor obstacles (needing to wire money at the last minute, changing residency from NY to KS to MO – and doing it in the face of all the Patriot Act-induced security features now in place), things went pretty smoothly.
But, the change meant it was time to say goodbye to a friend. Yes, yes, I look at the Hyundai Elantra I’ve been driving around for the past few months as a friend. Every bit a friend as my (huge) green Pontiac Catalina I drove during my Emory Law School days. That lovable beast returned north with me, studied for the bar in Hempstead and made the drive to Albany to take the actual bar exam.
The Elantra served me well - I started to call her "Sydney" - remembering my favorite Australian terrier. We met on February 1 in the Wichita airport parking lot. Dark gray, pensive about being removed from the lot … as soon as I checked out the sound system, I knew Sydney was for me. For a small, gas-economical car – things worked out great. But it was time to say goodbye. So I snapped a few shots with James out in front of the Enterprise office.