CARMA CHAMELEON

“I want to name her Rose,” said Pony.

This was in reference to our new tow car: a 2008 Chevy Aveo, rose red in color; cute, small , with the requisite manual transmission, and just what we need. 

“How about Gypsy Rose?” I suggested.  And it was agreed. 

This post is a few weeks late (I’ll write more about all the catching up between then and now in a subsequent blog).  Much has transpired since our Yellow Submarine, the Ford Focus, was totalled in a back-end collision in New Jersey, almost two months ago.  For awhile,  we had a rental minivan, provided by the insurance company, while we travelled from New Jersey to Maryland.  I used that vehicle to travel to gigs and various other tasks for about two weeks, at which point the insurance company decided we had had enough of that particular service.  For a few days, we borrowed our friend Stacia’s Mercedes, while we continued to house-sit for her.  We had then journeyed to Iowa (including the day of wild goose chases, courtesy of our GPS, and described in a previous blog). 

While doing a handful of gigs in Southeast Iowa, both of my brothers came to our aid.  My brother, Steve (who lives in Mt. Pleasant), introduced us to his buddy, Brett Johnson.  Brett is a car dealer who hits the auctions once or twice each week.  He had actually found me a van some years back, when a vehicle of mine had broke down in a thoroughly final way while travelling across Iowa.   This time, we had given him a bit of a challenge.  It is apparently getting more difficult to find a manual transmission vehicle that would be suitable for towing behind an RV.  After a try or two, Brett found the Aveo, cleaned it up, changed the oil, put a couple of new tires on it, and turned it over to us.  Pony got first shot at driving it, which prompted her impulse to name the car Rose.  It is a year or two newer than the Focus, with about the same mileage as we had started out with that car, and it does not have the heavily-tinted windows that bothered Pony about the Focus.  All in all, I think we came out the better for it. 

But this car had to be prepared for towing, which included getting a metal plate welded underneath, and the various parts attached to allow the tow rig to affix to it.  So while all of this was going on, my brother, Tom, loaned us a vehicle to use for getting to gigs, running errands and such.

This “loaner” was a 1986 Ford Crown Victoria LTD that he had bought for the daughter of his girlfriend (who was just learning to drive).  It was a beast of a vehicle; a large barge of a car, with a roaring, gas-guzzling engine.  Dark blue it was, with patches of rust blossoming here and there, and even duct tape holding some parts together.  It reminded me of the “Bluesmobile” in the first Blues Brothers movie, and while driving it, I felt sure that I would be capable of eluding neo-nazis, redneck country and western musicians, and all manner of vengeful law-enforcement officers, were there a need.  It was hell on snowy/icy roads, however; fishtailing with just a small invitation to do so.  Pony and I both drove it over the course of that week in Iowa, and we both hoped that Tom would wait until Spring before giving this vehicle over to Lisa’s daughter. 

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