I love the guys at Malibu Auto, a terrific indie repair shop here in town. Their office is a shipping container. A lot of the work takes place under a grove of trees. The mechanics there have kept my fleet of aging cars running for years. But lately, when I say something like yes, replace the transmission on the Toyota wagon with 241,000 miles, or yes, please see if the honeycomb radiator in the '49 Plymouth can be repaired, their voices take on a tone. They agree, but they sound weary. Disappointed. A little worried. They want me to get a new car. It's altruistic, really, because a new car isn't going to need the same level of care that, right now, is paying for someone's Princeton education.
So when my 1991 Toyota wagon, which already needed new rear shocks, developed the ticking, clicking sound of a front half shaft gone bad, I just couldn't face Kelly or Viddy one more time. Instead, I dialed the number to a very nice charity Viddy had recommended. And 48 hours later, the Toyota was gone.
Here's a photo of the trio of tiny dogs that ride around with the tow truck driver who took my donation. And beneath that is my last glimpse of my sweet little car. Thirty miles per gallon and it still passed smog check.