Ed Bedford 11:44 p.m., June 19
Letting Go... The End Of An Era
Today someone is coming to haul off our '96 Oldsmobile... it recently blew a gasket, and it's not really worth repairing, especially since there are two newer cars out front which burn less fuel. I could probably fix it myself, but it's easier to just let go... we've had our use out of it, that's for sure, and the Olds has done more off-roading than most lifted "disco trucks" combined. Maybe that's why the car is starting to look like a "white trash beater"---you can only get sideways so many times in the dirt before a car takes on that "used" look. But overall I have no complaints... I went camping in the Olds countless times, and it always served me well. The trunk held a sh!tload of firewood, and all my outdoor gear easily fit in the cabin. The A/C and stereo cranked, never giving me any problem. I logged plenty of miles in the Olds right here in San Diego County, and it was a comfortable ride. That's one thing about an Oldsmobile: it doesn't lack comfort. I'm going to miss that old car... when I mashed the motor, it delivered, and some of my best memories are of flying down S-2 at 100 m.p.h., Van Halen's "D.O.A." blasting from my stereo. I'll also miss cruising down McCain Valley Road, cracking a beer from my big ol' cooler the nanosecond I hit the dirt. Even when parked in McCain Valley, Canyon Sin Nombre, Font's Point, and many other impromptu campsites, the car rocked by firelight, with music emanating from open windows and trunk... Pistols to Mozart, Johnny Cash to UB40, Marty Robbins to Pink Floyd, Bob Marley to Willie Nelson, Led Zeppelin to We The People... Who's to say that, on some subtle electromechanical level, a car has no soul? Sure, we'll save money with the smaller foreign cars outside, but I'm going to miss the Olds... gettin' sideways in a Toyota sedan just isn't the same. Fortunately, I have some cool shots of the Olds for my electronic scrapbook, and those pictures will remind me of all the good times I had behind the wheel of that car. Most readers already know the Olds production line ground to a halt years ago, so I can honestly and somewhat nostalgically say: "They don't make 'em like that anymore..."