Thursday, October 01, 2009

Dunbar: The Advent

The experiment is about over, or so I hope. Tomorrow I am off again on the choo choo train, this time the Amtrak "Southwest Chief" from Kansas City to lovely Galesburg, Il. And unlike the last trip, I have only a one way ticket.

No I am not moving to the home of Carl Sandburg. You see, the experiment of living without an automobile is about to end. It lasted 4 days short of two months. Our society is so damn dependent on the auto, I guess we just need to accept that. I tried, and enjoyed it, but when mass transit, at least in KC, MO is so time consuming and we are so spread out, a set of wheels is almost a necessity.

Last night for example. Greg was going to go to choir practice and take me, but he called about 4PM and said he had a fever, sniffles and such and thought it best to stay in. No problem, Bruce was going too as he is playing on Sunday. At 7:10pm, just as I was expecting him to show up, he called to say he had a sudden nosebleed. Thankfully, I could steal a car from a neighbor for a few minutes and got there, albeit late. A few weeks ago, I had to arrange getting Puggles to the vet for her allergy shots around the availability of a car. It makes one weak.

So I am depriving a 90 year old man of his car.

Not exactly, but sort of. You see, my Uncle Howard took my Aunt Pauline's (his sister) car a few years ago when she gave up driving. He has another one, but this one was his country club car; he took it to the golf course and kept his clubs in it. When Pauline died, the car became my sister's and Howard told her she could have it. I glommed on it to it, PDQ.

It runs.

It is free.

It is free, did I mention it is costing me nothing?

A 1990 Buick Century. Not the most exciting thing on 4 wheels, but I care not. (Unless, of course it has the 4 cyl and has no power options, then it is going to be sold if I can get some $$ out of it). As it now resides in Galesburg, Il, I am heading there to pick it up tomorrow. By this time on Oct 2nd, I should be wheeled again.

But I have learned a valuable lesson. You can get around walking and biking. It is good for you too, I have lost weight, seen new things, learned to use the reusable grocery bags and come to appreciate the joy of the "poor people's market". Thus, while the weather holds, I will do some walking, biking and bussing locally. Quick trips to the market will be walking to the Thriftway. The bike knows the way to the garden and to GayFresh. My vodka is a short two blocks away at Gomer's. Hamburger night is doable on foot.

But the joy (and pain in the ass) of owning a set of wheels will be relief when the going gets tough.

Oh, yeah.. the deal behind "Dunbar"... well, every car needs a name, and sight unseen, this one is dubbed "Dunbar" in honor of David Dunbar Buick, who founded the eponymous auto manufacturer (and perfected the white porcelain bathtub common to this day) in 1903 and has so far survived the holocaust of the GM meltdown.

Watch this space to welcome Dunbar to KC!

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