An old friend

May 30th, 2011 by John Morris

When my wife, Lyn decided to buy a car for my daughter, Beth, I think she gave her Mom about 5 seconds to start asking when that would happen. 

The arduous task of finding just the right car for my youngest that we could afford took much time and patience on the part of us all. We finally found the spiffy Honda Prelude SI that was just right. FYI: this model has four wheel steering and are fun to drive on winding country roads.

Beth drove her car through the rest of high school and college. When she scored a career job in Chicago, it was time to park the car for occasional use by the Dadster. Oh yes, I coveted driving that car. It became my non-business mode of transport. Driving it made me feel decades younger.

Then the time came when the cost of repairs were too much to argue away. Fate intervene in the form of my friend, Rich Weiss. He’s a talented mechanic and was looking for a fixer-upper for his 16 year old daughter, Shannon. We made the deal, and I accepted the old Prelude would go to someone who will revive it and give it to someone to care for it.

Today, I spoke with the Weiss family at the Memorial Day services. Shannon is now a freshman at my Beth’s alma mater, Kutztown University.

I broached the subject of our common car.

Shannon told me she was tee-boned by some yahoo who continued through an intersection. She was unhurt, but the Honda was damaged enough to be totalled by the insurance company.

The Weisses told me they had a closure ceremony for the car with a wreath on the hood. Rich drove the Prelude to the salvage yard. He said the drive train was still very strong.

We had a little mourning party for the old car as we stood there.

It’s hard to imagine cars can take on a personality, but if they can, this little Honda Prelude SI had a truckload of it.


The old boy writing this blog wears many hats: Vietnam Veteran, husband & father, salesman and techno-dude. After my service with the Army Security Agency, I operated a sign company for nineteen years, The sign industry changed after CAD/CAM machines made the task easy enough for the non-talented. I sold my company and never looked back.

Life has granted me a life partner better than I deserve. My wife, Lyn is a transplanted Kansas gal. Her bliss is teaching kindergarten and first grade.

I am the most proud of my children. My son, Adam lives an international life teaching English and living in Sozhou, China. He is married to one of life's truly lovely women, Yuri Kim. My daughter, Beth grew up in a small town and found her way in life means working and living in major cities like Chicago and New York. She and her life partner, Julie Sterling married in LaJolla, California in 2010.

I like getting the newest gadgets, but also I like to use things until they are useless, i.e., my last personal car was an 88 Honda Prelude Si.

I wrote a Vietnam Veteran newsletter for nine years. During this journey, I learned I like to write. It is a harmless exercise that rewards honest effort while tolerating failure gracefully. I been away from it for too long. My son gave me the blog, and it was a lifeline back to writing.

My best advice is to show the world what you can do but to accept only your opinion of who and what you are.

Update: In August 2008, my job became one of the half-million jobs that went away that month. I took the following year getting the home ready for my official retirement.

In October 2009, I took a part-time job as a saleman at the vaulted Maxwell's Hardware.

On November 29, 2011, I reached my 66th birthday, and I officially started Social Security. I intend to stay with Maxwell's as long as I can contribute.