Copyright: 2008 Chad A. Hart - Chad@HartLX.Com

A fresh driver's license. Factory sticker still on the window.

My first car was a 2000 Chevrolet Xtreme. My father bought it for me new.

Basically, it was like a birthday present.

My brother used to race go-karts.  These are the kind of go-karts that can go at highway speeds and lead to professional racing gigs.  My brother used to race Danica Patrick. I didn't want to race go-karts.  But anyway - go-karting is very expensive if you take it far enough - and my father never does anything small - so in a way my father was making it up for me. My brother got go-karting and I got a new truck.

We weren't looking for new at first. But then my father saw this white truck on the lot and decided to buy it.

Having a brand new car is pretty stressful when you're barely able to drive, let alone parallel park or backup.  But it's also a lot of fun.

The truck suffered some abuse from me - it got a new bumper and a new front air-dam before I was through with it, but it also got a lot of care.

I used to spend hours washing and cleaning it.  Because I'm obsessive compulsive, I noticed every new scratch or evidence of wear, and I would freak out. But it still looked great.

Our favorite past times back then included wandering around rural roads and almost getting lost but not quite.  It also enjoyed parking random places and turning up it's stereo. We also liked to take on-ramps and off-ramps at excessive and ridiculous speeds.

My truck and I went through two girlfriends in high school and college. It was great for proms and post proms, and it because it only really seated two people, it was great for dates.

In between girlfriends, during our periods of singleness, we also learned that nice cars do not really help attract women. Which is opposite of every car commercial ever.

Sadly, when I went to college the truck didn't come with me at first. It was a reunion when we'd meet up on those weekends! When it finally did come to college it had to be parked outside and I still didn't see it much. But it now had a hard bedcover and some new speakers. It was still awesome.

Sometimes special people would come with me to park the truck and walk back to the dorm, since the parking lot was so far away.

Eventually we learned together that it's driveshaft has a high failure rate. So it had to be rebuilt - about 2 times. But when it was all said and done the truck was as smooth as ever. So to celebrate life, love, liberty, and a smooth driveshaft, the Xtreme and I took a 4,000 mile road trip to the West coast.  We used 2 lane highways. We drove through mountains, we rode through deserts, and we went through forests. Deep inside I knew it would never get out that far again.

In the twilight of our relationship we also enjoyed going to drive-in movies.  We also still took highway ramps at excessive speed together, although I was older and more mature, so I no longer wore sunglasses at night.

Harsh Illinois winters and salt helped rust form on the truck.

It wasn't that I wasn't watching for rust - I was - it was just hidden...and there wasn't much I could really do about it once I saw it. It just needed some more time and some money - which everyone is short on.

As I grew older I also realized that I really needed to be able to carry more than 2 people in a vehicle.  I also began to think that 20 MPG on the highway wasn't as acceptable as it was when gasoline was $1.50.

So the truck has a new home now.  But I look back on it fondly.  And I know it's probably enjoying it's new owner and the salt-free Missouri DOT. And I really do enjoy my new vehicle, a Chevrolet HHR.

But when I was pulling away in my new car, I took a picture of my truck sitting cold in the parking lot - stripped of license plates, CD's, and cell phone charger. It was raining.  Wipers streaked back and forth.

I swear I heard the S-10 confusedly calling me to come back. To comeback for one more highspeed turn and one more roadtrip. It didn't understand that I was leaving. But I understood.

The rain cried for us - tears we couldn't shed. 
Here's to 88,000 miles together, truck.

(Back home)

Eighty-Eight Thousand Miles...
                                                  A farewell to my truck.



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