I was only in love with a car once and The Duck wasn’t it. But, as The Duck makes that final drive down Donner into the sunset…to quote Mr. Spock “…( I am) somewhat nostalgic, if I understand the use of that word.”
So, I am getting a bit nostalgic as I clean out the old 2002 Ford Escape: throwing away accumulated junk, organizing the still necessary, and going through the couple of dozen Bed, Bath and Beyond coupons finding out-of-date other store coupons from years ago. I found a receipt from 2003 at the very bottom of the middle console. Wow.
Anyway, The Duck has served my family and I well for the last 12 plus years. Of course, we had a love/hate thing going on. I hated that it was getting older and the CD player no longer read CDs. The back hatch would stick and remain shut during the most inconvenient of times. Of course, that madding incessant oil leak that no mechanic could find/fix. And the limited gas mileage! YUGGGGHHH!
I loved my fun license plate RUBR DKE. “It’s Ducky!” I used to yell out the window when I overheard some smart ass…say “Rubber Dyke.” They would always laugh at my admonishment. The yellow meant I NEVER had to remember where I parked…because I could always see it. It was kinda beat up inside with all the dogs and kids and cats being hauled around, so I didn’t worry much about the seats getting dirty. Beloved pets have come home and gone to their maker after a trip in The Duck. We have been happy, sad, healthy, and sick while riding in the large yellow box.
With all of its blemishes and beauty, it kept Lonnie, I and others alive and safe when we were hit by highway trash a couple of times. A huge sheet of plywood popped up off Hwy 80 and sheared off the left side window and door handle…but didn’t break the glass. Once a large metal pipe hit the driver’s side and we had to duct tape the wheel well together so we could continue our trip to San Francisco. (Hey we were going to lunch!)
We drove the car (then six months old) up to Truckee the day we got married with our dog Casey. The Duck played a starring role on the KVIE Viewfinder about crazy collectors…which it, my rubber ducky collection and I were featured. I drove Casey in The Duck to the vet when we found out he had terminal cancer. A month later, I picked up Toby as an eight week old puppy and Thomas too. I was in The Duck when I found four-week old Spike. The Duck knew the way to all types of fun places to visit and Trader Joe’s. We have been together pretty much everywhere you can go in the length of time owning a car from maternity wards to mortuaries.
Since the rubber ducky color yellow was rare…friends would wave because they knew it was me driving down the road. I would get out of the car at various shopping centers and sometimes hear moms and kids signing “Rubber Duckie, you’re the one, you make bathtime lots of fun…” I really loved that!
The Duck has been a great and reliable vehicle. I am sad to see it go. But, I will not cry. It is being donated to the Placer SPCA. So, it is going to a GREAT cause…and will help our local homeless animals. We retrieved our personalized plates, however they just won’t work on the silver-gray 2014 Subaru Forester.
So, time to make new memories with our new car. And we already have by taking it and Dave and Jeanne to George’s 90th birthday party! Fun!!
“RUBR DKE you’re so fine, and I am lucky that you were once mine.” My apologies to the song writer for my creative license.