25 May 2006

The Little Camry that Could - A Memoir

Mrs. Lewin has inspired me to jot down some fun memories about another car I used to have: Imogene, the little Camry that could. I wouldn't mind having another one like her. She was the sort of car that was before cars were all computerized, so if something broke on her, you could just sort of fix it yourself.

Well one bright sunny day, Mrs. Lewin and I set out for Washington. We drove down the windy road of Lookout Mountain, under all the lovely green shade of a Tennessee summer, and before we got to the bottom, the car died. Not a good sign before a 48-hour drive. I vaguely remember someone helping us fix it- Dr. Mehne perhaps? - and we set out once again. We were almost to Nashville when right there on the freeway, little Imogene decided to stop. She froze right up and we pulled over to the side. We waited and watched for a while for Steve and Dan Henry, knowing that since they were such gentlemen they would be behind us, but lo and behold they never showed up. A nice highway patrolman did though, and didn't even give us a ticket. :)

Blah blah blah, we ended up in a motel overnight in Murfreesboro, not even two hours away from dear old Covenant College. How frustrating was that. A nice hickish tow-truck man was very kind to us and offered to let us stay at his house but we are women of the 90s and so we freaked out and said no way. But the best encouragement came when who should knock at our motel room door, scaring the crap out of us, but our dear old Zach Cheney. We were never so glad to see him in our lives. (At least I wasn't.) ;) We finally caught up to Steve at Dan Henry's house in Colorado where we slept all day before setting out again for home.

Here is the lovely song that got us through that wicked trip:

"Roll on, Columbia, roll on
Roll on, Columbia, roll on
Your power is turning our darkness to dawn
So roll on, Columbia, roll on.

Green Douglas firs where the waters cut through
Down her wild mountains and canyons she flew
Canadian Northwest to the oceans so blue
Roll on Columbia, roll on

Other great rivers add power to you
Yakima, Snake, and the Klickitat, too
Sandy Willamette and Hood River too
So roll on, Columbia, roll on

Tom Jefferson's vision would not let him rest
An empire he saw in the Pacific Northwest
Sent Lewis and Clark and they did the rest
So roll on, Columbia, roll on

It's there on your banks that we fought many a fight
Sheridan's boys in the blockhouse that night
They saw us in death but never in flight
So roll on Columbia, roll on

At Bonneville now there are ships in the locks
The waters have risen and cleared all the rocks
Shiploads of plenty will steam past the docks
So roll on, Columbia, roll on

And on up the river is Grand Coulee Dam
The mightiest thing ever built by a man
To run the great factories and water the land
So roll on, Columbia, roll on

These mighty men labored by day and by night
Matching their strength 'gainst the river's wild flight
Through rapids and falls, they won the hard fight
So roll on, Columbia, roll on!"


Moira said...

Dearest Ems,
I truly appreciated Imogene's story. She was a great little car. My car, Charlotte is having a hard time right now. She used to squeak when I was coasting or accelerating, but now she squeaks while breaking AND coasting AND accelerating. I'm going to have Oscar take a look at it for me soon.

Lydia said...

Ooh, I could join that club! My car used to squeak when braking (but thanks to a certain friend no longer does so) and now it just squeaks when I'm coasting. Oscar said it might be a belt. yikes. why is everyone having car trouble lately?

Moira said...

I don't know, mang. But it's so true. I'm very nervous for my timing belt - I was told that if that thing goes, the whole car is better off dead. It ruins the engine. :S

emiline said...

Dear Moi,

Yeah I've heard the same thing about the timing belt. You need to have that looked at. How many miles does your car have?

And speaking of Delores, Ken and I are thinking of buying a former rental car and hope it is as good a situation as Delores. She has been a beautiful thing.

Good thing ya'll have Oscar, dang.

E,L&M's Mom said...

When your car gets old and has been used alot, it does squeek. My own 2002 model, which is awesome, squeeks like crazy when backing. I think there may be a rock in there somewhere...

E,L&M's Mom said...

I also wanted to say that I loved your last two posts. Absolutely hilarious, Emsie.

Moira said...

Charlotte's mileage from the top of my head is about 176925 give or take a few. She's supposed to have the timing belt changed every 60,000 miles or so and the Andersons couldn't rememeber when (or if) it happened last. I bought it off them at 174000. :|

Meg said...

Em - I bought an old rental, it's a good idea if you have someone trustworthy to check it out for you! I'm with you about buying new cars, another reason (although not entirely practical) for not buying new is that new cars have no character, and who wants a car with no character? My car is a little sedan that likes to pretend its a racecar and rev at ridiculous times when I'm not pressing on the gas that much!

Lydia said...

So Em, what's the latest? Did you find a car? Sell yours? Inquiring minds want to know!