Today my 1985 Honda Accord is being taken off of life support and it's corpse will be dedicated to science. My grandparents owned that little white four door until I turned sixteen in 1997. Since then, it has lived in the heat of Ramona, the beach in Point Loma and, more recently, the snow in Salt Lake City. In high school there was a glittery sticker on the back that read "Diva" earning that car the nickname Li'l Diva. Her true identity, however, was Mrs. Potts because if ever a car could look like a cartoon teapot, that one could. I'm not suggesting that it's squatty with a handle and a spout, just that I always had the feeling it could smile slightly and burst into song at any given moment.
The day that my psychotic boss at Conference Services during one summer at PLNU made me move all of my belongings from one dorm to another with a fever of over 101 was the beginning of the end for the lining that runs across the top of the interior. A box ripped a chunk of it out. I used scotch tape for a quick fix, fully intending to figure something practical out at a later date. Six years later, when we moved away from California, that scotch tape was still there, holding up that spot of lining. When we got here, however, the boxes and other possessions had shredded the entire lining and it was hanging in strips. My dad performed surgery, removing all of it and leaving it a nice flesh color.
I think I've mentioned before that the air conditioning knob in that car had stopped functioning years and years ago. My dad rigged some tool that resembled drug paraphernalia to aid in the turning on and off of that modern convenience.
My brother once commented that it sometimes felt like you riding inside of an earthquake, the way that little Honda thundered and shook down the freeway.
I once broke down with a few of my friends in Burbank and four girls had to push that car into a parking lot and wait for my dad to drive from San Diego to pick us up.
There was a stint where we could not figure out what was wrong with it and that car died several times, once on Wildcat Canyon, going up a hill, with a line of cars behind me. I don't know if I've ever sweat more in my life than in that moment.
Though I have long removed the "Diva" sticker, the back window proudly displays the letters that spell out Point Loma Nazarene University.
We replaced that car with a vehicle from my grandpa on the other side of the family. It's eleven years newer and we're hoping to get at least a few goods years out of it. Although, truthfully, I was only hoping to get a few good years out of the Honda and I (and now Troy) drove it for almost eleven years. Well, that's not true. I drove a van for awhile after getting the Honda because clutch driving and Lori was not a good combination for awhile.
We are donating that car to a high school auto shop program so that teenagers can learn things that I never did about cars and what makes them move. In a sense, I feel a little like I am giving my baby's body over to science. But maybe they will learn just a fraction of the knowledge that I gained about life while interacting with that car.
This video isn't a Honda, but it kind of expresses the sentiment that I feel when I think about leaving that old and faithful vehicle behind.