Bessie is my car. My 1996 red Mitsubishi Eclipse. My grandma used to call her cars Bessie and I guess I kinda adopted the name from her! I bought her with cash 7 years ago today…on 11-11-98. I had wanted an Eclipse sooooo badly before I bought her. It was the dream car that I could actually afford! I bought her at a car auction…she had just come off a 3 year lease.
At the time I needed a newer, reliable car that would take me safely from St Paul, MN to Tucson AZ, where I was to be moving just 10 days after buying her. My brother Brian drove down there with me…..we made it there safely. Just one little "bump" in the road when we stopped in Oklahoma City the first night of our road trip….they had like 12 inch curbs and I took one a little too sharply. Poor Bessie only sits about 5 inches off the ground and didn't take that curb too well. Part of the ground affects on the passenger side were pulled away from the car. Whoops! I hadn't even had her for 2 weeks yet.
While living in AZ that winter, Bessie was my sole means of transportation. She got me from my little apartment on the reservation to the small village that I taught in for the first couple of months. She got me from Tucson to the city of Marana where I taught the next couple of months. She took me and some of the other friends I lived with down there to San Diego and Tijuana. She even climbed to the top of a mountain in Sierra Vista when we all decided to go camping one weekend in January. My good ol', reliable Bessie car!
Bessie also was the sole means of transportation for me, Jenny and Paula when it was time for us to move back to Minnesota that spring. All three of us piled into Bessie with all of our stuff….and drove across the country to get back home. Here is us the day we left the Tucson desert.
We were in no big rush to get home and so we planned out a little road trip. First leg: Take I-10 east through New Mexico and Texas to San Antonio. has anyone ever made that drive through western Texas?? It is the most BORING drive evah!!!!!!! No one around anywhere. No restaurants, barely any gas stations. So why not drive fassssst???? Paula was driving about 100 mph, when we were stopped by the Texas Troopers. We found out that you still need to abide by the traffic laws, even in the middle of nowhere!
We spent about a week in Texas…..San Antonio, South Padre Island, and Houston. Good times!!!!!
In those first 4 months that I had Bessie I put 11,000 miles on her!
In the past 6 1/2 years since I returned, the only other road trips that Bessie has gone on are to Chicago. Somehow I have still managed to put 91,000 miles on her since that day I bought her!
But Poor Bessie. These days she just isn't living out her Glory Years. Let me show you some of her more recent battle wounds. I have to park as close as I can inside the garage so that there is room for E's ginormous truck. So I have to angle it like crazy to get her out of the garage. One day last spring she got into it with the garbage can and the garbage can won. Now there is no more sideview mirror!!!!
Another time two years ago I had an unfortunate incident happen to me on the freeway. An animal ran right out in front of me and Bessie took it down. The animal took out this fog light that I never bothered replacing:
I feel really bad that I have neglected Bessie in recent years. After all that we have been through together in the past 7 years, I think she is almost ready to be retired. It has been great not having to make a car payment in the last 7 years, so I have kept her. I have been very lucky not to have had to put much money into her, other than basic maintenance, but I feel that she may be on her last legs. Let some young kid buy her and pimp her out again!!
This post was my way of sharing some of our memories together, the good and the bad.
Happy Anniversary Bessie, you old lady you!