From the Edmonds Vet: Travels with Charlize, in search of living alone

David GrossPublisher’s note: After his losing his wife of 52 years to cancer, Dr. David Gross has embarked on an extended road trip with his new dog, Charlize, and is writing about his experiences.

By Dr. David Gross

Part 7: Named vehicles

The first automobile I had the use of was a 1940 Chevy two-door sedan. My folks let me drive it when I was a junior in high school, 1953. It wasn’t much at that point. My Dad bought it new and drove it from Cleveland, Ohio to Phoenix in 1944, 40 miles an hour on re-tread tires. When I got it, the running boards and rear fenders had rusted and fallen off. The upholstery was worn and torn so my Mom made slipcovers out of a variety of patterns and colors of upholstery fabric samples.

Since that time, I think I have owned at least 17 or 18 vehicles. Wish I had all the money spent purchasing and operating them still in my pocket.

I’m not certain when we started naming vehicles. The first I can remember was a 1985 Chevy S-10 pickup. The thing always had problems with the fuel injection and oxygen detector systems. It got named “Lurch” for obvious reasons. In 1997 Rosalie decided she would be most comfortable getting in and out of, and driving, a van. The gray Dodge Caravan was the first car we had with her name on the title as the owner. She called it “Gray Baby”, but rarely put more than 6,000 or 8,000 miles a year on it.

In 2011, we decided to purchase our “last” vehicle prior to being too old to drive anymore. This time we went upscale, a new previous year’s model Chrysler Town and Country, “fully loaded”. Rosalie called her “Gray Baby Too”. I was driving a 2002 Toyota Tundra 4X4 that I called the “Green Monster Truck”. After Rosalie passed I couldn’t get into Gray Baby Too without crying, so I traded her and my old truck for “Big Blue”.

Naming vehicles is a little weird, but at least we didn’t conjure a literary reference few people would recognize today. Steinbeck’s truck was named Rocinante (Don Quixote’s horse).

You can read previous columns here.

  1. Dr Gross:
    I have been following your trip daily and with interest. I thought I would post this just to let you know you do a have people reading.
    may God bless you and keep you safe.

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