Friday, May 4, 2012

The Gift

Several years ago I had a conversation with an older customer of mine. He's in his late eighties, now. As we both love the written word our ramblings turned towards short stories and authors. I mentioned I liked both Hemingway's and O'Henry's collections of short stories. Then he left and I forgot the conversation.

An hour ago he walked in and said, "Stephen, please sir, will you walk outside and lend me assistance?" I agreed and walked out with the nice old gentleman and when we arrived at his car he reached inside and gave me two heavy books.

Shocked me. Then I remembered our talk. Back inside he told me his best days were behind him and he felt it time to dispose of 'clutter.' He continued, "And when I found this set I thought of you and knew you, of all people, would appreciate them."

I do indeed.

He'd given me the two volume set of the complete works of O'Henry, the pen name of William Sydney Porter. They are the 1958 clothe bond editions and, when you crack their pages, have that wonderful aged smell about them.

I hope his best days are not behind him. Good friends are worth their weight in gold.

I've much reading ahead.

I Want

A new car. Well, not new but pre-owned, as in used. It's time for me to face facts - my truck eats far too much gasoline. I drop close to eighty dollars a week between my drive to Little Bit's school and my business.

I want a Subaru like the one below.

A very practical wagon. Thing is, I know next to nothing about Subaru's, nada, zip. I did a bit of research yesterday. I understand they're the bee's knees on the road rally circuit in Europe, kick butt little cars. My son informed me their transmissions are bullet proof. They hold their value well. The 2.2 engine is one of the best. It's a 'flat-four,' whatever in the heck that means. I'm not a gearhead.  Weapons yes, motors and drive trains leave me cold.

I like the Subaru wagons - they have space for gear, rifles, and groceries. It's a full time four wheel drive vehicle that many use for off-road fun. They're tough. That, I like. It pares well with my survivalist mentality.

I came across an ad yesterday. There is this small 'fly-by-night' used car dealer here with one for sale. Trust me, not many of these cars are up for grabs. He said its a one owner 1999 Legacy L-wagon with only 124K miles. I've seen pictures of the car. Its beautiful. His price, though, scares the heck out of me. He's asking $3,759.00. Seems low to me. The blue book is over nine thousand. Even my son said they hold their price well, so why is his price so low, I wonder.

Seems I shall have it up on a rack for inspection before I consider a purchase. Looks never reveal the evil hidden within...

Now, I ask you, my fine friends - your opinions on Subaru. After all, there are a few Honda and Toyota wagons left out there somewhere. Oh, yes, I'll keep my truck.