The End of an Era

It’s funny how attached you can become to certain objects– you know, those things that embody a particular time of your life or signify good times past. There’s nothing remarkably special about them to anybody except you, which makes them both hard to let go of and difficult to explain why they’re so hard to let go of.

This morning, I said goodbye to my car, Roxanne. She’s been featured on this blog before, and has been an invaluable part of transporting boxes and furniture and starting to shape this empty apartment into a home. But that’s just recent history. Roxanne and I go way back.

Back to the summer of 2008. Before moving to New York to do the whole college thing, I took a year off from school to work for a film company in Saskatchewan, Canada. I had no idea what I was getting into– what kind of work I’d be doing, who I’d meet, or even where Saskatchewan was. I don’t want to get too sappy (as if a post honoring my car isn’t absurdly sentimental anyway), but it was one of the best years of my life: my work experience was great, spending a year living on my own was incredibly self-affirming, and I made a couple of the best friends I’ll ever hope to have.

My parents and I found Roxanne in the newspaper, and she seemed like a good car to get me around in the hazardously snowy and icy winter months. She wasn’t no pussy car, she was a big honkin’ American-made ruskbucket and I loved her for it. I planned to sell her at the end of my year, but– long story short– the two of us actually ended up driving home to Virginia last August. It took us five days, just me and the car. And it was so much fun. For real. Something about that isolation and adventure is just magic.

I wasn’t under any enormous time pressures, so I decided to take a longer route that took me through long stretches of middle America and finally through West Virginia on the way back to my front door. I had bought a used Pentax ME Super the week before I left at the Salvation Army, so I snapped some old-school pictures along the way.

Somewhere between Regina, SK and the North Dakota border.
From the porch of an abandoned farmhouse in Illinois.
The bugs didn't fare so well.

Now she’s off to begin her new life in Florida, under the care of my cousin. He owns a business that supplies automotive parts and makes custom car grills. So she’ll probably get some fancy spinnin’ rims, a shiny new grill, a custom paint job, and who knows what else. I imagine that if ever we see each other again, she’ll be dolled up like some washed-up Vegas hussy, a full-glitz counterpart who goes by Roxy and turns her nose up at 87 octane gas.

So what does all this mean for the apartment? Well, hopefully not very much. But between Eva and I, this is the only car that can accommodate big furniture, and we’re both too young to rent Zipcars. So losing Roxanne does provide an added challenge since any large purchases will have to be delivered.

I’ll leave you with a picture I took somewhere in the mountains of West Virginia. It was supposed to be a funny photo displaying all the bugs that had perished over the course of the 4,000+ mile drive, but came out underexposed and angsty instead. I like it anyway.

So long Roxanne, you will be missed.

About Daniel Kanter

Hi, I'm Daniel, and I love houses! I'm a serial renovator, DIY-er, and dog-cuddler based in Kingston, New York. Follow along as I bring my 1865 Greek Revival back to life and tackle my 30s to varying degrees of success. Welcome!

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  1. 7.5.10

    I’mma pour one out for Roxanne, who got me to the gym a couple times last winter, and made me feel like a badass doing it. Peace, girl.

  2. 7.6.10
    misst said:

    Still waiting on my framed photographs of your American Expedition. Promises. Promises. Perhaps you can send the W of Oz pics in their place until I receive my promised DK originals.

    • 7.6.10

      Oh gosh, I did kind of flake out on that, didn’t I? Let me know which one(s?) you want and I’ll make it happen! I think they’re all on facebook!