When recently flipping through an old Auto Trader, I thought of my former neighbors, Bill and Gert Tabor. They had the most stately, bronze-colored LeSabre. The brown, vinyl interior matched the hue of a tater. They mostly babied that car from new like there was none greater, never really seeming to care that no amount of leaded gasoline would sate her. Eventually, the old 455 started to labor, so Bill took it to the shop to see if a rebuild could save her. The tinworm in mid-Michigan is also a real hater – a giant rust hole had developed in the front fender, about the size of a small crater. The texture of the roof’s vinyl “skin” became rough as that of a gator. Eventually, she was a goner, that big, bronze LeSabre.
Bill brought home a beige Toyota Avalon to replace her. We neighborhood folks, we all called him a traitor. “How could you, Bill Tabor, in this town of blue collar labor?” My mind flashed back to all the summertime baths and coats of wax he gave her. In time, with the closure of the second, major General Motors factory in town, the Tabors said, “Flint, see ya’ later!” I’ll bet that LeSabre is now an industrial-sized refrigerator. Perhaps in Decatur.
Sunday, February 20, 2011.