COAL: 1992 Buick Roadmaster – Roy and Me: One Man’s Love for the American Automobile

Roy and I entered our partnership on October 19, 2015. It was inauspiciously the same day as Canada’s federal election. Roy was always bespoked in a dark red suit, and the colours of the winning team that day were also red. Roy never indicated his preferences one way or another.

Roy was born in Arlington Texas, with prominent relatives including David Buick and Louis Chevrolet. When Roy came of age, he was already an anachronism, a vestige of a distant past. But he wore this status proudly and for that reason he acquired a close circle of friends who respected the traditional values he carried. They knew he was stalwart and dependable, a constant who didn’t waver with the fashions and vicissitudes of time. the He also grew into what used to be referred to as a ‘man of considerable carriage’, although it was referred to endearingly at the time.

Roy took good care of himself, always remembering to apply sunscreen. As such he looked young for his age. Self-care also prevented Roy from any skin cancer or blemishes, although some attributed that to his vigorous constitution and ‘healthy’ frame. Roy never wore a bad toupee as so many others his age; he had a clean pate befitting his quiet dignity. I would like to say that our partnership was one of mistrust and betrayal, if only to make for better copy.

When Roy was younger he was in a bad accident, requiring some reconstructive surgery to his face. He must’ve had a good plastic surgeon, for no one was any the wiser. It was also wiser never to bring this up with Roy, as unconsciously he felt it ran somehow contrary to the high standard of authenticity he held himself to.

True, Roy was slow and ponderous, but he carried you with a surety that was always reassuring. Roy was reliable, always arriving at his destination in an unruffled manner. He didn’t like cities much, preferring the open road with its vastness to match his own considerable carriage, and where his true talents lay. Roy was accommodating. “The more the merrier” he would almost say. Roy never complained when you arrived with everything save the kitchen sink.

Sadly, our story does end somewhat on a note of betrayal. Due to financial circumstances earlier this year due to employment (that is, a lack thereof), I sold Roy’s interests to another party. Roy didn’t complain though, and is probably providing admirable services to his new partner.

Maybe his new partner will betray him too, and Roy will fall on hard times; where neglect won’t get him, old age will. But I hope in some way in another 30 years’ time, Roy is still chugging along, still enjoying the freedom of the open road and putting to bed the notion that being old means being disposable.