(first posted 8/27/2013) She sat staring at the lightly traveled highway, looking rather lonely on a warm, overcast summer day. It was an experience she had not endured previously, although she knew the intent; this process just didn’t get any easier, especially with age.
For a girl with a few years about her, she knew time and relationships had been kinder to her than most. There was a little bit of rust beneath the chrome of her wheel arches as well as some chipped paint, both the automotive equivalent of laugh lines. Given her life, she wore them with pride.
The old Pontiac sat there for all to see, unashamed and proud. Much like the virgin bride presenting herself to her husband on their wedding night, she had nothing to hide and lots of love to give.
As she fretted about the next unknown chapter of her life, she recounted the various escapades and adventures she had provided. The trips to the Gulf Coast, New England in the fall, up Pike’s Peak, and along the Natchez Trace Parkway. She knew some kept other, sportier Pontiac’s as toys and to race; having been born a Grand Ville convertible, she was the queen bee of the Pontiac family in 1973. Her owners had always been sophisticated and mature, treating her as a precious jewel and never as ordinary transportation.
While she had been bought and sold several times, each successive owner still treated her with the dignity she thrived upon. Such treatment was always rewarded with eagerness from her 7.4 liter V8. Her affinity for drink was never a serious repellent for her owners. Everything has its vice.
Sitting in the grass, facing the highway, she was experiencing a definite worry she had not really experienced before. Perhaps it was age induced, as some girls tend to have diminished physical charms after a point; she was hoping her new suitor would realize the true charm and beauty that only comes with age.
Beauty comes from within, as exterior beauty fades like the morning dew. Inner beauty is the marathon runner to the sprint that is exterior beauty.
The Pontiac had not seen another one like her since having been born four decades ago. She had seen some over the years that looked like her, but nothing with a soft top. A rare bird, this Pontiac, one of just under 4,500 ever to grace the highways of North America. The old girl had been born during the last days of the convertible, but what a last hoorah it had been. Her Chevrolet, Buick, and Oldsmobile cousins all seemed to hog the limelight; she was somewhat like the middle-child, the one so vital and often overlooked.
She started to gaze out at the anonymous cars on the highway. All such blandness in blobbish packages, with few possessing any scintilla of personality. Her gaze then turned to a smug grin, knowing how very few of the cars she was observing would make it to twenty years of age unscathed, let alone forty. How few would see the tenures of eight United States presidents. How so few would be exposed to the cultural changes that only four decades can bring about. How so very few would be viewed as something unique and special, not just a transportation appliance.
It was with restrained amusement she greeted the camera wielding gentleman. As he was digitally devouring every square inch of her body, she realized something good could come of this. Stand straight, shoulders back she said to herself, remembering what a previous owner had said to some long ago passengers.
As the picture taking continued, she was feeling more proud than she had in years. As he drove away, one could sense a radiance reinvigorated from where it had been only a half-hour before.