It is Thanksgiving Week, and I am thankful for my parents.
I was recently going through our family photos albums, and I stumbled across some priceless pictures from the year 1983. Apparently, when my parents' 1976 Ford Torino (the Brown Bomber, as she was affectionately called) hit 100,000 miles, they threw a little party in her honor.
The party guests all piled into the beloved vehicle, and then they drove around the block a few times until the odometer hit exactly 100,000. They pulled over to the side of the road, the guests climbed out of the car, and my dad stood on the hood to make a solemn speech.
I am so glad that my mom put a type-writer copy of his remarks in the photo album:
"This is a great day. It is appropriate that the weather is beautiful as we celebrate this milestone in our old friend's life.
My remarks shall be very brief, lest I embarrass the Brown Bomber, which has always been a humble creature. I hope you don't mind if I read my comments. It will make it easier for me to control my emotions.
Only a select few--those who truly appreciate and have experienced the goodness and worth of the Brown Bomber--have been asked to be here today. It is heartening that there are at least a few true believers. For, sadly, there are many who, blinded by outward appearances, scorn and ridicule this noble machine, unwilling to look beyond the surface in an attempt to discern true worth. Indeed, quite recently, a friend (shall we say a former friend), upon encountering the Bomber for the first time, exclaimed in disgust, "Is that your car?" We mourn for the makers of such remarks because, due to their prejudice, they shall never have their lives enriched by a meaningful relationship with this well-traveled, mature, and venerable friend.
But let me conclude. To you, Brown Bomber, hats off! Your virtues are many. You are dependable, solid, and strong. You have traveled, undaunted, through 100,000 miles of searing heat, bitter cold, and terrifying Boston traffic. We make special note of one of your noblest achievements: On December 25, 1982, at an age when most cars are fit for nothing but the junkyard, you forged your way through over two feet of new snow to bring family and friends together on Christmas Day. We shall not soon forget such acts. In today's world of flimsy and insubstantial foreign cars, you are an inspiration. We salute you. May you travel another 100,000 miles.
(Whereupon each person present is invited to leave with the Brown Bomber a lasting token of his esteem--by striking the Bomber with a hammer.)"
Yes, they really did hit the car with a hammer. And then they went back to my parents' house and ate a cake, lovingly prepared by my mother in Bomber's honor.
The sense of humor and fun conveyed in that story is just one of the many reasons I am grateful for my parents. My dad is a reserved person, and those who don't know him well might never know this goofy side of him--but, honestly, I don't think it takes more than a few minutes of talking to him for flashes of his wit to come out. That speech is going to have me laughing all day.
Happy Thanksgiving Week, everyone!