Memories of Maybell and me

Published 6:26 pm Friday, August 14, 2020

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My car had the hiccups so I took her – Billie Sunday – to the car doctor.

“I don’t know you on this car,” a gentleman said. “You need to get back riding on …was it Bluebell?”

“Maybelle,” I said, laughing. “Bluebell’s the ice cream.”

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Since he asked, I told him that Maybelle was still hanging around, literally. Her colorful hood, now a backyard ornament, is posted and, from a distance, appears to be a quilt hanging from the clothes line.

There are just some things that you can’t let go.

Maybelle came into my life in a roundabout way. A friend bought her but her son refused to drive an old, “old-lady’s car. “

With the exception of a peeling overcoat, the Honda Civic had held its age at 52,000 miles. And, the price was right.

The first destination for my “new” car was Relay for Life. It was the month of May – so Maybelle.

For a year or so, Maybelle’s original paint job held up. Then, it was apparent she needed a face lift. The price of such doings was not in my budget, thus a home makeover.

A co-worker, let’s call her Deedie, and I walked to the hardware and bought several quarts of colorful paint and two brushes. On our lunch hour, we transformed Maybelle from the fringes of clunkerhood into a work of art that would have turned Picasso green with envy.

For 10 years, Maybelle was my constant companion. My friend and confidant. I could trust Maybelle with my secrets, my hopes and dreams. Anywhere I wanted to go, she was more than willing. Maybelle was there in good times and bad times.

Around home, we kept the pavement hot. We slipped and slid on muddy roads. We slung gravel and splashed through rain puddles. We got a speeding ticket for going 70 mph. I contested.

“You? Maybelle? 70 mph!? the judge said. “Get outta here!”

We got stuck in cornfields and ran in ditches. We bogged down out in the Pocosin and slid off the Gardner Bassett Road on an Alabama snowy day.

We, Maybelle and me, went everywhere together. To the beaches, to state parks, down to the river, up the river, in the river.

We led the Fourth of July Parade at Meeksville and rode Peanut Butter Festival queens.

We toured the Ohio Amish Country and the hills of Tennessee, the Kentucky hollows, stood in awe of the Gateway Arch and ran amuck and landed in the Gulf.

We traversed Colorado’s treacherous Independence Pass and survived a Kansas dust/wind storm and an Oklahoma hail storm. We went everywhere together Maybelle and me for 248,000 colorful miles and that many and more memories.

Thanks for asking, mister.