Old friends and an old car

Published 8:08 pm Friday, May 31, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

May has come and gone.

What I remember most about the month of May is that it was the signature month for the Pike County Relay for Life all-night fundraiser for the American Cancer Society,

What a good time for a great cause. Pink flamingos and ragged couches were over-nighted on a neighborhood lawn and the residents had to pay to have the tacky things moved to a neighbor’s yard or the mayor’s or the police chef’s?

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

One year, cancer “Survivors” made a campfire and almost set the Arboretum on fire?

Remember when Lynn Stone, Nedetria Talbot, Mary Ida Williams and Donna Schubert danced “cutely” around in poodle skirts.

What fun times we had.

May is a special memory month for me. That’s when I bought Maybell.

Sandy Boutwell had bought the well-used car for her son, who said he wouldn’t be caught dead driving that “old person’s car.” Sandy had been quoted a good price so I bought it.

That was back when Relay for Life was held on the university’s old soccer field. Maybell’s first road trip was from the car dealership to Relay for Life in the month of May so, I named her Maybell.

For that time forward, Maybell was my constant companion, from 30,000 miles to pushing 300,000 when her motor quit.

We started together at 30,000 miles. She was pushing 300,000 when her fuel pump died and the radio went out.

For all those years Willie Moultry in Brundidge had kept Maybell on the road.

When she died, I gave her to Willie on the condition he would leave the hood for me as a final resting place for my tin friend.

Many years before in the merry month of May, Deedie Carter and I had skipped lunch, gone to the hardware, bought several gallons of bright paint, went to Deedee’s house and painted Maybell to look like an old patchwork quilt – hood, top and trunk.

For many years, Mabelle was on the road,  across the Great Divide, finger biting over Independence Pass and  following lightning bug through Zion Canyon during a moonless night. She thundered from Pike County to a distant far and undisclosed location with blue-flame moonshine 29 hours away. Maybell led the Fourth of July Parade at Meeksville Parade one year, fireman’s joke. I was looking for a way out.

“I’ll wave when for you to go. “Now, Go!”

He was laughing as Maybell took  off leading the parade. People were waving so we turned the radio full blast and played Hank’s music and waved back.

When Maybell died in 2015, Willie undertook her, except her hood. It would mark Maybell’s final resting place.

Surprisingly people often ask about Maybell? The car that’s all painted?

Oh, she’s still “hanging around” … on two posts in my backyard. She doesn’t flap when the wind blows but she’s the first thing I see every morning.  Maybell still makes me smile.