Still Waters: Chevy Prizm, RIP


I am the stereotypical woman when it comes to cars. I usually have to consult my insurance card to see what kind of car I’m driving.

If it runs, we’re good. If it has cruise control, even better. When my (consult insurance card) 2002 Chevy Prizm became more trouble than it was worth, literally, and my brother-in-law Tom began looking for an affordable replacement for me, the only requirement I had was that it have cruise control. Apparently, that’s pretty standard, so no worries. I tend to have a lead foot on the open road if I don’t set it on cruise control, so that’s a good feature to keep all of us out of trouble.

As far as make, model or color, though, I didn’t care what kind of car it was or if it was blue, gold or purple. I don’t know a Chevy from a Ford, so none of that mattered. If it drives, we’re good. If I have problems with a car, I have the trusted folks at Caton’s to rely on, and Jess and his crew have never let me down, even if my car did.

Thanks to my younger sister’s financial guidance, I had some money saved towards a car, knowing they don’t last forever, and her husband Tom was able to find a vehicle that I could afford the rest of the payments on. It was a rental car in its previous life, so it was up to date on maintenance, which is reassuring.

It’s white and neither a Chevy nor Ford but a Nissan, which suits me fine. I know where the gas tank is, how to add window washer fluid and oil and who to go to for everything else, so I’m good.

I had some good years with my little Chevy and put quite a few miles on it driving around the San Luis Valley and back and forth to my folks’ house in Pueblo (more than 165,000 miles altogether.) I have no regrets with the car, but it had served its purpose. I am donating it to the Pueblo Zoo, because the last trip to Pueblo was its last trip anywhere, so the zoo can decide if it’s worth fixing up to resell, scrap it or use it for monkey habitat.

The only thing I’ll really miss is the Ben Carson for President bumper sticker affixed to the bumper.

Meanwhile, I’m getting used to my new-used car (which still doesn’t feel like it’s mine yet but probably will once I pay for the tags) and enjoying having interior lighting and a CD player that works again. I can once again rock out to Robin Mark.

When Early Iron Festival rolls into town over Labor Day weekend, I am as much in awe of the vehicles as anyone. I may not know what type of car it is, but I can admire the time and effort its owner put into restoring it. Even an auto novice like me can appreciate the workmanship and skill exhibited in the Early Iron entries.

I always enjoy watching them come into town and always slow down as I pass the motels where the rodders have parked their vehicles. They really are works of art and in most cases major investments for their owners.

I also appreciate the infusion to our economy from the hundreds of rodders who visit our area over Labor Day weekend, and I appreciate the graciousness of these folks who have spent so much time and money on their vehicles allowing the rest of us to visit the show and see them up close.

It’s a pretty awesome way to wrap up an Alamosa summer.

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