Friday, June 15, 2007

The Clean Machine Rides Again...Into the Sunset.

The Mohr family van, which has been in the family since its birth in 1974, rode off into the sunset with a new owner and friend today.

I know there's no way I can write a proper tribute to this van. It has had two owners, first Brian's parents, and then Brian himself over its 33 years.

Long before I came into the picture, it was a family van. Later when I was in high school and college, Brian and I snuck off to McDonald's during our high school lunch breaks, hung out in pea fields in it, went on ski trips and camping trips in it too.

The van had suffered a fire inside once, and I helped Brian replace the headliner and some of the other interior panels when we found a similar 1974 Ford Van in a junkyard in Yakima.

I think one of my favorite memories was right before we got married, when we took the van up on the Mountain Loop Highway northeast of Seattle, and when we realized we had forgotten camping chairs, we pulled the full-size sofa out of the back of the van and had that next to the fire. Oh, the looks we got from the few people who drove by our campsite!

Brian's friends would likely describe being on the road in the van on band tours that covered the better half of the Western U.S., and Brian's friend Tony, who took the van, worked with Brian to put a new engine in it several years ago.

Alas, the van is so old, the prospect of moving it back with us to the West Coast seemed impractical at best, and dangerous at worst. Not to mention the expense of gas, as it gets the classic "10 gallons to the mile" that many vehicles from the 1970s do.

So today, Brian's best friend Tony came up, and after a few hours of working on it, fired it up and took it down to Pueblo.

As much as this van has been an eyesore outside my kitchen window these past 6 years, I found myself getting sentimental as Tony prepared to drive away with it.

Goodbye, Clean Machine.

Your memories live on in our family, even if you're not with us anymore.


Jules said...

This came to me via e-mail...from my mother-in-law. Just thought I'd share it since it tells more of the Clean Machine, aka The Green Turtle's story:

The Green Turtle might have left family -- but it is still with friends. Can't believe that it actually started and was being driven to Pueblo. We bought it just before moving into our present house and we took lots of trips with it full of our belongings from our rented house to this house.

Did you know that Warren Schumacher organized a "moving company" (people from Trinity) to come with their pickups and that's how we got ALL our stuff into this house -- never had to hire anyone to help -- we just fed them between trips.

I still remember one old farmer coming into our house -- looking around and exclaiming to his buddy that,"I bet they paid at least $50,000 for this house." Yep -- he was right.

I'm sure Brian still remembers the day cause we backed the van over his bicycle. Not a pretty picture.

Love you, Oma

jdpeters said...

The van also was used in the pea fields, and carried my first motorcycle to Greely, Colorado, after which I rode it to Austin, Texas and back to Brian's sister Judy. In 1991, Brian drove it down to Guadalajara, Mexico to pick Judy and my stuff from our Ph.D. research site, bringing all of our stuff and research data back. It was quite a road trip, back across the border back to Austin, back to Greeley and then up to Mt. Vernon to work together in the peas. Before getting to the border, Brian and I were looking pretty scraggly. Knowing that what customs people were like, we bough Docker's pants and white shirts, got haircuts, and looked like a coupld of Mormon missionaries--we got waved through.

jeff p.


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