Sunday, August 14, 2022

CARS & TRUCKS - “the Significance of the Passage of Time” (published 8-14-2022; article #346)


Howdy, y'all! Are you ready? This is a twenty-page short story, on cars and trucks, in “the significance of the passage of time!” (By the way, today is the 77th glorious USA anniversary of V-J Day. Tomorrow is the first disgraceful USSA anniversary of the American flag lowering at the Kabul Embassy. My 8/16/2021 article wrote about all this, last year.)

Since my 6/15/2022 article – about our 6/6/2022, D-Day anniversary, purchase of our 2012 Nissan Sentra – my thoughts have dwelt, at times, on the twelve vehicles that I, or we, have owned. I searched volumes of photographs, some on film and some digitized, to find car photographs. Serendipitously, I have published twelve articles, between my 6/15/2022 article and this article today.

This short story lists the twelve vehicles, so far, and places each one in the context of life. The phrase “the significance of the passage of time” is in the title, thanks to Kamala Harris, the first Vice President of the USSA. I hope that she doesn't mind. See the 3/21/2022 GOP War Room YouTube episode – if you need to refresh your memory.

The three segments are (1) before Mrs. Appalachian Irishman, (2) just before and with Mrs. Appalachian Irishman, and (3) with Mrs. Appalachian Irishman. I hope that y'all enjoy my cars and trucks story in “the significance of the passage of time!”

(1) Before Mrs. Appalachian Irishman

During the Appalachian Irishman's single years, I had three cars. Life stages were after high school graduation, community college graduation, first full-time job, and further college studies.

#1: 1973 Ford Maverick

I graduated high school in 1978. After graduation, I started working part-time, as a warehouse supervisor for Schwan’s Home Delivery. The small warehouse was on the property beside the homeplace. I could walk to work! I loaded three or four trucks – two Tony's Pizza trucks and one or two Schwan's ice cream trucks. I also managed inventory, helped unload late night supply shipments, cleaned pizza and sandwich ovens, kept the place clean, and washed the trucks. In grade school and high school, I'd already earned income by putting up hay, mowing yards, working the ticket booth at the Roxy Theater, and inserting papers at The Rogersville Review.

I had enrolled at Walters State Community College (WSCC), in Morristown, Tennessee, for the fall of 1978. I need a car, to drive back and forth to WSCC. Dad knew about a 1973 Ford Maverick, on a dealer lot in Gate City, Virginia (not far north of Kingsport, Tennessee). Dad had already dickered the $800 price. He agreed to pay $400. I agreed to pay $400. Dad drove me, in his truck, to check out and test drive the car. That was in the summer of 1978, before I started my first classes at WSCC. Dad and I bought my first car – a 1973 Ford Maverick.

I took the photograph in January 1979. (I had written the date on the back of the photograph.) My first car is in the lower driveway, at the homeplace. I didn't care for the color, but my first car was a good one. It had a three-speed, manual shifter, on the floor. I thought that I had a “hot rod!” I took one young lady on one date, in my Maverick.

In the spring of 1979, on a morning trip to WSCC, on highway 113, a slow moving Ford Thunderbird was in front. I had a passing lane. The other car did not indicate a left turn, before I started to pass. The other car drifted into my right front quarter panel, as I was passing. My Maverick took damage, but I could still drive it. That was my first wreck. The officer didn't fault the other driver or me. I didn't file charges against the other driver. We each decided to repair our own vehicles.

My 1973 Maverick and I had only a few months together. I didn't have to borrow Mom and Dad's car anymore!

#2: 1976 Ford Mustang Cobra II

A buddy, with whom I'd graduated high school, drove one of the pizza trucks at the warehouse, where I worked. He had a 1976 Ford Mustang Cobra II. Despite the damage to my Maverick, he wanted to trade, to get out of his car payments. I agreed. I took out my first car loan and traded. It didn't take me long to pay off my Cobra II.

I took the two above photographs of my Cobra II, in July, 1979. (I had written the dates on the photographs.) I had just washed my Cobra II and driven across the road to the Caney Creek Community Club Park, where I took the photographs. In high school, several of us boys played sandlot football and softball in that park. I used to run laps, about 20 or so, around that park, for exercise and training.

I loved my Cobra II! He had a four-speed shifter, on the floor. He had a “cherry bomb” muffler that split to dual pipes. My car rumbled – not too loudly – when I up or down shifted! My first Cobra II and I had a lot of fun together! We went to and from WSCC. I often car pooled with two or three friends. Those friends rode with us, when it was my turn to drive. My Cobra II got me to gathering locations with friends. I dated three young ladies – not at the same time – taking them various places in my Cobra II. I kept my Cobra II well maintained, washed, and clean. I even washed him in winter – when the rinse water would turn to ice!

I graduated from WSCC, with an associates degree, just after I had already started my first full-time job, at Dodge-Reliance Electric Company, in my hometown. I worked 1 PM to 9:30 PM, as a computer programmer and operator.

The third young lady, whom I dated, very seriously, decided that she was no longer interested in me, as a potential husband. We were never engaged, but I'd given her a promise ring. She went her own way and married another man. The memories of all our dates, in my first Cobra II, were heartbreaking. I decided to trade. Looking back, I wish that I had kept my first Cobra II.

Dating that young lady, however, influenced by conversion to Christ, on June 21, 1981. I thought that I'd been saved, as a teenager, but I hadn't been.

#3: 1978 Ford Mustang Cobra II

In the latter part of 1982, I found my 1978 Ford Mustang Cobra II, at a car dealership, in Morristown, Tennessee. I traded even, not counting tax and title.

I think that I took the above photograph in the fall of 1983, just outside of my apartment, in Cookeville, Tennessee. My second Cobra II was an automatic, with no pipes and no rumbling sounds. It was a good car, for a maturing young man. The black paint, however, was a very sweaty ride, in hot weather! Air conditioning was rolling down the windows and opening the rear vent windows!

I was still working at Dodge-Reliance Electric Company, for a while. I started dating the boss' elder daughter! We had several dates, in my second Cobra II. She and I became, and still are, very good friends. We keep in touch. I don't think that she ever married. I still value the depth of her Christian faith and spirituality.

As far as I know, I was the last office employee to be laid off, in the 1982 recession. I'd earned enough money, so I decided to study for a bachelors degree, at East Tennessee State University (ETSU), in Johnson City, Tennessee. That fall, Dad helped me move into the small apartment that I rented, just off campus.

Papaw Wood passed, on March 14th, 1983. (I've written about Papaw Wood several times.) That summer – while I was living with Mom, Dad, Granny Wood, and my two younger brothers, at the homeplace – I remember a voice saying, “You can do more than program computers the rest of your life.” I consider that to have been my “call to preach.” I preached a few sermons, at the Bean Station Church of Christ. I'd found my calling.

I worked on temporary contract, for Dodge-Reliance Electric Company, in the summer of 1983. That income, plus savings that I had, gave me the opportunity to attend Tennessee Bible College, in Cookeville, Tennessee, that fall. I had a small apartment there. On Sundays, I earned income, by preaching for a small church, in Livingston, Tennessee.

I sat at the feet of several biblical scholars, who taught me well. Unfortunately, three of those scholars were not planning to continue teaching, after the 1983 - 1984 school year. I returned home, in the summer of 1984.

(2) Just Before & With Mrs. Appalachian Irishman

This section includes two cars, in “the significance of the passage of time.” I met Mrs. Appalachian Irishman, graduated college, and started preaching full-time. Early mission work started.

#4: 1978 Toyota Corolla

In late 1983, I traded my 1978 Cobra II for a 1978 Toyota Corolla. I was still attending my only year at Tennessee Bible College, in Cookeville, Tennessee.

My 1978 Cobra II, apparently, was “too flashy,” for a “preacher boy” – according to some wagging tongues, who bellowed their opinions. I felt the “negative peer pressure,” so I traded, almost even. I had to make one or two payments, after the trade.

To this day, I regret that I didn't stand up to the wagging tongue “negative peer pressure!” Only another short year or so was required, until I formulated my current, for decades now, attitude: I speak my mind. If I'm wrong, I will apologize. If I am right, I will stand my ground. Don't try to intimidate or pressure me! I will not back down, when I know that I am right! I have lived and learned, to stand solidly, when right, and to laugh at “negative peer pressure!” It's the stubborn Irish spirit in me!

Image from “History of the Toyota Corolla: Looking back at five decades' worth of the best-selling car of all time,” on MotorTrend, by Toyota - Photographer; Aaron Bonk - Writer, Apr 11, 2016

I couldn't find any photographs that I'd taken of my 1978 Corolla, but it looked like the above image. It was black and had a four-speed, manual transmission, on the floor. It was a good car – not as “flashy.” I went on one “blind date,” in that car.

The Church of Christ, in my hometown, was between full-time preachers. I earned income, by preaching for them, in the summer of 1984. That's when I met Mrs. Appalachian Irishman and her family! Her paternal grandfather had passed. The family had come up from Etowah, Tennessee, for the visitation and funeral. I met my future wife, during the Saturday evening funeral visitation.

I have joked for decades – at youth gatherings, at church youth camps, and in general: “How do you find a wife?” (Various answers are generated.) “No, not at school, at church, at youth rallies, at sporting events, and so on.” “Find your wife at the funeral home – just check her pulse first!” In various settings, my joke started my sermon or conversation about dating and marriage.

In the fall of 1984, I was transferring as a senior and my future wife was returning as a senior – to Freed-Hardeman College (FHU, now a university), in Henderson, Tennessee (near Jackson, in west Tennessee). We had our first, of several, dates in my 1978 Corolla. That car got us to and from FHU, in west Tennessee, several times.

I was a “poor preacher boy” and college student. Some churches in the East Tennessee area had given me monetary support, to attend FHU. I took out a student loan, which I paid, in time. I also earned a little income, by preaching for a small church, near FHU.

My future wife graduated in the spring of 1985. I had proposed to her earlier that spring, and she had agreed. I had to return to FHU, in the fall of 1985, to graduate in December.

In the summer of 1985, I earned income by preaching for the Mount Olivet Church of Christ, in Greene County, Tennessee. I enjoyed the rural location, not far from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The folks had good, old fashioned, Appalachian values – based on the Bible. I was accustomed to driving on narrow, curvy roads.

One morning, I was driving east, on a narrow road that curved sharply, at a one-lane bridge that crossed a creek. As always, I slowed to a crawl and looked, as carefully as I could, to see if a vehicle was coming the other way. The driver of the dump truck had done the same. We saw each other about the same time – but too late. The growth of trees and brush hindered our views of each other. We almost missed each other. My left front bumper caught his left back tire. The dump truck was not injured. The bumper damage to my car was minor, but the slow speed impact warped the frame. The cost to realign the frame was almost more than my car was worth.

#5: 1984 Chevy Chevette

I was still in Greene County for the summer of 1985. I'd stay at Mom and Dad's from Friday afternoon through Saturday evening. I stayed alone, in the “parsonage,” Saturday evening to Friday afternoon. One weekend, I saw my 1984 Chevy Chevette, at a dealership in my hometown. I'd saved enough to pay the full amount. The trade in of my damaged 1978 Corolla helped.

My Chevette got me to and from FHU, for my final semester. I graduated in December of 1985 – in the cold and snow – while sickly. I had taken more than the usual full-time schedule of classes – to graduate in December. I had about worn myself out.

Shorty after graduation, I “tried out” for the full-time preaching position at the Charleston Church of Christ, in Charleston, Missouri. They wanted a married man, with some full-time preaching experience. They settled for me – even if my lingering illness caused me to throw up on a wall, in the Palmer's home! Don't worry! I recovered quickly. The Palmers, and their clan, became family!

In January of 1986, I drove the rental moving van, with my Chevette on the trailer behind, to Charleston – from the homeplace. Mom was sad, as she watched me drive away. She realized that I would visit often but never live at home anymore. I learned much quickly, in my first full-time preaching role. A special family group in that church became family to me – to this day – even though some have already gone Home.

Mrs. Appalachian Irishman and I were married, on the Friday evening of 5/16/1986, at her hometown church in Etowah, Tennessee. Before we married and went on our honeymoon, to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, I'd arranged to have air conditioning installed on my Chevette. That was the first time that I'd had an air conditioned car!

I took the above photograph of my Chevette, in February of 1993, at our home, in Dexter, Missouri. I have other photographs. My Chevette was our only car, at first, while we lived in Charleston, Missouri.

In 1987, my wife and I experienced mission work for the first time – in Santa Cruz, Jamaica, for two weeks. (Bob Barker was on our flight to Jamaica. I'd never flown before.) I found film photographs from that trip. I may include them, in a future short story. We went with a good group. One couple (and their children) became missionaries in Sosnogorsk, in the Komi Republic, of northern Russia. They were there, during our five years in Moscow and Klin, Russia, when we visited them, and they visited us.

In 1989 and 1991, I had two mission trips to the East Godavari District, in the state of Andhra Pradesh, India. Each trip was for a month or a little more. Both trips were in and around the cities of Rajahmundry, Kakinada, Peddapuram, and others – including several “tribal areas.” In 1989, I traveled with a man, who had made one trip before. In 1991, I went alone – just after Granny Wood had passed, on 8/12/1991 – 31 years ago. (I've written about Granny Wood several times.) I found several film photographs, of my trips to India, which I may include in a future short story.

The Charleston Church of Christ agreed that I could begin graduate studies at Harding School of Theology, in Memphis. The drive was about 2.5 hours, one way. I drove back and forth one day a week – sometimes staying overnight in a dorm room. My Chevette was reliable transportation.

Mrs. Appalachian Irishman had started teaching, so we needed a second car. She started teaching at a Christian school kindergarten, in Sikeston, Missouri. Later, she enrolled and earned her teaching degree, at Southeast State University, in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.

I gave my 1984 Chevy Chevette, to my youngest brother, in 1994, before my wife and I moved to Russia.

(3) With Mrs. Appalachian Irishman

This final section includes seven vehicles in “the significance of the passage of time.” My wife and I journeyed from Charleston to nearby Dexter, Missouri, to Russia, then back to Tennessee.

This section contains many memories. I have written many articles, about this section of life. (My inaugural article was on 3/6/2006.) Our journey, into the undiscovered country, continues, day by day.

#6: 1986 Ford Tempo

About 1987 or 1988, when we still lived in Charleston, Missouri, we bought a second car, for my wife to drive mostly, and for visits to family in Tennessee. We bought our 1986 white Ford Tempo, at a dealership in Dexter, Missouri. The car had some fancy gadgets, like power windows and such! I was amazed!

Image from R36 Coach, on Flickr, 1986 Ford Tempo, photograph taken on 4/3/2010

I couldn't find a photograph of our Tempo, so I used the free image above. In the spring of 1991, my wife, with my begrudged blessing, drove alone, to FHU, to attend an annual “Makin' Music” event. It was a weekend trip that included her trip from Henderson to Nashville, to visit her youngest sister. I had to stay home, to preach and minister. I had a premonition that something bad might happen. It did.

While near Nashville, on the interstate, a red vehicle swerved into our Tempo. Our car hit a guard rail. My wife had relatively minor injuries, which required recovery at home. Our niece (the daughter of my wife's next to youngest sister) was not injured. Mrs. Appalachian Irishman was treated in and released from an Emergency Room. My Chevette took me to get my wife and bring her back to Charleston. The red vehicle was a hit and run – never to be found. The vehicle was red, since our white Tempo had red paint streaks on the left front quarter panel. Our automobile insurance paid the value of our totaled Tempo.

#7: 1988 Nissan Stanza

Later, in 1991, just after that wreck, we acquired our 1988 Nissan Stanza, from a dealership in Cape Girardeau! I nicknamed our Stanza “Baby.” She was a fine car! She had a five-speed, manual, transmission, on the floor, and a retractable sunroof! I loved that car!

I took the above photograph, probably in January of 1996. In September of 1992, we moved the short distance from Charleston to Dexter, Missouri. I became the associate minister, for the much larger church (about 385 attended at the time). My role involved preaching often, teaching the high school youth classes, starting and serving the youth ministry, and preparing for mission work in Russia. Mrs. Appalachian Irishman worked as a substitute teacher. Yes, we were very busy!

We moved from Dexter to Moscow, Russia, on 10/1/1994 – to join two other families who were already there. The Dexter Church of Christ was our “sponsoring” church. I had raised additional support, from 15 other churches (in Missouri, Tennessee, Kentucky, South Carolina, and Mississippi) and from one corporate trust fund (in Texas). I have many film photographs of our five-year mission work in Russia. I could write an entire book, with photographs included, about our work there. I may do so, eventually.

Each Christmas (except 1994), Mrs. Appalachian Irishman and I had a four to six week furlough in the States. We had to get new Russian visas, visit family and friends, and report to each supporting congregation (in five states). We visited FHU, to recruit future missionaries. Our Stanza got us where we needed to travel, very faithfully!

While we were in Russia, our Stanza rested in the full basement (garage included) at the homeplace. My youngest brother would take her out about once a week for a drive – to keep her limber.

The January 1996 photograph (above) is not the most beautiful image of our Stanza! We were staying, during a furlough, with our Palmer family, in Charleston, Missouri. The area had experienced snow and ice. Our Stanza was tough! She took it!

We moved back to Tennessee, from Russia, on 9/30/1999. Mom became ill, unexpectedly, on 12/28/1999. My “Topic Sections” includes nineteen articles on "Light at the End of the Tunnel." The first article, in the section, is “Happy Birthday, Mom,” published on November 24, 2009. I would not change one word today. Our Stanza took us to and from the hospitals, during Mom's 110 days in two Kingsport hospitals. (I've written several articles about Mom and Dad.)

We kept our Stanza, in the garage of our current, “Corrytonvegas” home, for some time, after we bought our 2000 Camry (#9, below). Eventually, we gave our Stanza to one of my first cousins. We didn't drive our Stanza often, after the air conditioning system went out, and she began to suffer from lack of driving. The exterior and interior of our Stanza were in mint condition, when we gave her to my cousin. Her mechanical parts were deteriorating.

#8: 1995 Nissan Hardbody Pickup

In August of 2000, when Mom was recovering at home, I had started my job, of five years, at DeRoyal Industries, as a second shift computer operator. Mrs. Appalachian Irishman had worked, briefly, at the mall – within walking distance, downhill and uphill, from our little Knoxville apartment. She was starting her current job, as a teacher (vice principal/teacher now), so we needed a second vehicle. Our Stanza couldn't take us both to and from work, on the same day!

On March 22, 2001, we bought our (my) 1995 Nissan Pickup! He had 83,978 miles on him, when we paid cash for him. I nicknamed him “Brother.” His first owner was a local professor at the University of Tennessee, as I was told. He had a five-speed, manual transmission, on the floor. I loved my ol' truck! I have a number of photographs of my ol' truck (which I could count and cross reference) on this website. Aside from usual “wear” maintenance, my ol' truck kept on running like a top! I never had to replace the muffler or the exhaust system.

My 1995 Nissan truck and I (with Mrs. Appalachian Irishman many times) had many adventures, which involved “the good, bad, and ugly” of life. He took me to most of my House Mountain hikes.

From September of 2005 until 3/29/2016 (the day that lives in infamy), my ol' truck was instrumental in my job bouncing – from DeRoyal to insurance sales, to salaried jobs at two non-profit provider agencies, back to insurance sales, and finally to the State of Tennessee job – until 3/29/2016. (I retired from my State job, on Friday, May the 13th, 2022 – three months ago.)

I took the above photograph of my (our) 1995 Nissan Pickup, on 3/5/2016. He helped me clear and haul brush, at the homeplace. We had a lot of fun together!

On 3/26/2016, I filled up my ol' truck for the last time – unknown to me at that moment. He had 319,759.3 miles on him, at the fill up. My ol' truck and I traveled over 235,781 miles together!

On Tuesday, 3/29/2016, my (our) 1995 Nissan Pickup died, trying to save my life. The eighteen-year-old, uninsured, female – who had nothing and did nothing for a living – failed to yield to our right of way. The impact killed my ol' truck – and almost killed me. If interested, you may begin reading about “My 'Bionic' Life - 3/29/2016+” at I’M STILL ALIVE – WHY? (Published 8/26/2016). It's old news. My life has moved on.

#9: 2000 Toyota Camry

On June 7, 2003, Mrs. Appalachian Irishman and I moved, from our little “Knoxvegas” apartment, into our newly constructed and current home, in “Corrytonvegas.” I was still working at DeRoyal. She was still teaching.

In August of 2003, we had arranged a week's vacation at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The complete air conditioning system, on our 1988 Nissan Stanza, had gone out. A supposedly reputable repair shop, which I've never used again, replaced the system. The replacement did not work. Some, but not all, of the money we paid was reimbursed to us.

On my birthday, in July 2003, we bought, on the “airport motor mile,” our 2000 Toyota Camry – which took us to the beach the next month! We paid just over half the cost up front and financed the balance until our 6/19/2006 final loan payment. Our Camry was my wife's car mostly. I drove it several times. Mrs. Appalachian Irishman loved that car!

I took the above photograph, on 10/28/2007. We were at Clingman's Dome (supposedly to be renamed Kuwahi; see my 7/14/2022 article). That was during one of our weekend vacations, in the Gatlinburg area.

On January 25, 2008, Dad joined Mom, at Home. (I've written several articles about Mom and Dad.)

Life rolled on, “such as it was,” at the time – until the 4/6/2011 “Camry crunch.” I thought about including one of the photographs that I'd taken, after the crunch, but I decided not to do so.

Mrs. Appalachian Irishman had been on her way home, from a nearby store. At a crossroads, which we pass often, an insured driver failed to yield to my wife's right of way – hitting our Camry on the left front quarter panel. The airbags deployed, saving my wife from severe injury. She had only minor injuries that healed well. Our Camry was a total loss, since the airbags deployed.

#10: 2008 Honda Civic

The three-day car search concluded, on 4/9/2011 (the birthday anniversary of one of my brothers), when we paid cash for our 2008 Honda Civic! The insurance, for the at fault driver, paid a proper value for our Camry, which helped us pay for our Civic. The salesman took the photograph, below, after the sale was completed!

By the way, the salesman misspelled “GEERD.” It should be GERD – for Git-ER-Dun – not for gastroesophageal reflux disease!

Our Civic took us to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, in August 2011. One of my two August 2011 articles includes 20 photographs that I'd taken at the beach.

Mrs. Appalachian Irishman continued her job as a vice principal/teacher. On 4/16/2012, I jumped to my last job, with the State of Tennessee – from which I am now retired!

I have published 284 articles – from August 2011, until this article. My “Website Archive” section lists articles by year and month. (I have the hard copies saved digitally, in three locations.) Those articles include much of “life, such as it was.”

My mother-in-law passed on to Home, on 4/30/2017. The only article that I published, in 2017, was on 6/14/2017. I mentioned my mother-in-law's passing.

Our (my wife's) Civic had 24,321 miles, at 4/9/2011 purchase. On 6/6/2022 (D-Day anniversary), our Civic had 163,514.1 miles on the odometer. We had our Civic eleven years and 58 days. We, mostly my wife, added 139,193 miles.

The mechanical parts of our Civic were in great condition – even until the air conditioning system went out, in April of this year (2022). After a few years, however, the cosmetic deterioration started and became more apparent. (My 2006 Nissan Frontier, with higher mileage, looks much better, cosmetically, and runs great, with a working air conditioner.) Honda needs to make cars that hold up cosmetically. Maybe they do now. Our Civic was a reliable car, despite, after a few years, not looking too pretty!

#11: 2006 Nissan Frontier

I took the above photograph, on 12/7/2016, Pearl Harbor Day anniversary, at the homeplace. The same photograph is included in my 12/8/2016 article.

On Friday, 11/25/2016, Mrs. Appalachian Irishman and I finalized the deal, at a west Knoxville dealership, to get my (our) 2006 Nissan Frontier! My 3/29/2021 article, “MY 'BIONIC' JOURNEY, SO FAR: 3/29/2016 to 3/29/2021,” encapsulated – at the five year mark – my ongoing “bionic” journey. I won't dwell on the details here.

I had hoped to find a new, ol' truck that had a manual transmission and windows that roll down or up manually – like my old, ol' truck had. My new, ol' truck couldn't help that he came with an automatic transmission and power windows. (Trucks, for some unknown reason, are as fancy as cars, nowadays.)

My 2006 Frontier had 140,193 miles on him, at purchase. He had one owner before us. Our automobile insurance had paid us a good price for my 1995 Nissan Pickup that died, trying to save my life. I dickered and got my price – except I had to add an extra $250. (I'll never know why the dealership needed the extra $250.) We paid for my new, ol' truck in cash. My new, ol' truck's name is “Brother II,” or shortened to “Brother.”

On 8/13/2022, yesterday, my new, ol' truck had 185,881.4 miles, at fill up. He often rests in the “barn” (garage), since I'm retired now. New Brother and I (sometimes with Mrs. Appalachian Irishman with us) have had several adventures. He's in several articles, especially on hiking. He loves to have his photograph taken! He's a good, new, ol' truck! He has a sense of humor and the same spirit as my 1995 Nissan Pickup. (Ask him how he locks his doors, at times, on his own! He won't tell me.)

#12: 2012 Nissan Sentra

I've already mentioned that the air conditioning system on our 2008 Honda Civic went out, in April of this year. The repair cost would have been almost as much as the value of our Civic. So, the “2022 Car Hunt Saga,” as I call it, ended, on Monday, 6/6/2022, the anniversary of D-Day. We're trying to keep enough money, to pay off our mortgage soon. So, we had to select an older vehicle that cost less. We got our price and paid in cash. This was the best car purchase experience that I, or we, have had so far!

The outstanding salesman, at Lance Cunningham Ford, in Knoxville, took the above photograph, after the sale, which included the trade in of our Civic, was finalized. Our new, ol' car, the white Nissan Sentra, is beside our old 2008 Honda Civic. Mrs. Appalachian Irishman is standing beside a fit and young old man. (I don't know who the man is. Y'all figure it out!) The photograph is also in my 6/15/2022 article.

On 6/4/2022, when we test drove our 2012 Sentra, she had 107,429 miles on her. She'd had four previous owners, who each had taken proper care of her. She started in New York State then came to the Knoxville area. Our new, ol' car, being a Nissan, is and will be reliable. She wanted us to call her either “Blondie” or “Baby.” I think that she prefers “Baby” – in memory of our 1988 Nissan Stanza.

On 6/12/2022, I took the above photograph of our 2012 Sentra, when Mrs. Appalachian Irishman and I visited my youngest brother and his family, in my home county. This was our first “road trip,” in our new, ol' car!

The eldest daughter, of my brother and his wife, attained age 16 that day. The Fearghail clan had a good moment in time! (That's my brother's Nissan Frontier, in the driveway. I know that you were wondering! Their other vehicle is in the garage.) Do you see Mrs. Appalachian Irishman, in our car, playing on her semi-intelligent phone? I keep warning her about “tech. neck!” Hold your phone up! Doc. Art, our chiropractor, has told you!


When I started writing this article, a few days ago, I didn't realize that it would become a twenty-page short story! (Twenty pages are based on the hard copy document.) Forty-four years have passed, from 1978 until now (August 2022). Life, such as it has been, has unfolded, to this stage.

What is the undiscovered country that awaits? Temporally, only the Good Lord knows. I know the everlasting “undiscovered country” that awaits! I see it, by the eye of faith. Do you? If not, use my “Contact Form” to reach me! You can see the Light!

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