Tuesday, August 25, 2009

I was in the drive-thru circle at the McDonald's on Olio Road tonight in my new, electric blue, 2010 Mustang convertible when a younger man in an SUV, with a backseat full of kids, on the other side of the circle called out, "Love your Mustang."
"Thank you," I replied.
"That's a beautiful blue," he added. "You're livin' the dream."
"Yes, I am," I called back.
And I am. At 68, I decided late last week to buy the last car I will probably ever own - a car I could only dream of owning when I was young and raising a family.
It sat invitingly in the showroom, painted the most beautiful shade of azure blue I had ever seen, sporting black stripes, low along each side, that told the world in bold letters it was a Mustang. It was love at first sight.
The top was down. I slide into its plush black leather seat and gripped the steering wheel. It was like taking hold of a race car. Visions of the brickyard flashed before me. The steering wheel has three prongs trimmed in brushed stainless steel, that match the dash trim and the fancy wheel covers. The dash lights are blue, but can be changed to green, or red or whatever. Blue is the only color. And a pleasant voice connects you to whomever you want to talk to. Look Ma, no hands dialing. Wow!
When I finally got out and glanced casually at the sticker price, I did not blink. This was my car. The only thing dividing me from it was the price I would negotiate.
My initial offer was met with a pained expression on the salesman's face. No way, he responded. We were seven thousand dollars apart, a vast chasm that I was determined to leap across. I walked away and we traded three telephone calls. Finally we were $300 apart. I told him my price was firm and I would not be calling back. The ploy worked. He blinked. Actually he called back and said the offer was accepted.
Late that afternoon I turned over the keys to my nice, well maintained, paid for, and practical Chevrolet Malibu and drove off the car lot in my new Ford Mustang, feeling much the same exhilaration Sir Edmund Hillary must have felt when he stood atop Mt. Everest.
At my age, I'm lucky to still be living. And to be driving a sparkling new electric blue Mustang convertible is truly living the dream.
Thank you God for my still being here. And thank you Lee Iacocca for making the Mustang possible.
Iacocca's legacy. My dream. Life is good.

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