Thursday, June 9, 2011

Goodbye Grandpa Whiscut

Do you remember when I told you about Grandpa Whiscut here and here? Let me give you a little back story....somewhere in early 2002 we were given a powder blue van by Eric's grandfather while on a visit to see family in New Mexico (we were living in MT at the time).

While on that same visit we were out to breakfast with Eric's sister Tina and our niece Taylor (a toddler at the time). While we were waiting for our breakfast to arrive Tina entertained Taylor by drawing a picture of a baby on the back side of the paper table mat. She then decided to point out the body parts to her daughter, "Taylor here is the baby's tummy. Here is the baby's feet....and here are the baby's whiscuts." HUH? Whiscuts? We discovered that to be Tina's name for butt cheeks...not sure why. Anyway we thought it was hilarious and somehow our van came to be known as Grandpa Whiscut.

Over the years we poured our heart and soul, not to mention a lot of money, into Grandpa Whiscut. We didn't care, we loved that van. He was hot pink and yellow inside! The ceiling had an enormous collage and on the dashboard there was a purple skull with one eyeball (we frightened children). When we were super poor students we would drive out by the river and park the van, giving ourselves a great view from our "porch". We camped in him. We decorated him. Most nights in the summer we would go out and sit in him, talking for hours.

When we left Montana we loaded up Grandpa Whiscut with everything (clothes, a queen sized mattress, pet mice, boxes and boxes). All went well for the first 6 hours of the drive, but then, a few hours from our destination, he gave up on us. Eric was driving the van as I followed behind with the cats in our car. We waited at a gas station for a tow truck. Most of our earthly possessions crammed into this inert hunk of metal.

We still weren't ready to give up on him. We had him fixed up and a couple of weeks later we returned to reclaim him. When we went to grad school that fall we left him sitting in the driveway of my parent's house, certain we would reclaim him soon. Weeks turned into months, turned into years. We weren't driving him; he didn't run.

When we became parents we knew that it would naturally be the end of an era. Our big hulking van didn't have any seating for kids, unless you count a built in fold out bed to be safe seating...we didn't. Still we just couldn't let go. Grandpa had become a symbol of a wonderful time in our lives, also it was a reminder of Eric's childhood--his own grandfather's ingenuity (he is the one who re-did the van interior). We also couldn't let him sit forever. So yesterday it was all over. We donated our beloved van. He is gone.

My heart hurts a little, but I am so happy to think about the fun times we had in that awesome van, thankful that he was ours and that he was able to die with dignity (did I take that a little too far...I think maybe I did). So today I salute Grandpa Whiscut and all that he was. Thank you for making us cooler people (because it was really cool to ride around in that van).

Sometime in the early 2000s, hanging in Grandpa Whiscut

Have you ever had a strange connection to a vehicle?


Emily said...

Good-bye Grandpa Whiscut! I'm glad you have so many great memories with him. I think he was pure awesomeness! I hope someone else will appreciate how cool he is. (As you can see,I get sentimental about vehicles/houses too!)

Susan S said...

You were cool in your blue van, but I think you are still cool.

Anonymous said...

RIP Grandpa! We fell in love with our Australian touring van - Hephaestus - and we only had him with us for 6 months. I can imagine how hard it was to let him go!

AKM said...

Oh, it's the end of an era! I know you had such fun with that van.

I've always named my cars, too...the Mirthmobile, Edgar, Julia, the Alabeaster. My current car remains unnamed because I simply can't think of the right one.

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