Friday, May 08, 2009

In Memoriam

Funny thing about the GRE. I took it less than an hour after I was in a 4-car accident on the interstate on the way to the testing center. Literally, my first thought after the accident was there is no effing way I am missing the GRE today

I was okay and so were the others involved in the accident. It wasn't my fault either. I was in the middle car of three stopped cars in stop-n-go traffic on the freeway when an unlucky girl didn't notice the cars were stopped in front of her and she slammed right into the first car. Unlucky for her because this was all her fault. Unlucky for her that the first car she slammed into, the one behind me, was a fairly new Saab that the owner had just bought a week ago. The impact of her car slammed the Saab into my Maxima and my Maxima went into the back of a pickup truck. We waited one minute for the sheriff and he took our information and I drove on to the test center in a car that didn't exactly look drivable, but it had one more place to take me and I was not going to let it die before we arrived at the final destination.

I suppose a lot of people feel the truth in this cliche before they are 26, but I feel old now that I realize there isn't anything like your first car. The Maxima was a total loss, with damages in excess of $5,000. I cleaned it out a couple days ago. No more 17-inch, chrome rims. No more black on black. 

Kate and I are buying our first car together tonight. I'll post about that later, but for now it is time to get sentimental and remember the Maxima and where she took me and many of you. She was a beautiful car.

While I was home for Easter in 2003, my parents surprised me with the Maxima. It all started with my Dad silently dangling a car key in front of me. I knew, but could not believe, what that meant. I took the key and rushed outside to the driveway and this is what I found.

Guy was with me and it was one of the most memorable experiences that I had with him. He was there for a big moment in my life. Yeah, I had the freedom to drive places before I had a car, but not the freedom that truly having your own car brings you. This was the first time I sat in the Maxima.

The Maxima, Me, and the proud parents gather together for a picture before I roll up to Laramie for the first time in my own car.

Travis, I believe, behind the wheel of the Maxima as we head out on the first leg of our move from Colorado to Milwaukee. 

The Maxima was a road trip pro. No breakdowns. No issues. This picture was taken near the end of the Maxima's last, big road trip this summer. We were almost back to Milwaukee after taking it out to Colorado and Wyoming.

Maxima covered in snow. She turned dirty when you had to drive her in snow but after a while I could even coax her through the snowbound streets of Longmont during the Christmas 2006 blizzard. 

R.I.P. Precision Driving with Erik

R.I.P. 1996 Nissan Maxima

3 comments:

Christopher said...

Damn. I was toted around on many precious adventures in that fine piece of machinery. I remember enjoying the sounds of MXPX much more while sitting behind you, knees cramped, in the back seat of that beauty. I am sorry about your loss my friend. Much love. Moments of silence and mournful prayers will be offered from this side of the world.

Erik Haagenson said...

Literally feel like crying. Seems like just yesterday we were gifted those beautiful cars on the same day. Now they're worth less than 5 g's? Sad.

Guy said...

I'm really sorry to hear that man. The Maxima was a great car, and drove us to many cool places.

I am happy that I got the chance to be there with you when you first got it.