Friday, November 13, 2009


We lost a member of our family last week.

My trusty blue 1986 Ford Bronco II, my first car, the car of my adolescence, the car my brother drove me around in, the car we had countless adventures in, the car the accompanied us on (not a few) illegal endeavors, the car that Preston and I/Erin and I/Erica and I/Landon and I had long talks in, the car Jenna and I delivered cookies in, the car that took us to school dances, boy/girl parties, choir concerts, "random dates," Western Watts, and soccer games/tennis matches, the car that sat parked in front of my first apartment, the car I said goodbye to many friends in, the car that was ALWAYS cooler than the Trooper, the car that contains too many memories to count or name, has gone the way of all 23-year-old cars with 200,000+ miles on them.

When we moved to Utah, I couldn't bear to leave him, so we brought the Bronco with us. It turns out that the trip over Malad Pass was a little too much for him. The car started smoking and sputtering, and leaking transmission fluid faster than we could fill it up. We had to tow it, (courtesy of my father, brother, and generous uncle) all the way back to Salt Lake. Once he cooled down, the mechanic said he was just old, but fine, and we filled him back up with transmission fluid and went on our way. But he was never the same after that. He tried his hardest. He faithfully carted Landon to and from the Trax station almost daily for two years. He forgave us when we left him all alone at the parking lot a few times over night, in the cold. He let us tow him back and forth to the mechanic multiple times to cure his minor ailments. He tolerated  the newer (but not nearly as awesome) Cavalier.

Best of all, he hung onto life through the awful 4 months of my unemployment this summer. I don't know what we would have done without the Bronco during that time. And then, as if he knew we would now be ok, the Bronco died the week I found my new job and we decided to move to Provo, where having only one car is much more practical for us. It was a miracle. And I like to think the Bronco did it for us; a payback for all of the great memories we created together.

As much as it pains me to say it, we had to sell the Bronco to a junkyard. I fought it. We tried to sell it to someone who would use it, we tried to give it away to a loving family who would give it the tlc it needs, but there weren't any takers. Landon went with me to say goodbye, we cleaned out our belongings, and then...we let him go. And I confess I cried.

Goodbye, old friend. We will always remember you.
If you went to high school or college with me, and have any great memories of the Bronco, I invite you to post them as a comment.


Jamie Blake said...

awww, I remember that trusty old car! he certainly was a trooper! rest in peace, bronco!

Kenny and Kayla said...

I remember that Bronco taking us to and from church, when it was freezing outside and we were too cold to walk, so we would all pile in the Bronco, even though the church was close enough to walk to, and keep warm as we went to church. That Bronco was a great car! So Sad he is gone, but you will find a new one! It is amazing how things happen at the perfect time :)

Amy Diestler said...

Okay, I literally got teary-eyed reading this! I had a car just like the Bronco; his name was Henry and he was an '88 Camry. My (heartless) hubby made me give it away when we moved to Chicago, because he thought Henry wouldn't make it. But I know he would've; afterall, he was a Transformer.

Daniel...Sadie...Thomas said...

Sad to say I have no fabulous memories of the Bronco, I just generally remember you looking fabulous while driving it!

Andrea said...

I just remembers pushing that stupid thing out of the intersection multiple times because it would just stop only to start up and run just fine as soon as I was done pushing it. I was never quite sure if it was you or the bronco playing tricks on me like that. But it is still sad to see you lose such a friend even though me and the bronco never got along.

Cephaloblog said...

When I first returned from my mission your brother came to my house to visit. We had to run to the store (I believe Josh needed washer fluid). Josh had his insanely loud system in the Bronco at the time and I listened to AFI Sing the Sorrows for the first time in that car. The way AFI is meant to be heard mind you: skull splitting loud. Too bad the Bronco had to go. Hopefully it will ride the tsunami to a better place.

Mike and Erin Duerden- said...

Oh Bronco! May he rest in peace. I just remember driving around yelling to the Ataris in that guy, talking about all the boys we liked and who we had made out with/held hands with that week. Oh the memories of high school! I'm off to reminisce for an hour now.

Josh said...

Ah... the memories... So many.. SO many times I broke it... and so many times it had to be fixed. I could tell you stories that would probably make mom and dad faint...

That was my second car. My first only lasted 3 days. That was the first car that I ever put a Stereo in, and the first car that I ever tinkered with. It was not the first car I ever drove off road. That was the good ol' ranger. But the bronco gave me an appreciation for a back seat, and is probably the reason I have a Cherokee instead of a Wrangler.

He had guts. We had him over 115 mph once or twice. And that transmission dumped it's fluid more than once.

All in all I'd say it was a great car. A little top heavy, but it ran and wouldn't die... at least not for long.

I too have a lot of great memories of that car. Ironically it was the first car of 3 or 4 people that I work with. We swap stories all the time.

Goodbye Bronco! May you rest in peace. You deserve it!

Andrea said...

Sad day! It's funny how we can get so attached to things, isn't it? I think my mom cried growing up every time we got a new mini van! ha ha Miss you guys!