The end of the road

A hole in my heart ...

No more Neons. Say it ain't so.

I fell in love with the little Neon the first time I saw those fun 'Hi' commercials, and I told my parents I wanted one. There wasn't a car ad on TV that even close and it screamed 'FUN!'

Finally, after years of yearning to drive one, I got my chance to drive a sporty red one off a rental lot in Florida. Kates and I spent an entire week driving it from one side of Florida to the other for a Spring Break.

But the dream really came true within a week of my college graduation ... I'll never forget it. My poor '88 Camry, a once proud car that was a hand-me-down from my parents, was riding on its last wheels and my dad and I barely made it back to Wisconsin from Missouri with it. When we took it into the shop the next day, the mechanic told us, "I can't believe you even made it back here."

That night, to my surprise, and with a job interview a couple days later that would prove to be my first out of college, my parents were suggesting I purchase a car -- are you kidding, with their help of course.

We went to the nearest dealership the next afternoon, connected with a salesman and there it was -- A Dodge Neon in Bearcat green, equiped with a CD player and baring just 17 miles on its odometer. ...I was indoctrinated to the negotation process and a few hours later had my little green machine.

You couldn't beat the price. Nor the quality and reliability of it. ... I would've been happy driving a Neon for the rest of my life.

Godspeed, Neon.

a The Long Goodbye: Neon Fades From View
a Dodge Neon reaches the end of the road

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