We’ve been harping on my dad to get rid of his old Suburban. It’s the Titanic on wheels. It’s big and heavy and drives like crap. And Dad loves the damn thing - it has plenty of room and besides he’s got the radio tuned, knows how to use the tape deck and his electric razor is in the console.
We thought the Cash for Clunkers program was the perfect time for him to get a new vehicle. Trade in the Suburban AND get his GM discount. How could it go wrong? Clearly we should have paid more attention.
Dad traded in the 1988 Chevy farm truck. The one that used to be red, but turned in to more of a mauve-ish color in the last decade. The one that moved all of us kids to various schools and apartments. The one that we all borrowed when we came to visit. The one that has hauled thousands of dozens of sweet corn. That one that dad made his own wooden box console with a place to store stuff (the spare electric razor, a rosary, cough drops and paper towels) and cup holders cut out of the top.
He got a fancy new GMC bright red 4-wheel drive truck. It’s beautiful and has all of the bells and whistles including the OnStar navigation system. Dad took me to the airport today. I was looking up the directions --Indianapolis has a new airport terminal, when Dad said he wanted to use the OnStar. Sounds like fun I said.. Ha – famous last words!
It stared out fun. Dad punched the button and the nice lady asked our destination and sent the route to the truck. Magically the directions appeared on the radio console and a voice told us to turn left out of the parking lot. Then the trouble started. Dad decided to go off route – “The highway is quicker.” As soon as we turned the voice told us we were going off _-route and asked if we’d like to re-route. I wasn’t worried; I’d already looked up the directions and knew what exit we needed. The new OnStar directions look us another way, but I didn’t question it. I have the sense of direction of a donut. If I think we should go right, invariably it is left.
It took us on interstate 465, that is heavily under construction and there were no exits for five miles. Still no [visible] panic on my part. We turned around, headed for Highway 70, I assumed. Then Dad called back the magic voice. The voice that told us to take Exit 12 on 465, which didn’t exist. That didn't stop Dad from slowing down and looking and the voice telling us to turn and the trucks and traffic whizzing by. That didn’t lower Nora’s blood pressure either. Even though I kept suggesting that we should just head to Highway 70. We followed the long-winded directions. In OnStar’s credit, it eventually led us to the airport. THE OLD AIRPORT!
We’re now about an hour from my flight time. And I’m not at the airport. We followed the signs and arrived just in time. And I was smiling as I got out of the truck. Because Dad is using his old wooden homemade console, even though the new truck has all kinds of storage compartments and cup holders. It’s hard to be mad at a guy who is willing to mix the new with the old.