Wednesday, February 17, 2016
* This entry was written and intended for publication in September of 2015.
I feel like a bastard today.
A deep sadness culminated this morning when I unloaded pieces of Daisy at the scrapyard.
Laying among discarded barbecues and beer caps, I told myself she deserved much, much better.
Perhaps I should start with an introduction before I reach a Farewell.
I first saw Daisy in 1995 in all her faded almond green splendor. She humbly sat, still bearing her English plates at the back of the driveway. A 1969 Morris Minor imported in the early 1980's by my sister's best friend's Mother (did you follow all that?).
Daisy had been an integral part of the family fabric for years, both abroad and here in Canada. Taking the girls to school, getting groceries, a true member of the family. As we know though, sometimes family members become ill and even worse, pass on.
I hadn't thought of her in quite a few years, until I received a pop up message on Facebook from the owner. She was selling her home and wanted my thoughts on what to do with her oldest friend.
She had been offered a paltry sum for Daisy, scrap value essentially which seemed a touch out of order. I made arrangements to come by and visit, not sure what would await me in the backyard.
Sadly it was far worse than I remembered, the sills were rotted and the car couldn't be moved safely.
The only option I could offer was sell her for scrap or cut her up and salvage the valuable parts for sale. The owner agreed and my father and I began a months long process (on weekends a couple of hours at a time) of cutting, (bleeding) salvaging and responding to ads posted for parts.
As Daisy became smaller and smaller each week, I felt worse and worse. That sinking feeling that I was destroying something special, I even found myself apologizing to her aloud as I took angle grinder to her quivering frame.
When the rust was settled, I did sell on the engine, front grill, windows and several other bits with others remaining to be posted on Ebay.
As I stood in the scrapyard, unloading those pieces that no longer served purpose, "Come Together" by the Beatles blasted from a stereo in the main building. The irony wasn't lost on me as she was sent off to a song that very well could have played on her stereo when it was first turned on.
It seemed to me that another piece of history was dissapearing at my hand. The fact that I couldn't have saved her, regardless of space and time constraints didn't seem to matter. This cut deeper. It was the active participation of destroying a small part of world that I recognized, that I knew and loved. A simpler way of life or as I prefer to see it, a more honest life.
Daisy was built by men and women, real people earning a proper wage, feeding a western economy that has all but faded. That meant something and it still should mean something, but it just doesn't seem to anymore. She had tremendous charm and character, something else direly lacking from our modern roads (and world frankly).
The thought of melting her remains so she could become a tawdry, poorly made Chinese barbecue that someone will buy at Walmart horrifies me.
Those that know me, truly know me, might understand my obsession with all things old and wonderful. Even then, there is a perception that I am a hoarder (despite my constant selling of goods). It is an incredibly difficult thing to quantify; There is no easy explanantion to the uninitiated. I have said 'This is an important bike because....(fill in blank)' more times than I can count to blank stares.
If any one of them felt as I did when I let Daisy go, they would never ask me why again. They would understand what it's like to let a little piece of magic slip away from our modern world.
Not the real Daisy, but exactly as she would have looked in her full splendour.