A few years ago I decided to try leasing a car instead of buying one; that way, when the lease expires you can turn it in and try a different car. And, although you do have to send in money every month, you don’t have to part with a small fortune all at once. My lease expired recently, so I turned in the car and leased another one.. Cars have never held much interest to me, although I recall very clearly when my father taught me to drive a very long time ago. My friend Mike thought I should learn from someone else – “You’re father’s a terrible driver, he told me.” He had a point. My father did manage to perfect the art of fender-benders, but he did teach me an important lesson: “Remember where the brake is.”
One day Mike and I at my house in Claremont, heading downtown to the movies. My father offered us a ride, but Mike declined. “Oh, come on, I said.” “And take my life in my hands?” asked Mike. I assured him there would be “no problem,” and, against his better judgment, he gave in. We arrived safely in front of the movie theatre, and I gave Mike one of those teen-age “told you so” looks. We got our of the car and thanked by father, who promptly put his foot on the accelerator and ran into the car in front of him.
My father was short, wore glasses, and looked a little like Luis Molina, who lives at Rivermead in Peterborough. Luis turned 100 last October, and he is a remarkable man – vigorous, full of life, and sharp as a tack. I remember running into Luis when he was a mere 96. “I just bought a new car,” he told me. “What kind?” I asked. “A Hyundi,” he answered. Luis then explained the purchase. “It comes with a four-year warranty, but if you pay more you can get six years.” I took the bait: “Which did you get?” “Oh, I got the six years,” Luis said – as if to say, “That was an easy decision.”
Now I don’t know how good a driver Luis is, or whether he is still driving that car, though I suspect he is. I do know that I have always admired him, enjoyed his company, and marveled at his quick wit and breadth of knowledge. It occurs to me that we have something in common – we have both lived longer than our fathers did, and that is the milestone that has no name.