Saturday, February 9, 2008

The Tao of Steve

Another obituary for my old car. My brother put this one together.
Steve Landcruiser, the slow but dependable wagon who
moved countless pieces of furniture across the
country, was destroyed Saturday at the age of 22.

Steve was purchased by the State of California as part
of the vehicle retirement program for cars unable to
reach emission standards. "He left the world as he
lived in it, conscious of god, fearless of death and
at peace, surrounded by toothless car wreckers," the
family said in a statement.

On a cold, cloudless January day in Los Angeles, 1986,
the Masket family needed to replace their 2 year old
Jeep Laredo, who's engine had recently melted due to a
family "misunderstanding". The long search for a new
car ended when they fell in love with a 1985 Toyota
Landcruiser. Little did they know, they had
purchased their last SUV.

Steve got his name from one of Seth's high school
teachers, Steve Tothro. The soft-spoken civics
teacher was noted to be slow but dependable. Over
the next 201,000 miles, Steve earned his nickname
galavanting across the continent without a single
speeding ticket.*

The proud career of this noble wagon paralleled a
generation's search for meaning on the highways of the
"Old West". Steve made his first road-trip to the
desert to watch the Space Shuttle land in '87. He
moved to the Bay Area later that year and soon after
became the consumate "road-trip" car.

Noteworthy trips included: the first EVER Lair
day-off to Canada; a seperate tour of the San Juan
Islands/Victoria, BC; and a winding sojourn through
Arizona, Nevada and SoCal where an overheating Steve
forced us to drive through the Summer desert with the
heater on.

Steve crossed the continental U.S. twice, in '95 and
'99. In all, Steve travelled to 3 countries, 28
states and a district. And even though he was
"salvaged" after a head-on with a deer, he never had
significant engine troubles. It was the emissions
laws, enacted after his birth that proved to be his

"Watching him driven into the wrecking yard felt wrong
some how. I'd prefer to imagine him taken out the
back door and into the African outback, where his
brothers and sisters dominate the terrain as Hashem
intended," the Maskets said in a statement.

Wherever Steve is, the memory of countless friends
who's furniture he moved will live on for eternity.
Steve is survived by Barbara, Sam, Seth, Vivian, Eli,
Sadie, Sirena, Harris, Delilah and Reggie. In lieu of
flowers, the Maskets ask that you please recycle, as
they did.
*Factually speaking, I got a ticket at Steve's helm, driving 35mph in a 25 zone on College Avenue in Berkeley.

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