Twenty-five years ago, I lost my father to a heart attack due to complications with diabetes.
In retrospect, my relationship with my father was, at best, interesting. I wanted a relationship with him, but he was more interested in his own life than the lives he helped create. It took me a long time to realize the disconnect that he had with my brother and I.
To pay our final respects to him, my brother and I had to go to the San Francisco Bay Area for his memorial. I arrived a day or so later and rented a vehicle for us to get around in. When I arrived at the National Car Rental counter at San Francisco International Airport, they put me in a somewhat appropriate vehicle: A black 1986 Toyota Celica GT Liftback.
Granted, it is appropriate color-wise. The car? I have to admit to having a bit of fun in it. Though I should heed the words of any good human being: It's not Kosher to arrive at a memorial service for a relative in a sports coupe.
Driving that Celica did confirm one thing: How much I loved them! That began when they first came out – a Japanese reinterpretation of the original Ford Mustang. Still, the small coupe left an indelible impression at various points in my life. There was a story my mom told how I was brought into the main office of my elementary school to be asked by my principal what car he should buy. Inadvertently, I said the Celica. He bought one and kept it for well over a decade. That was in 1971.