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Goodbye old van

Written by Kathryn Spira


I know it's silly and Herman keeps telling me it's just an inanimate, metal object, but I sadly bid adieu to my main transportation for the last ten years as I write this.

See, the accessible van I was able to buy through the generosity of friends, family and a benefit chicken barbecue put on by my former aides (and still friends) Terry and Kelly is finding a new home after faithful service.

I've always had a tendency to name my cars from "O RAG TOP" the VW I drove in California to the accessible van I say goodbye to now with the magnetic doves flying along to its new replacement.

I say this all with a very grateful tear in my eye.

The thing is, prior to this van, Herman used to physically carry me into his Ford Explorer, an Eddie Bauer model at that. This reminds me of another story about that Explorer. Herman and I went to Herba Nissan in his old Jeep Cherokee which had seen better days. We had heard great things about Nissans. So off to Herba we go fully intending to purchase some type of Nissan. We took one for a test drive and frankly, we thought it was tinny and didn't feel like an SUV should. The guy waiting on us only wanted to sell us a Nissan even after we said that we wanted to look at used vehicles.

It was while we were perusing the used section of the lot that my eye caught sight of a maroon truck, SUV style, with off white accents. Upon closer inspection I noticed that it was an Eddie Bauer model complete with leather seats and it looked to me to be in very good condition. We told the salesman that we wanted to take it for a test drive and when we got in it "WHAM" it sounded like a sturdy truck. When we took it for a test drive, Herman put it on cruise control, he turned on the radio, and we looked at each other briefly, nodded our heads “yes,” smiling. We drove it down the arterial in Johnstown for about 20 minutes and when we pulled back into Herba’s we told the salesman we wanted it.

At that point, my MS was worsening, but I wasn't at the point yet that I was in a wheelchair. I was still walking with a cane. Fast forward about a decade and I was in a power chair. I was going on my second van by then. It had a pull out ramp that we got for a great deal on a it out of a dealership that deals with handicapped vehicles out of Georgia --which brings me to my subject of my writing today. Herman and I just sold that second Van and the buyers are coming to get it today, as I write this, Friday March 24th.

I hope these new buyers get as much good use out of it as we did. Turns out the guy who's buying it is doing so for an employee who is also in a power chair but this guy will be the driver, not the passenger. Luckily the driver’s seat comes out as well so he will be able to drive right in!

Good luck and happy trails!

About Kathryn Spira

Kathryn Spira, a native of Cleveland, OH who pursued an acting career in NYC and Los Angeles, now pursues freelance writing from Caroga Lake in Fulton County, New York. Previous columns may be accessed at her web site

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