Flashback: His Name was Benny

Prompt #12: “When did you get your first car? Did you buy it for yourself or did your parents help you? Where did you get it–off a lot or from a private party? How much did you pay? How did you earn the money?”

I bought my first car right before my senior year of high school. I was going to be attending our church’s “Antioch Bible and Life School”, living away from home, and working my new job at Boston Market. It would be a busy school year with lots of traveling-and I need a reliable car.

I went to Simply the Best Autos, as I would for all my automobile purchases in the years to come. Robin is a friend of the family and an all-around great guy. Robin’s a God-lover who seeks to honor Christ in his business dealings–you can’t get better than that from a used-car dealer.

My dad picked out the car, a 1991 Chevy Cavalier. He was white with a bright blue stripe in the flashing stuff that goes around the middle of the car (you know what I’m talking about, right? Not like wood pannelling. More like a vinyl kick-board type thing.)

The Cavalier cost $1000, which my parents paid and I promptly paid back, using my earnings from the affectionately-named BM (really, it’s an unfortunate moniker for a rather good fast restaurant.)

I named him, Benny, after Benedick of Shakespeare’s “Much Ado about Nothing.”

“Much Ado” has been my favorite Shakespeare play since I first started reading/watching/listening to Shakespeare. It has wit, repartee, and death that isn’t really death. You can’t get much better than that.

Sometime, early on in my high school career, we all of us decided to put on “Much Ado”. We printed out seven copies of “Much Ado” from Project Gutenberg and highlighted our hand-selected parts (I was Beatrice, Anna was Benedick, Grace was Hero, Joshua was Don John–I really can’t remember who else was who, but all seven of us kids had parts. Most had two parts, actually.)

Alas, we never ended up putting on our play, and I had to content myself with naming my car after a character.

Benny was a loyal fellow, although he developed some BPH with age. Eventually he had to be laid to rest, and I drove a loaner car (nicknamed the “ovah-acheiva”, compliments of Robin) for a bit before my next car was ready for me.

My second car was a Honda, maybe a Civic? He was lovely and green and I named him Jack, short for Clive Staples.

Jack met an untimely end when he was rear-ended by a car that had been rear-ended by another car–causing him to rear-end the car in front of him. It was a tough time to be without a car as I was just beginning the community rotation of my dietetics internship–and needed to be able to travel around the county to give presentations.

The guy at the end of the line, who started the domino effect that totalled Jack, ended up paying for a Mazda 3 rental while I was waiting for the insurance money to come through so I could buy a new car.

Once the money did come through (though the paltry sum they gave me could not come close to equaling Jack’s value–face it, insurance just doesn’t understand the value of a truly reliable middle-aged car), I bought my current car, a green Subaru Legacy sedan.

Luci is named after two independent females: Luci Swindoll and Lucy Pevensie. And like the two independent females she is named after, she does what needs to be done, gets the job done, and has some fun while she’s at it.

Luci and I have traveled many a road together (although mostly Highway 30). I love her very much. But there’ll always be a special spot in my heart for my first lovely car, Benny, also known as Benny D.

1 thought on “Flashback: His Name was Benny”

  1. I’ve never had a car all my very own. I drove my mom’s car when I was home. When we got married my husband had a little yellow German Opal that my brother named Gustav. We had one very big yellowish-beige car that we called Ol’ Yeller. Despite having two yellow cars that’s not really our favorite color for cars (or anything else for that matter…). Other than that we haven’t really named our cars. In our mini-van years the family van has become mainly my car.


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