We are gathered here today to celebrate a life well lived. We simultaneously commemorate the joy this life brought and try to erase the incredibly high number of unpleasant memories we are left with from the beast. This beast was known by many names: Alexis’s first car, Old Blue, Blue Beauty, Alexis’s junker, and after the installment of custom headlights, Wall-E.
The beast was big, blue and beautiful. It was with Alexis for a long 4 years – about a fifth of her life. The beast knew Alexis well. It knew how she lost cell phone reception in the dead spot between Hawley and Lake Park, how frequently she ate her oatmeal in the car en route to work, who she offered a ride home to (basically anyone who needed a ride), and, perhaps the most telling of all, how Alexis shamelessly belted Taylor Swift lyrics dancing as fiercely as the obnoxious seat belt restraint allowed.
The beast brought Alexis to the Twin Cities from her small Northwestern MN town and back again numerous times. The beast was fun to drive. It was more fun to drive when the air conditioning worked or even when all the windows worked. It was fairly reliable and less than fairly safe. Those traits helped to inspire several teachable moments including, but not limited to, changing a flat tire on Alexis’s birthday, changing the oil, determining the best locksmith to call on a Sunday in downtown Minneapolis and parallel parking on the University of Minnesota campus (a word I would never use to describe a 1990 Oldsmobile ’98 is compact).
The final straw was not when the steering wheel started smoking, but when the driver’s side window failed to roll up which is a less than ideal situation as Fargo’s tornado warning sirens go off. The beast always did its best though. I admire the beast because it was brave enough to know when to stop. The beast knew that sometimes it is okay to stop. It is okay to simply be broken. It is okay to rest and pleasantly reflect on the accomplishments of the past.
Friends, we celebrate the beast today. The beast is moving on to bigger and better things: the Detroit Lakes Demolition Derby this summer. I am confident the beast will be great on its absolute final journey before the reaching the end of all it has ever known. Keep the faith, folks.
If ever the beast meant something to you, please have a drink in its memory today. Or, perhaps a shot of Jameson is more suiting. After all, the beast did like to live on the edge.
Your attendance and support is greatly appreciated.