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What About This . . .? By Wayne William Cipriano

Am I asking for it, or what?
My Mother and I bought a 1991 Toyota Camry for her fresh off the showroom floor. She drove more than a dozen new cars that autumn and decided the Camry was the one for her. Being able to lift her golf clubs into the trunk with ease was the critical factor and she was very pleased with her choice for many years.
When the time came to stop driving she gave the car to me and I’ve been just as pleased with it (everything on it still works except for a recalcitrant right rear power window switch – it still gets 39 miles per gallon). But the paint had faded because Mom didn’t have a garage in Connecticut, and neither did we for quite a while. So the question arose, as it often does with older cars: should we spend money on appearances or just let it go?
Well, Rosalie made that decision, so you know how it went. I called around to 10 or 15 shops to get estimates and was shocked that what they were asking to paint the car was more than the Kelley Blue Book used car value. I just wanted it sprayed, they wanted to take the car apart and do every part individually.
One day when I was dropping off an article at the Douglas County Herald I walked across the street to the East Side Body Shop. I had tried to call them but never got through. The price they quoted and the job they promised was so good that I questioned them very closely but they assured me I had understood them correctly. And then came the rub.
It seems that these guys pick up and jet out to the Philippines every couple of weeks or so for “cultural enrichment,” and they were about to go again. But the deal was so good we decided to wait for them.
When they returned from the Philippines, and re-acclimated to the vertical, they went to work on the Camry, did a great job for the price they quoted, and did it so quickly I thought they were kidding when they called and said we could pick it up. The car looks very nice and they even did a couple of things we hadn’t discussed.
So, there she sits, the Mighty Camry, all shiny and stuff. And now I wonder, as we all will in similar circumstances, how long will it be before this fine automobile, which never got a scratch in 26 years of driving, will get a T-Bone visit from an inattentive driver.
Anybody want to join the betting pool? There are a couple of days still available.

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