Friday, April 6, 2012

On the Road with RLR Jr

Of course, I didn't get the scholarship for Michigan State's political science department.

I did get a memorable trip with Dad. He was his usual irascible self, but most often his anger was directed at himself. Seldom was it directed at me, and never that I can recall without good reason. He was the mean parent, but he was also the parent who went the extra mile for us. He was the one who put in a lot of work on schools research. He was the one who, in the dead of Winter, drove eight and a half hours for a one day test for a possible scholarship. We creaked along in that 15 year old Chevy Nova, a car that had not held up nearly as well as my now 15 year old Honda Accord.

Someday I'll be passing along the tradition of the used car to the kids. That Nova that was his car then became the shared car for me and my brother when the '72 Ford Gran Torino we had died. Amazingly, the Nova was an upgrade from the Torino. In a few years from now, my daughter will be the driver of the Accord, which is older than she is. It'll be a lot more reliable than the old cars Dad would get used but will keep her from thinking she's entitled to some sort of shiny new car without having done anything to earn it.

I have no regrets in not getting the scholarship. I still cheer for Michigan State, though I didn't attend. Besides, I got a scholarship to Franklin and Marshall College, where I met my wife. Wouldn't want to have passed up that.

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