13 April 2012

Welcome, Ilsa...

Seventy years old?! Did you know it was 70 years old? No, really? Yep, it was November 1942 and and "Casablanca" opened, just a few weeks after the allied invasion of north Africa during WWII. It's one of those movies that's perfect in B&W and should NEVER be colorized or remade.

I've been working at this post for a little while—mostly since the time I decided to name my 'new' car Ilsa. Ilsa Lund is the Ingrid Bergman character in the movie. Certainly you'll recall Miss Bergman as one of the great exports of Sweden. So, Ilsa it is. I have come to find out that Ilsa Lund is Norwegian. Sigh. As I've heard said: "Don't confuse me with the facts—I've made up my mind!" Ilsa it is, I say! Besides, it is also a Swedish name and is a variant of Elizabeth, my middle name.

In addition to being the 70th anniversary of the movie, there will also be theaterical showings of the movie across the country on 26 April. Locally, that will be at the AMC Quail Springs and Tinseltown off MLK and I-44. Ticket prices are about $12.50. One show time only—7 p.m. Am definitely thinking about seeing it. The idea of viewing such a classic on the big screen sounds enticing. Anybody want to go with?

Okay, back to MY Ilsa. I got her on 23 March, just a week after poor Red threw herself into the cable barriers and kept me from being injured. Tom called me that Friday morning while I was still with my art group in Edmond. He was pre-approved for a certain amount for a used car loan at only 1.99%. All I had to do was find a car that was no more than five years old. The credit union, well, all of the credit unions around Oklahoma City, sell their (mostly repo'd?) cars at one lot in Edmond. He thought I might like a Ford Edge mini-SUV they had. Sure, I'll go look at it. I looked at it and it was okay, but then I saw this pretty little Vovlo wagon parked next to the lot's modest little office building. Really? Could Tom ever stomach buying what he'd call a 'liberalmobile?' He calls to say he plans on leaving work early and we agree to meet at the Carl's, Jr. a mile or so down Broadway. I told him about the Volvo and he chuckles a bit.

We both drove back to the First Rate Autos lot and I showed him the Edge he'd told me about, and then the Volvo. He reacted quite well. We took it for a test drive. Still liked it. But what really sealed the deal is that we went by Swedish Imports and the owner mentioned that he knew the car, its previous owner, and had thought about purchasing the car to resell himself. He told us what it would cost to look it over, get its oil changed, and run a CARFAX® report on it. SOLD. We went back to the lot and within a couple of hours, were driving her off the lot for good! With a little shuffling, we got the rental car returned that evening and my sweet little Volvo was coming home.

How Ilsa looked the day we bought her
Min lilla grĂ¥ kombi...
My little gray station wagon. Kombi means 'station wagon' in Swedish. What a cute little word! Ilsa's settled in and is getting used to the places I drive and also used to sitting—lots. I don't go all that much so she passes lots of time just sitting in the garage, resting. Sometimes an easy life is not all that exciting. She's decorated with an Apple sticker and even a People's Church graphic. (There's been some discussion in the family about putting THIS 'coexist' sticker on her.) Heretofore, I resisted putting our church's sticker on my car. I didn't want to give other drivers the opportunity to blame my church for my zealousness behind the wheel. I'll try behaving myself better. Also, due to her metallic gray body and luscious light gray leather interior, I'm have a good time adding little splashes of color inside where I can. I even keep one of my IKEA bags in her back cargo area so she'll have some Swedish companionship! Yeah, I really am THIS silly! Thank you, Red, for keeping me safe. Thank you, Tom, for a really lovely safe, speedy and NICE car!

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