RIP, My Dodge Ram

Ron Nagasawa
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Wednesday - September 23, 2009
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On September 14, 2009, a near-member of my family passed away. Yes, my 1995 black Dodge Ram truck finally gave out. As it neared the 180,000 -mile mark, the transmission gave way. I have to say that my truck, didn’t go out quietly - it gave me the fuel for one last story about it.

I have many great and significant memories of my truck and if you’ve followed my column over the years, you know that it played a significant role in the Nagasawa family. It’s picture even made the front cover of my book last year, Sanity In Paradise???

I bought it brand-new in 1995, as my wife wouldn’t allow me to take our son to school for the first grade in my car at the time, a black Jeep Wrangler covered in only a “bikini” top. The Jeep that is, not me. So I opted for the biggest, safest truck available at the time.


That made for my first truck story about trying to park it in a compact stall. Later I would write numerous times about getting pulled over by the police, trying to swat a bumble bee, spilling a giant bag of popcorn and another time several trays of lattes.

I wrote about my family watching Godzilla at Kam Drive-In before it closed down. Marked when my son and I celebrated the truck rolling to 100,000 miles. And of course my wife will never let me forget the number of times I’ve locked the keys in my truck, the last time at the city dump.

Anyway, on that fateful Monday, I was called to an extremely important meeting with my boss. It was at our Restaurant Row office in town at 10 a.m., so I figured if I left my office in Kaneohe at 9:15 I would get there in plenty of time.

My boss is a tolerant and understanding man, but missing or being late to a meeting is something you avoid at all costs. I made good time across Pali Highway, and as I rolled down to the intersection of Punchbowl and Vineyard, my transmission went out - I could not move other than what gravity would afford me.

The clock was ticking, and I kicked my multi-tasking skills into high gear. I called our HR director and asked if she could swing by and take me to the meeting. On its last legs the transmission somehow allowed me to inch it every few minutes from Punchbowl to Vineyard and then onto Queen Emma.

I called in to our print shop and some of the guys said they would figure out a way to have it towed. It was 9:55 and my ride called and said she was on the wrong street. She too knows the importance of making the meeting, so she kept the car moving as I jumped in. Once in the building, I ran.

I was literally doing that “parkour” thing, only a Paul Blart Mall Cop version. I made it into the meeting room only to find I was the first one there. I realized later that my truck’s departure couldn’t have been a more perfect send-off - it brought me as far as I needed to go to make it to my meeting on time.

Good-bye my beauty. See you in truck heaven.

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