Our son ‘s family visited us in Las Cruces last week. Their two sons, age eight and six, kept us very busy and entertained during their stay, not to mention leaving us a bit exhausted at the end of the visit.
Max, the eight year old, gave us a particularly humorous insight when I gave him a ride in our classic 1975 BMW 2002.
The car had been sitting outside in the sun and the weather was warm, so in order to cool down the interior, I asked him to simply “roll down the window” on his door.
“How do you do that,” he asked. “I don’t see a button.”
Yes, in his eight years, he had never ridden in a vehicle with manually cranked windows like all of us Boomers grew up with in our tragically hard lives. Just muscle strength in our arms, no one-touch down switch on the door panel. How did we survive?
It took me a few seconds to show him how to crank the handle for the desired lowering of the window. Then he asked:
“How do you put it back up.”
Another teaching moment.
As I drove him back to our house with fragrant spring air flowing through the cabin, I rhythmically changed gears on the four-speed floor mounted shift. The exhaust made a wonderful burble that was musical to my ears. It was a delightful mechanical connection between a driver and the car.
“You know, Max, you’ll probably never drive a car that has a manual transmission,” I said ruefully.
Yes, I know the future is all electric. But there’s just something visceral about driving an older internal combustion powered vehicle with a manual transmission and going a little over the speed limit on a twisty road.
I’ll think I’ll hang on to the old girl as long as I can find fuel for her.